“God is in the details” –Mies van der Rohe

Good design equates to good living. By this, I mean, that a house is not just a “machine for living”, but a place where individuals will thrive. The details are what transforms a house into a home and a place where individuals can find their fullest expressions of self. Is this asking too much? I don’t believe so.

Good design begins by focusing on the individual(s) who will be living and/or working in the space being designed. How will they use their space? What will suit the lifestyle of the inhabitants?  What will enhance the way clients live or express themselves. Although important, this work does not begin with colors and objects. The way a space is organized so that it will function must be the starting point.

A room needs to be constructed so that one may truly live in it unimpeded. This breaks down into details such as: light switches where you need them- placed unobtrusively not to interfere with the art you want to put on the walls; reading lights next to comfortable seats so you can lose yourself in a book; natural light and a view if possible so you can daydream and live in proximity to nature; dimmers so you will light candles and the fireplace at night; a place for the firewood, so you will actually light the fire.

Well before the paint is applied to the walls, we must tend to the details that allow us to work, sleep and eat with ease. When you go beyond a single room to the creation an entire house, these, not–so-small details include proper siting of the house to take advantage of the sun and views, efficient ways to heat or cool and a floor plan that minimizes fruitless tasks. Without paying attention to these basics, we may create a place that looks good, but it will not serve our needs.

Color is a critical component of a successful design.  Color is a mood enhancer. Chosen with care, it enhances all that goes on in a room. White boxes are fine in hot climates or where the walls will be covered with thoughtful or dramatic art but for most houses, it will not create a comforting or nurturing environment. I always use color on the ceilings. I choose colors that will enhance the outdoor view and the activities that will take place in a room. The color helps people identify a space as being theirs.

The furnishings must suit the owner’s moods and the way they will live in their spaces. Antiques or cutting edge, all must be comfortable or made to fit repeated tasks. The fabrics, the shapes, the art all combine to create a tactile, sensuous whole. These must be chosen with care to fit the individual. Objects that express or resonate with the owner are important. They are defining. It is these things that express individuality in a room. All the components add up to a composition about whom the client is or who they want to be at their best.