Monday, October 4, 2010

part 1: interior design is about…personality

Inte­rior design­ers, at least those I know, rec­og­nize well-designed spaces. We under­stand the effort that goes into each aspect of a room, and see how the whole exceeds the sum of the parts. Even when the style does not match our per­sonal aes­thetic, we appre­ci­ate the com­plete pic­ture. So too, when we eval­u­ate a poorly designed space, we see where it falls short — be it func­tion­al­ity, color, tex­ture, scale. It's not meant to be judg­men­tal, it's more an occu­pa­tional haz­ard — we can't shut it off. But what none of us can see with­out direct knowl­edge is the ulti­mate link between all the parts — the client.

I think suc­cess­ful inte­rior design has tan­gi­ble per­son­al­ity — and that per­son­al­ity should always be of the peo­ple who inhabit the space, not the designer. How do you explain, to some­one who has never expe­ri­enced it, the added value an inte­rior designer brings? That abil­ity to instill com­pletely per­son­al­ized solu­tions ver­sus the "room in a box" one can pur­chase at a major retailer? I think it is human nature to seek out the famil­iar — hence the pro­lif­er­a­tion of chain stores and cat­a­log fur­ni­ture retail­ers. But have you ever looked around, a lit­tle dis­sat­is­fied, and thought "is this all there is?"

It's an inti­mate busi­ness, inte­rior design. And there are a lot of peo­ple uncom­fort­able with inti­mate rela­tion­ships. Those peo­ple are going to be hap­pier pick­ing from the lim­ited menu at their local store. No need to open up to any­one about how they live or want to live. Pick one from col­umn A and one from col­umn B and call it a day.

For peo­ple who are not afraid of a new expe­ri­ence, the design process can be eye-opening. It's a chance to explore and exam­ine your own per­son­al­ity, wants and needs, along with those of your fam­ily, and see it all made manifest.  It can be a lit­tle scary to unveil so many aspects of your­self, but free­ing too. Inte­rior design at its best is about com­mu­ni­cat­ing per­son­al­ity — yours, not your neighbor's or your mom's or that guy in the next cubi­cle at work. Clients who rec­og­nize and embrace that are always the hap­pi­est.  They enjoy the jour­ney and the destination.

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  1. Jane says:

    well said my elo­quent friend. well said!

  2. […] This post was men­tioned on Twit­ter by Cyn­thia­Ma­son­In­te­rior and Noir Blanc Inte­ri­ors, Cyn­thia­Ma­son­In­te­rior. Cyn­thia­Ma­son­In­te­rior said: Inte­rior Design is about…personality. #interiordesign […]