Unlike many of my clients over the years, I am fairly quick to make design decisions. I have learned that over time, we grow tired of colours or fabrics and end up changing our decor eventually anyway, so why lament and fret over the choice as though it were a life and death decision? If you like it, and it fits with your current scheme and tastes, go for it. This is also why I no longer choose crazy expensive things when it comes to accessorizing as I know that one day, I will want to replace it with something new and different.
Trends come and go and there is a school of thought that avoiding trends and sticking with classic patterns and neutral colours is the way to go, but it still comes down to our inherent need for change. So I generally advice my clients to stick with neutrals for the big ticket items in a room, like sofas, large case goods and custom draperies and then have some fun with the accessories as these are the way to add a current punch to your space. Art, pillows, throws, lamps, bowls, funky lighting, sculptural elements. These are the fun and interesting things to shop for and incorporate into your rooms that will reflect your personality.
They are the easy come, easy go bits that can also be the jump off point for your decorating scheme. I have been influenced by any number of these over the years and as I am about to embark on another new space in a few months from now, I have been keeping an eye out for inspiration. So far, I have found a set of everyday dishes and a couple of toss cushions that are leading the way from a colour and graphic perspective. My last two spaces were on the girly side colour wise and since my next home will be a shared space, I needed to tone down the pinks a bit and bring in some more masculine touches without losing all feminine qualities. So, my Dudeman Manolo Blahnik painting did not come to my new world with me, nor did my pink chair or my Lily Pulitzer style green chair with the polka dot upholstered seat cushion, but I do wish I had not sold the Surveyors floor lamp...however, we move on and begin again.
Old space...goodbye pink!
The new space will be cooler toned, more metal, polished concrete, modern and minimalist. The colours will be added to black, white and grey backdrops. I think green will be the predominant "splash" colour, which leaves room for several options above and beyond that. When I saw these dishes with their curvy, linear pattern and the exact colours that were in the back of my mind, they became the starting point for the rest of the space. An added bonus was that Aussie man liked them too.
I liked the mid-century modern feeling they evoked and at $40 for four place settings, when I tire of them in a couple of years, it won't hurt my pocketbook to change things up again. I also liked the wonky spirograph design (remember that?). The toss cushions (shown at the top here), keep the colours and graphic qualities moving through the space. Although I have been reluctant to jump on the Chevron stripe trend, this is an inexpensive nod to it without going overboard with an entire wall painted out that way or a carpet etc.
The bird cage pillow brings a softness to the hard edges of the chevron stripes and also introduces a bit of a feminine touch without being too girly. And besides, I dig birds. It is also allowing a few other colours to subtly enter the space, with an opportunity for lager splashes of the purple or yellow elsewhere.
The other important reason for me to start with these small pieces is that it plants the vision seed for me. When one is in the pre-construction phase of a project, making these small purchases grounds the plan for me. It gives all the planning a destination. Visualizing the plates on the kitchen island or loading the mugs into the dishwasher or fluffing the toss cushions on the sofa makes the plans more real to me. Not just a bunch of drawings and budget figures. Suddenly, I see myself in the finished rooms, using them, enjoying them, creating a home...