During a recent trip to Phoenix, Az for a painting convention, I chose to use my few free hours on Sunday afternoon to visit Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright’s final residence. I knew a bit about him upon my arrival, but was astounded by the details of his life and career as recounted by an architectural student/guide on my 90-minute tour. After five years in the painting and decorating industry I walked away with a whole new outlook on design. What’s your design philosophy?
First and foremost – you don’t have to be a designer to have a philosophy on design. Frank Lloyd Wright believed that everyone’s home should be a reflection of you as an individual – a “mini museum” if you will. He also believed that form and function can and should co-exist, using nature as his proof that this is an achievable goal. Lastly, he always emphasized the use of natural light, for there is nothing more flattering and believed it should be taken advantage of to the fullest.
So how does this translate into the world of painting and decorating? Well, without a clear vision as to what inspires you, it can be difficult to create a living space that is inspiring. We often do this subconsciously, but if you truly take the time to figure out what you love most and find a way to incorporate it into your everyday life, every time you walk into your bedroom, family room, kitchen, etc, you will do so with a smile (or a sigh of relief as you finally crawl into bed at the end of the day).
So where do you begin? If you have a piece of artwork or a collection you would like to display, you can start there, but choosing a paint color is one of the most critical decisions you’ll make when trying to establish your tone. It can be used as a subtle backdrop for everything else you plan to fill the space with, as an accent to define a specific area you would like the focus to fall upon, or the color/finish can be the focal point in itself. Whatever the case may be, keep in mind the natural light in the space, and how it changes throughout the day. Use a light color to brighten up a space with minimal natural lighting, or a deeper shade to absorb excess light.
The key is to be patient with the process, taking the time to really determine how you want to feel in each room in your home. Then, choose what’s right for you, keep it simple and make it beautiful. Til next time . . .
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