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Saturday, June 2, 2007

The Unexpected Element....

Decorating a room can be an intimidating task. Where do you begin? Or more importantly when do you know you are finished? One of the most common questions that i am asked, is how do you make a room that is co-ordinated and put together, but at the same time, does not look like the pages of a catalogue. One of the hallmarks of my design work is that it is totally a reflection of the people who live there and has an almost effortless looking, undecorated style. If I were to narrow this down to one thing I think I would call it the "unexpected element". It is that one thing in the room, that, on paper probably doesn't work, but in execution gives the room a bit of a shake up and stops it from feeling too "done".

As an example take a look at the image above, it is a home Library that i did a few years ago. The color palette is very neutral and the story is really all about the texture of the room, but then, out of nowhere comes this rug in magenta and orange. It gives the room a confident, just thrown together kind of feel, it is the unexpected element.

Here are some tips on how you can introduce this into your designs, and bring them to life even more:
  • Pick a piece that can stand alone from the rest of your design, a rug or an occasional chair are perfect pieces for this kind of approach.
  • While you want it to stand out from the rest of the room, pay close attention to the other design elements of the piece. For instance, if you are using a piece in an off color, pay close attention that it ties to the room in scale and texture. Or if you are using something that is over scaled, make sure that the color works with the other pieces in the room.
  • A piece can become unexpected by using it in an unusual location. For instance, using outdoor furniture inside, or a great French antique chair in a bathroom. It is the context that can create the tension that makes the piece interesting.
  • One or two of these elements in a room is usually more than enough to create the desired effect, more than that and you start looking like a random assortment of cast-offs.
  • Mixing periods is also a simple way to create this sort of visual texture. I just designed a Dining Room with a great old antique table and then paired it with a classic modern chair, the Brno Chair.

Remember the key to making this work, make it look effortless! Happy Designing!

1 comment:

Maryam in Marrakesh said...

I am all about the unexpected element....or several!