Every good designer wants to create a unique or signature "feel" to the interior they design.
Quite often though, when I walk through a "home tour" house, the fabrics start to look similar, the fixtures are not all that interesting and everything looks decorator-ish.
What I love about a really great house or even a single wonderful room are the small and quiet details that make it really special.
Really great homes are a personal portrait of the people who live in them. You walk in and you know who lives there.
That is the case with this wonderful home owned by Artie and his partner Scott. Many of you know Artie from his fun blog Color Outside the Lines. I asked Artie if I could do a post about his house and share his thoughts on how he views the design process and what he's looking for right now. He generously said YES!
So lets take a look around:
I love everything about this room. What is really wonderful here is that although the home was built in 1923, it feels current and young and artistic.
Artie painted all of his walls various shades of the same sage green. The orange accent color works great in this space and you can find subtle shades of it throughout. Look at the terra cotta pots on the mantle and the interesting urn in the left corner.
The rugs and pillows are all from Turkey, where Scott was stationed while in the Military. The panel against the wall, salvaged when an old house being torn down, is actually part of an old garage door. Although the artwork is very striking it doesn't compete with the other patterns. Keeping the brick on the fireplace natural is perfect. I probably would have painted it or tiled over top but leaving it as is worked!
Here is a wonderful vignette of asian inspired objects, books and art that blend so nicely. This wall was painted orange...now that took some guts, but if you look at Asian antiques, many lacquers are in shades of reddish orange so this works perfectly. Love the blue and white pottery, by the way.
K: Is there a regional style in Western New York that you see everyone using in their homes and if so do you follow those trends?A: There is a broad gap between styles in my area, I think due to the nature of the architecture in Western New York. I've seen a lot of Victorian, with reproduction period furniture, wallpapers, deep colors and lots of brass. Then there is the complete other end, people who are shopping for mid century pieces and choosing really bright colors. I'm not saying that white slipcovers have no place here or that seagrass doesn't find its's way into homes, but it's just not as popular as it seems to be in the more southern climates. I suppose I'm one of the ones reaching for anything in the middle. I love to mix things that you wouldn't ordinarily think of seeing in the same room. I think that style and good design are in the details and you'll rarely find outstanding details when everything is the same!
K: What are your new projects and how do you start...with an idea or concept?
A: Gosh, projects. Right now that's a curse word in this house! Currently we're working on the bathroom, something that until a couple of days ago I was having fun with. After the bathroom we'll move outside to complete the pergola we started last fall. When I take on a project, I'll get an idea or find some amazing inspiration and I'll plan the whole thing out. The planning process sometimes takes longer than I'd like - but I think it's the key to having a finished product you're proud of and can live with for a long time.
K: Are you "impulse" or "thoughtful"?A: I'm both, it depends on the day and how much money I have available on my credit cards! There are times that a piece of furniture or art will be perfect for something and impulsively I'll spend hundreds on fabric that will sit in a closet for months before I realize it is the perfect compliment for the new wall color ....Admittedly, the impulsive Artie seems to be the one making most of the decisions around here!
K: What are your plans for the summer, garden ideas etc and just some general thoughts on what you are really into right now; anything you're really enjoying out there?!A: This summer is going to be a restful one, I hope. I plan on finishing the pergola before Memorial Day and working on a pebble patio for the small garden between my two birch trees. I'm really loving the separate intimate spaces inside of landscapes right now. Inside the house I have a feeling I'm going to be purchasing a new sofa and the "green monster" from Scott's past will find a new home in the basement.
What Artie's loving right now:
- Bold pattern in fabric. I'm hoping for a wind down of the rough linen burlap craze, because I'm finding bold patterns and large scale geometrics appealing.
- Vintage Art. I'm really drawn to "thrift store" art. What I mean by that, is the muddy amateur paintings from college or high school art students. Most of the time it's a self portrait but I see a lot of honesty in those rough paintings.
- The scalloped top slipcovered sofa: here, from Wisteria is my new crush. It's ability to be formal with its high back and sides, while still being casual with the slipcover and pillows makes it a great sofa for any space.
Designer and Retailers take note; here is your future!!!
Thanks to Scott and Artie for sharing their wonderful home with me