We seem to be right on the mark with the color schemes we are doing. I am seeing colors like Raspberry, Orchid, Fuschia, Cranberry – lots of berry colors. —Really fun touches and accents for a taupe and black basic scheme. I love it! We are finishing a retail shop, the “Dress Boutique”, in Jackson that will have this scheme with a large black and taupe leopard print pouf in the center. We have raspberry tall back slipper chairs in front of shiney black accent walls, and a sophisticated taupe and pearl striped wallcovering as you enter the shop. I think it is going to be a beguiling(great word) and chic little shop. Opens in February.
I just finished watching a video on the design process of Frank O. Gehry, the amazing architect. I felt he confirmed my thinking and pushed me to ponder the process and take it further. I suppose it is my theatre background, but the way I begin a project is to ask: When I walk into the space for the first time, how do I feel? How does this environment make me feel? That is a very difficult question to answer. But I think to have a truly successful design, you must, as a designer, answer it. In that sense, it is a little like set design. Accept in set design, the director tells you how he wants it to make you feel. Your job is to bring that to a visual answer.
Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum – Bilao, Spain…..magnificent, soaring, elegant, full of joy! And isn’t there a touch of humor. I think so. To be able to take the time and let a design develop and go through the design process as it should, is rare in our business. Perhaps I will have a client that is that eager to build something special, perhaps this next year.
We are now dealing with our economic woes of recent history and becoming very ….sensible. But let’s not be boring. Here are a few ways we can allow ourselves to yield to those desires for lovely things. –All things wood and natural–
1. Add a few special accessories, like wood cut orbs, dug out and finished with a natural look.
2. The new color schemes are yellows and grays, or deep blues with white.
Keep the overall room in the neutral tones, grays or whites, and add the colors in just a few items, a throw, or pillows or in your window treatments. The wood elements here should be in a white wash finish.
3. I am also seeing many soft plush colors like blush pearls and soft taupes. This is where you can use a sheen. It can be in the form of very flesh toned silks or soft flowing sheers underneath your bedroom draperies. Sheers are making a big comeback and there are a multitude of fabulous patterns and tones available.
4. To compliment the wood pieces you have chosen, use warm tones in natural leathers, chocolates and mink. A monotone room with several variations on the theme of browns is a cozy invitation to settle in and stay awhile. A light tan sofa with leather pillows and a rug underneath of many tones of browns and tans will keep the two of you at home.
2011?? Really? 2011 – Are you kidding? Can it be true?
Well, it looks like it is. Now what do we do? We keep moving forward. “Got to” as my mother used to say.
As a designer, that means one thing. Pay attention to what is coming. What trends do I see in 2011 and what classics are here to stay?
Designers follow the culture of the times. We are, oh so slowly, creeping out of a recession and we all want to indulge ourselves just a little bit. We want something that recognizes us as individuals, yet keeps us in the know of modern culture. We seem to want the security of the past, but not the over indulgent, Mac Mansions or over the top glitz. We want to simplify our lives, especially at home. We all have such high tech, fast-paced lives that we yearn for a few moments of quiet and peace without any communication.
That, of course, only last for a very few moments. Then we are ready to pick up our IPhones and tweet away. We do not want to miss anything.
So how does all this affect the design of our homes or workplaces? I have been in New York several times this fall and here is what I saw.
Wood. Simple enough? Yes, lots and lots of wood. And it is beautiful! It is showing up in paneling, furniture, accessories, yes, even lamps and lampshades. It is in the artwork too.
At the Boutique Design New York show, I saw many wonderful ways that wood is being used everywhere. And I do mean raw wood, sliced wood, sticks, limbs, all shapes and sizes of cut down trees, wood veneers and natural finishes.
It is funny how subliminal design can be. I used a cut wood pattern theme in a hotel design recently and I thought I was oh so original. Obviously, I had picked up on the design vibes floating around out there. But they are fabulous and I am fine with that.
I find it interesting that the biggest trends I am seeing are extreme contemporary looks, with slick glass and stainless materials with the contrast of very natural materials. I do love both and I love them together. Just as the turn of every century, this one began with the effort by trendsetters to introduce something different. I believe that is why we have seen the contemporary direction come on so strongly.
Nevertheless, the use of natural materials in contemporary interiors has taken the edge off the stark looks of modern design. I love the use of natural and/ or tried and true materials in new and unique ways.
One of the wonderful by-products of the trend towards green design has been a resurgence of wood in the market. It came first in the form of clean, smooth designs (and veneers of all types) that mimicked the modern look of materials like steel or resin. But as the green movement has become more of a permanent fixture of our lives, we have seen the industry open up to include rough, chunky cuts of wood that let the natural beauty of the material shine. Whether it is with burl bowls, rough carved wooden vases or reclaimed railroad ties, the design industry seems to be embracing beautiful wooden objects that have been left relatively natural.
Christmas is over. Sadly it is time to put away the decorations and think of 2011! Can you believe it? Here we go into another decade. With several trips to our New York office this past fall AND a visit to the Hospitality Design Boutique show in New York, it is easy to see what is Oh SO hot right now – wood ……..raw wood………wood planks………anything in natural wood tones. I wrote an article on the subject for the January issue of Bluffs and Bayous magazine. So keep your eyes open for it. I will also soon post it here. AND I’ll add a few more thoughts and photos for our blog followers. What else are we seeing in 2011? New color schemes? materials? and yes, even new serving dishes for our table.