DESIGN / IT'S AN ATTITUDE
Sometimes I get asked about my approach to design. How it all comes together, how I choose fabrics, and the color choices. I have to answer that it all comes from having an attitude of play. Some have called this philosophy mix and match since its really all about the spirit of trying many colors, textures and forms together in a casual but measured way. Mix and match can be used for arranging and styling almost anything like creating an outfit, setting a table, arranging the cushions, or making the bed. This idea approaches design with flexibility, fun, and utility. It creates a kind of luxury that is accessible and very much based on individual preferences. It is simple in forms, and yet complex in details, textures, and color combinations. I have found that the playfulness is what makes the process fun, and ultimately distinctive.
But sometimes mix and match, for all that it can do design-wise, is time consuming and causes frustration. It might be easier to just buy a generic design solution like the "bed in a bag" concept, where a fully set of beddings was purchased and put on the bed with spectacular results. I don't know if you've done that, but I have way back when, and it was a huge disappointment.
I found that if it's convenient and fast, then it typically won't be unique or special. This is like the fast food option of designing. When your design is pre-made, pre-planned and pre-adorned, it is fast, convenient and predictable. And your bedding, or your table linens or your pillows will look and feel like the thousands of others that bought the very same thing. How many times have you given new items to the Good Will after only a few wears or uses? I know I have, and every time is happens, I make a mental note to resist the quick easy, and predictable temptations at the store.
What to do instead? Cultivate an easy, exploratory, and playful spirit in regards to your styling and use of textiles at home. While big items like furniture or artwork can't be changed, the smaller, seemingly more insignificant items, mostly your textiles, can be changed. So here is what I do:
1. Collect linen napkins in lots of colors and styles, and mix them for a unique table each night.
2. Start your bed with cream or oatmeal sheets, and then layer colors as you build the arrangement, limiting yourself to two main colors.
4. Place a linen tablecloth on the sofa or end of bed to add color and interest.
5. Use your throw pilllows 20" x 20" on chair seats to add comfort and color.
6. Change your pillow covers seasonally. Store out of season pillow covers in the linen closet for later use. Reuse the inserts.
7. Pick a favorite color and collect bed linens in that color hue. Then layer them on for a coordinated but eclectic arrangement.
8. Shop for your textiles at thrift stores. Often there are real finds here which are unexpected.