Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Musing About "Perfect" Designs

I am very new to the blogging world, and so far I love the experience. I enjoy seeing and absorbing what others are doing and thinking. I delight in all the different styles and viewpoints. Some blogs are light and fluffy; some are straightforward and informative, while others are just downright disturbing. And they all serve a purpose, whether to the reader or the writer, and they are specific to each author’s agenda.

The word I often find in blogs is musing; the writer is often musing about this or that. I think that it is the perfect word, musing. It is true for me; I muse. There is a great feel to the word.

Today, I am musing. I am musing about interior design and our “finished product.” I am finding that more and more I am disturbed by “perfect” spaces. These are rooms that I see in print or on line that look as if they were just assembled with all new items from some furniture showroom. They leave me feeling flat.

The Muse Reading, Louvre - picture right

At some point everything is new, of course. But the question I pose is “do we want our rooms to look that new”? Perfect? Perhaps some of us do; perhaps that’s the goal – looking perfect, new, and fresh.

I can see that I am evolving. I am noticing that I see perfect spaces and I am left wanting. I think I that am looking for some soul or some connection to something in the space; be it the designer, the client, or the architecture. Today, perfect somehow feels too contrived. I think that these days I am looking for some soul, depth, and character in designs. But…if it’s a new space, is it honest design to make it look new? New appearing as new?

So I muse some more. Are these “perfect” looking designs a style? Or…is it a lack of style? I think I am looking for something that grabs me and makes me want to know more. Perhaps it’s some quirky and not so new thing in the space that tells me a story. Perhaps it is the avoidance the “matchy matchy” at all cost (cardinal rule #1). But I think it’s more than that. Whatever the methods or devises used to enrich a space, I wonder if we instinctively know when it’s successful or it’s not. We feel that the space engages us or it doesn’t; it’s too perfect or it’s approachable, soulful, and is the cumulative expression of the designer and the client’s style.

I spent nine years working for a local architect. I was fortunate to win several design awards, I was published, I was on TV locally; it was great, but it had inherent constraints. I am now in a new chapter and a new adventure. One of the great joys of this new chapter in life is that my musings can be fodder for what comes next.

So I am wondering what you think. Do you notice “perfect” rooms and spaces? Are you bothered by them or do they speak to you in some way? Is it good design, a style, economics…or…?

Some rooms by designer Vincent Wolf.

15 Union Square - note the mix of materials, styles, and the variety of table accessories

The Hamptons - Danish Modern, Modern, and a wonderful brick floor

The Hamptions - again a mix of styles, periods, fabrics, and metal

Tribeca, NYC - Mix of scale, period, materials etc.

Please check out the great post by Eddie Ross showing his mix of old and new.

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Love to hear your thoughts. Thanks for sharing!