As a designer, I recognize and preach the importance of beautifying your surroundings. While this is certainly the ultimate goal of interior design, it’s not the sole or even the most important element. Of course the underlying question with regards to each design decision is the aesthetics of the item, but aside from that, the real question to ask is “how does this piece make me feel”, when you look at it. It’s the feelings, or the memories, or the resonance that an item or a color, or a texture, or even a scent, conjure up inside of your soul that triggers the initial desire for something. Whether it’s a sofa or a pair of shoes you see as you pass by a store window, understanding the emotion behind your preference will guide you to making the best decisions in the end.
We live in a disposable world. The days of your grandmother’s perfect plastic encased upholstery are gone with the wind, my friend. We no longer purchase a sofa with aspirations of ensuring the appearance lasts as long as the structure. The average sofa is now meant to last five to seven years, at which time it will be disposed of and replaced. Out of convenience, we purchase paper plates and napkins to save the little time and energy it takes to clean the real thing. Although we, as a whole, are making great strides in promoting a “green” way of living, it’s still thought of as “hippie ideas” by some. The fact of the matter is whether you prefer to hug a tree or a man, the beauty is in the details.
The details, to which I refer, are the beautifully coordinated plates and soft clothe napkins that create the fabulous tablescape for your dinner. They are in the brightly colored vintage tablecloth that adorns the picnic table at your summer barbeque. It’s the clinking sound of glass to glass contact while making a toast or saluting a cheers amongst friends. These are the simple changes you can make to evoke emotions in those involved. One will remember dinner at you home as being a warm, beautiful, positive experience, and that’s designing with intention.
We talk a lot about both clearing the clutter and organizing in our homes today, but if we instead focus on only purchasing items that resonate with our souls then there would be far less Rubbermaid containers in our future. Just because an item would match or work well within the design of your space does not mean that you must purchase it. When you first spot this item in the shelf on your way to the toilet paper aisle, before it makes the plunge into the cart, take a moment to really consider why you would purchase this piece. You may save yourself a few dollars now and the hassle of storing it later when it gets tossed aside in the next shuffle of dust collectors. You must ask yourself why you are drawn to a piece. If the answer involves a positive emotion associated with a treasured memory, fabulous! Buy it! It’s now a reminder of a beloved affair and it will bring joy to you each time you see it on your coffee table. This item will not be a burden later when you choose to rearrange the living room because it procures a memory, it strikes a chord within you and it resonates with your soul. Souvenirs from favorite travels, family pieces handed down generations, and new items that evoke an emotion or memory are the things that you should surround yourself with in your home.
My goal as a designer is to make each and every space a direct reflection of its inhabitants. Your home is your sanctuary. It’s the place you choose to unwind in at the end of a long day and the place you share with those that you love most in life. For this reason alone, your home has to be a physical manifestation of your personality. This idea holds true for every single item you choose to adorn your home, and can only be accomplished over time with careful mindful selections. You will be amazed not only by how much you enjoy the time you spend at home, but how much delight it will also bring to those who visit as well.