I still laugh when I think about the fact that I blogged for an entire year before I figured out exactly what ‘my design aesthetic’ was. I started my blog in October 2008 and even wrote a post about it in March 2009 but it wasn’t until months later that I figured it out.
When I did, it was so obvious. I was amazed it took me so long to see it. And since then… I’ve come up with my rules of design.
As for my aesthetic… I love contrast, colour, solids over lots of patterns, classic and comfortable interiors, which is obvious by the interiors I design.
So, I loved this Editor’s Letter by Suzanne Dimma in House and Home Magazine:
“I’ve always felt that the key to great design is contrast. Whether it’s through texture, colour, or light versus dark, differences are what stimulate the eye and make a room memorable.
Look at the work of some of the most celebrated designers and you’ll find that contrast is often at the core of their aesthetic.
Take Washington D.C.-based designer Darryl Carter, for example. He’s known for layering a white-painted shell with standout antiques in black, gold and wood. It’s a classic look because our eyes never tire of it! In a totally different style direction, there’s David Hicks, who was famous for his graphic carpets and vibrant, often clashing, colours.
It’s not an easy thing to master, though. A contrast can easily become a clash–and not in a good way.”
The Key to Great Design: Contrast
Recently I received this question from a reader regarding her kitchen finishes:
I have made so many mistakes over the years I feel like I am a bit paralyzed in making any decisions at all. We have chosen our design, cabinets ( which is the only thing I am sure of), and our appliances. Our contractor is ready to install the insulation, then dry wall, cabinets and then on to the floor, countertops and backsplash. That is where I start hyperventilating. I am stymied. Please help.
I think I like the absolute black brushed as I know I don’t care for glitzy , shiny or speckled. I am thinking of a gray and taupe floor to blend in with the taupe cabinets although I am afraid that they might be too dark. Then there is the problem of the backsplash. I am thinking of a lighter beige, taupe, a little black porcelain tile. … Big tiles as I don’t care for the small busy patterns. I’m worried that it’s boring and wondering if you have any better ideas for me.
My response was that there’s not enough contrast and the black countertops don’t relate to anything. Plus, installing 12″ x 12″ tile on the backsplash will simply look like your floor tile continues on the wall.
With those cabinets, I would suggest off-white quartz countertops, off-white subway tile backsplash and wood floors. Or if tile was necessary, the creamy tile that was originally going on the backsplash for the floors along with cream quartz cabinets and subway tile to match.
Another reader asked the same question about how to lighten cherry cabinets.
Except for the accent tile which I would (of course) eliminate, the white countertops and basically white backsplash are beautiful here. This kitchen still looks fresh even though the cabinets are cherry. Of course the expanse of windows above the sink certainly adds to the fresh feel of this kitchen.
Which rooms in your house need contrast?