My blog today is inspired by a visit I had with a client of mine on Friday.
I have worked with this client before on several different projects over the years,but I had forgotten how her home makes me feel every time I step foot in her door. The first thing I want to do is put my feet up on the time worn, old leather ottoman, and have her go fetch me a scotch on the rocks. I love that feeling!,(not the being served,although that would be nice) but the feeling of walking into someones home and sinking down into the feather filled couch and never getting up because your so comfortable, relaxed and at ease. I started to think afterwards what is it about her home that always makes me feel that way? Is it the worn old wood floors? Or the beat up leather club chairs that looked like they stepped out of a Ralph Lauren ad? How about the persian carpets, surrounded by antique pine cupboards and sideboards, that you know have been knocked around a few times by a growing family, of course only adding to the character. Then in the background I hear a faint tick,tick,tick, of an ancient clock perched on top of the mantle over the brick fireplace. But wait I’m not done…. suddenly I turn around and I’m hit with a larger then life modern abstract painting. I have at that moment come to the conclusion that it is the “mix” or here it comes that dirty overused designer word “eclectic”(yuck I know.) There really is no other way to describe it though, it is, what it is,the mix of styles and elements that when put together make a house feel lived in and special like it has been collected over time.A home with character,setting it apart from others.
In the past two homes I’ve built, I have sold all my furniture,looking forward to having a clean slate.I have now decided that I don’t want to do that anymore. Filling a home with belongings isn’t accomplished overnight,it takes time (and a lot of it) and patience. When I buy pieces now I want to feel that I will love that piece no matter where I put it ,or that it can serve more than just one purpose depending on what I choose to use it for. And that is exactly what I felt at my clients home,a sense that her pieces have been in the family for years and have served many different functions.I bet each piece has a story to tell as well.
I think a well designed home needs to have pieces like this in order for it to feel like a home,something that can’t,( in my opinion anyways),be achieved by filling your home with all new furniture. The” mix”. I think it’s something I will from now on aspire to continue to achieve! I think I’m getting old.
Here are four designers who’s work I greatly admire,each one always achieves the “mix,” in every home they design, even if it is on a different level.
1.) Brad Ford.
2.) James Huniford.
3) Vicente Wolf
4) Darryl Carter