I love the styling of this line, Monterey Sands, from Lexington Home Brands – A wonderful furniture line I’ve been selling for years. Their showroom at the Furniture and Accessory Market I travel to in October in High Point, North Carolina is amazing. I remember once, to show off a new line of furniture they were introducing, their stylist created a cornfield in the middle of the showroom. As you meandered through the cornfield you came upon a wonderful imaginary facade of a wrap around front porch complete with rocking chairs. As you stepped through the screen door into the kitchen, there was coffee brewing and a woman baking pies. You just wanted to sit down at their new kitchen table they were featuring. You couldn’t wait to “experience” the rest of the house. I wanted to buy the furniture because it had a warmth to it and I could pass that warmth along to my clients. The stylist had put personal style into the showroom, inventing a character – let’s say conjuring up an imaginary client’s personal style.
Carrie Donovan’s description of personal style in the magazine section of an old New York Times states, “A chair, if it’s the right one, can have it. So can a room, a house and possibly everything in it. Even a tree can be said to have it (though that is certainly not the first thing to consider when planting). Many people go happily through life without a trace of style, but just as many others are continually pleasured by their ability to create it or appreciate it. One person’s idea may be abhorrent to another. And styles in style shift with the times. But what is constant is a certain idiosyncrasy or quirk that distinguishes the stylish from the mundane.”
I couldn’t agree with Donovan more. You want rooms to exude harmony, a special air of grace. Such decorating springs from the fundamentals of good design. For designing and decorating, I believe, is an endeavor that combines equal parts of technical know how and innate artistry. The fundamentals of a well-built, well decorated home should consist of comfort, suitability, warmth, contrast, and of course, personal style.
You shouldn’t go into a home and experience just one thing – a great ceiling, a great sofa or a great facade. I believe it should be an integrated environment. Detail can be wonderful, but not to the point that it’s lost. Often, it’s more important to subtract than to add.
The builders personal style is passed on to the potential buyer whose own personal style matches that of the builder’s. Then, the buyer places their trust and confidence in the designer who can make the interior of their home as special as the surroundings. In other words, tying all the elements together.
A quote by T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings say’s it all, “Why do we love certain houses, or why do they seem to love us? It is the warmth of our individual hearts reflected in our surroundings.”