Design Style in Wise Design

“What sign are you?” That remains the great, grating and nonsensical pick up line from the 70’s and 80’s, don’t you think? Well let me respectfully add that “What style are you?” seems to be the design world equivolent…it won’t get you far and next time you hear it, you have my permission to dramatically throw your mojito in somebody’s face. 🙂

Style discussions. They are just not enough. Style discussion are usually puddle deep – yet it’s the pool everybody wants to swim in first and longest. When a new client races to tell me that he/she/they are “This Style” or “That” – I smile and nod. I know they believe that they are sharing something hugely important – and in some cases, that this discourse will somehow rush us to the finish line. Au contraire.

“What style are you?” That’s a question for a furntirue store salesperson to ask you when she’s trying to size you up quickly in order to make a sales commission by selling you lots of furniture. Lots of HER furniture. And so to the cookie-cutter you will go.

No, no. “What style are you?” This is not the quesiton in Wise Design.

Here’s why: The STYLE that a client ‘rests in’ becomes quite apparent to me in the first moments we spend together. In that early time together, we peruse the inspiration photos I invite all clients to gather to show me before we begin a project together. But peeps….let me share that I’m looking at those photographs for things that resonate far beyond style…information that is both more meaningful and exponentially useful. I even invite clients to pull out more than just room shots for their inspiration photos. I ask clients to pull out magazine pages showing ANY image they feel drawn to.

What am I looking for? In short: Your fingerprint.

As I review the pile of craving or wish photos – powerful thematics emerge that transcend style. Specifically, how do you – the client – like color handled? Not just WHAT colors – but where do you need color placed in an interior? How do you like or need color moved through a space? What about Pattern? Do you like it? Can you tolerate it? If so – what kind and where – on the floor? The upholstery? The windows? How much pattern do you crave – or can you take? Where are you on the texture scale. How do you relate to light? Shadow? How do you relate to space in general….do you need a lot of space above you and behind you like a chiropractor I worked with once…whose office was a study in anything but these spatial qualities. Or like another of my clients – do you need to be hugged by your interiors…deep sofas and window seats and places to perch. From there – I can create phenomenal interiors …across a range of styles.

Here’s the pearl of wisdom: Any style – so long as it contains your design fingerprint will feel and look superbly wonderful to you. (and ironically – to everybody else too…but that’s not important…) Use Wise Design and you will create interiors with 10 year staying power. 12 year staying power. Maybe more. These are not the rooms you will itch to redo in 4, 5, 7 years as many new clients who come to me are wishing to do. 10+ year staying power for your interiors….How “green” is that? What more wise way to direct your design dollar!

It’s time to wake up and turn off the home design shows. You can’t wear somebody elses style any more comfortably than you wear somebody elses haircut or their sneakers. It will never feel ‘right’ or comfortable.

As long as any given ‘style’ contains your unique design fingerprint…how you uniquely relate to all of the individual components that constitute design – you will win and you will win big. Your enjoyment of your home and surroundings will sky rocket; so will your overall sense of “quality of life” at home.

Working in this precise and intuitive (and logical!) manner means that theoretically, I could do the same ‘style’ for 5 different clients/couples/families and the results would be remarkably different because each one would have such a different design fingerprint. All of my clients have a very different ‘interiority.’ Best of all – working in this way, you’ll never create what looks and feels like an Ethan Allen showroom….nice, but sterile and soul-less.

Your ‘interiority’ – your design fingerprint – is what resonates for you just underneath the pulse of style – whether traditional, country, cottage, French, mid-century modern and so on. Find it…listen to it. Find a designer who can find it if you can’t.

Style with a You. Put your interiority into your design discussions and watch things bloom. Know thyself woman. (Man, that goes for you too). It’s the key to great design with great longevity.