Monday, August 18, 2008

Tricks of the Trade

When I think about designing, it is not always about painting. I have written many entries with reference to color, paint, faux finishes and the like. I feel I have left out a big area, that is DESIGN in general. All the questions I have raised in my earlier posts can be answered using this trick.

What colors should I choose?
How do I choose the right colors for my room?
Where do I start?

SPECIAL TIP: Some of the most experienced designers and decorators do it.... cut out photos! From magazines, old and new or from your family photo albums. Take pictures from anywhere you might find an image that speaks to you, gives you good feelings!

I have saved just about every Architectural Digest, Better Homes and Gardens and many other magazines that I had subscribed to over the years, or just bought on a whim in an airport while traveling. I tear out the pages that I love, the rooms and colors that speak to me, that give me good feelings. I keep them in a file, for reference, or pin them to my bulletin board so I can glance at them and dream. Another great source is to search through the photos you have taken on vacations, places you have traveled that have special meaning.

Think about the deep rich blues of the Caribbean waters, how calming and soothing they made you feel. Or the deep terra-cotta clays of Mexican villages and reds of the floral bushes leading down to the shoreline. How about the great contrast of the white plaster homes to the deep Mediterranean sea in Greece.

You can use these images as a jumping off point!

I worked with clients who did a lot of traveling in Italy and wanted their home to reflect that Tuscany feeling. We used rich colors and re-created a look of a small home, where the plaster had peeled away to expose the brick below. There was a window box of vines and flowers that draped down over this. We painted the walls with a fresco finish and I used plaster to re-create the bricks in a way that looked as though they were under the wall, exposed, as in the photo. Using a silk floral arrangement we were able to complete the look.

Sometimes taking images from your past, or photos from a room you love in a magazine is the best place to start. The colors can inspire you to create a wonderful room that you will enjoy for many years!

1 comment:

JR said...

Now I know how to start my office project... I'll start reading magazines I would otherwise ignore just to find pictures of things I want to reflect in the office... And then you can come help ;)