I am more of a doer than a show you how to doer, which is interesting because I love to learn, and revere a good teacher. The kind that stokes your curiosity, getting you to lean in to investigate a little closer, the magic that is being explained. The very best teachers seem to make my impatience fall away like a towel on a kid, ready to plunge themselves into the ocean. I wish I could do that for you, but my notebooks have notes, ideas, sketches, and list after list of To Do’s, that wouldn’t explain how I get anything done, though I accomplish a lot, sometimes a little, and mainly feel as if I’ve done nothing at all. How is it possible to be this way, and to explain to others, how to do it. It’s more of a How Don’t Guide, than a How To Guide, but there is something that I wanted to share about how this doer gets a design to be done.
For me it starts with color. It hurts my heart a little when the people that I am working with don’t like the hue blue. It’s not as if it’s the only color I like, but I’ve told you all before, I do adore. So let’s just say I start with the color blue, then I ask myself, what are we dealing with? A house, a home, a shelter – blue will still do, no seriously, whether I am dealing with a whole house or a single room, having a palette that is complimentary is important to me. Will I be able to close one room off from another, or will there need to be a relationship between the two? One of the drawbacks of open concept spaces is that delineation is hard to determine. Where does one room begin and the next end? Who knows. Many designers choose a single color to address these wide open spaces, which I’m not at all opposed to doing.
Here’s my how don’t guide to getting it right:
- Don’t make decisions in a vacuum,
- Don’t be impatient – gather your materials samples, paint, finishes, and put them on a board or in a tray, are they visually appealing to you?,
- Don’t be afraid of prints and stripes together – stripes go with everything,
- Don’t order everything from the Restoration Hardware catalog and call it done, people will talk about you behind your back, no matter how much you spent,
- Don’t beat yourself up for making mistakes – even the very best designers make them, it’s part of the learning process, and yes, there may be tears due to the literal price of the lesson, but that’s life,
- Don’t think that you can see a paint color on the pages of a magazine and know what it’s going to look like in your space – the time of day, year, exposure, even your own mood can influence the way in which that color reads – you must test it, sit with it, and sigh, be patient.
These are my Sunday don’t, now go out and get after the month of March. It’s be worth doing.