Friday, January 7, 2011
Your Home Says "You"
A designer is part creative consultant, part psychoanalyst, and part financial adviser. A good designer listens carefully to her/his clients, takes clues from their expressed wants and needs, advises them on what to keep, what to get rid of, and what to buy, helps them with a budget plan for their design project, and then uses her/his experience, training, skills, product knowledge and creativity to make it happen.
I’ve been a designer, and in some form of the home furnishings business for a long time. I could tell you how long, but you would NEVER believe I was that old! Anyway, I’ve gone into hundreds of homes, and I have a theory that, our home is one of the truest expressions of who we are. Why? Because it’s how we live. It’s where we keep our things, and it’s where we go when we want to recharge, refresh and rejuvenate.
But home isn’t just a crash pad. It’s an expression of our personal tastes. We like our stuff. It defines us. I have a girlfriend, who is an artist. She loves plants and gardening. And she’s very tidy. When you visit her home, you enter through a small patio…a kind of secret garden… with plants, vines, flowers, garden art, bird feeders and wind chimes, everywhere. Step inside, and it’s a collage of art, photography, colors, textures, and sensual and tactile delights. It’s full of the things she loves, and it’s all neatly and beautifully arranged. It looks just like her!
Home also reflects how we want others to see us. I know a lady who has the most sublime, well-equipped kitchen imaginable, and she never cooks. She watches the Food Network religiously, and can talk an excellent game of “foodie.” I don’t think her oven has ever been turned on. (No, it’s not me!) But the trophy kitchen is her pride and joy, and an expression of how she wants to be perceived by others.
Sometimes a home doesn’t really reflect who we are, or what we want to be, but rather it tells a story about our living conditions at the moment. Although, I’m a firm believer that, unless you have absolutely no money or imagination, style can be achieved on a shoestring budget. I’ve transformed many a sows ear into an attractive and personal living space with almost nothing to work with.
Do you think decorating is shallow, superficial, and frivolous? Well, don’t think that isn’t apparent by the way you pull your home together. It might be bare-boned and monastic, rundown and cluttered, or just generally neglected, but yes, you too are making a statement.
Your home décor can be what you love, what you have to “make do” with, or consist of a handful of survival basics. It can be deliberate or unconscious, high design or strictly functional, a sanctuary of peace and tranquility or an act of rebellion. But whether it’s exquisitely appointed with expensive furnishings, packed with quirky kitsch, or it's nothing but a twin bed, a particle board dresser, and a fishing rod in the corner, your home speaks volumes about who you are.
Posted by Carol Stafford McNeill at 7:03 AM