By now you’ve probably read or at least glimpsed the recent article about my work in Design Bureau Magazine’s May/June issue. If you haven’t, you can read it here.
The woman who interviewed me and wrote the article, Ann Chou, chose a very perceptive title: “Fine-Tuning.” It references both what I do as an interior designer and what I did as a professional musician. But it’s also a reference to itself: an hour-plus-long interview distilled to 390 words—five questions and answers finely tuned to introduce my work to the world. Hello, world!
According to Merriam-Webster, to “fine-tune” is:
a : to adjust precisely so as to bring to the highest level of performance or effectiveness
b : to improve through minor alteration or revision
This is what I do for my clients. This is what I did for my Boston Brownstone client, the one who originally just wanted help with a fresh color palette throughout his home. The one with whom I had such a rapport that within a few days—a day, really—we were redesigning the whole place. I say “we” because he happened to have a very good eye for art. He was open to exciting color choices. He loved lighting and appreciated how lighting was going to make the space sing. He was enthusiastic and engaged. We had a great symbiosis of energy. These factors combined made for a very fertile process. One aspect of this project was to edit and hang his very eclectic art collection, and “fine-tuning” couldn’t describe the process better. Which pieces would be hung (he had an abundance of art, collected through the years)? How would we light it? Where would the lighting go? We wanted to strike a balance of showcasing the art and also creating a glow for the entire room. It was all very, very specific. And, as a result of our fine-tuning, the art sings. The rooms are refined and distinct and beautiful.
Like Boston Brownstone, each project has emerged from an organic connection, and from that connection has come trust. Once the trust is established, boundaries and defenses seem to fall away, and that’s when I am able to truly understand how my clients want to LIVE—and I can, in turn, give them what they want. But to understand how my clients want to live is to understand their definition of function, comfort, luxury, the list goes on.
By the way, this is also what musicians do onstage. My job as an oboist was to tune the orchestra. When we are tuned, “fine-tuned,” only then can we make music.