Fashion Fusion: Blending your style into your interior design
Whenever I meet a client, a question quickly pops into my mind: if this person were dressed by a fashion designer, who would it be?
Sounds a bit silly, I know, but it helps when figuring out how to create a design for someone I’ve only just met. Once I match the designer with the client, I know how textures, pattern and color will play a role.
For example, if a client loves balance and all things tailored, I would instantly picture Calvin Klein, Armani or Valentino. I would know that their space would be tonal and classic, basically the “little black dress” of design. Or if my client was kooky, with brightly colored hair and a fashion rule breaker, Vivienne Westwood or Betsey Johnson would be their soulmate, and I would shop on Etsy to find lacquered, colorful furniture and layer patterns of fabrics.
I want you to look at your own closet. Is it all black? Does it have lots of pattern? Do you like structured and tailored pieces or are they soft and free flowing? These answers can determine the shape of your furniture, the material of your curtains and even the layout of your artwork. It’s like being a design detective!
And if your clothes don’t reflect your own style because of a limited budget, then make an inspiration file of magazine images. Just because you can’t afford them, it doesn’t mean that you can’t build a room around what you love. Also, look at the background sets in photos of the fashions you love. If you love Anthropologie clothes, you may love unique future items that are quirky and slightly worn in.
When trying to break down a room design, think of it as an outfit. The sofa is like the pair of pants. The blouse is the accent chair. The coffee table is the jacket or sweater. The lighting is the sassy shoe. The pillows and accessories are the jewelry. If you look at it from that perspective, you know you can comfortably take risks on items like the lighting and accessories.
Lighting is probably the largest design mistake I see people make. Your homework is to find one light in your house that you are going to take a risk on and “go big or go home.” It doesn’t have to be a crazy light — it can be a simple, 24-inch drum shade like Crate & Barrel’s Finley Light — but switch that out and hang it about 30 inches off of your table, and you will instantly feel like you put on a pair of 6-inch, sexy Christian Louboutin heels without any of the foot pain.
Finally, never make excuses or feel bad for what you love. There are a million right answers in the design world and sometimes we have to just learn that there are better choices. Often I will hear people say their style is boring because they love solid colors and simple design. Rather than feel boring, I want you to realize you are classic and believe in simple elegance. And if you find you often use the word “eclectic” to describe your style, I want you to know you are a risk-taker and love originality.
With all of the websites out there, like Houzz, Pinterest and Decorpad, you will be able to find inspiration on a daily basis. So find your style, embrace it and, most importantly, have fun!