A DESIGNER’S RESOURCES:
What does this mean and why is this of value to you? I am only as good as my resources. This means that I need to know where to look for items and services that will work for my clients. I need to have a certain fluidity in terms of my design ideas, because if I have an idea that is unique, I need to know where to have it made or where to buy it. I need to be dogged about discovering the best way to fulfill a design idea that springs from my imagination. My deep list of resources is developed from experience through the years and a determined will to find the correct solution. The design concepts that I create for clients are “one of a kind”. And once they become realized and installed in the home, hopefully the object or piece of furniture will feel like it “lives there”. This is not easy to do. Understand, that a designer is not only valuable because we know “where to go”, but also that we have the ideas and creativity in the first place. The resources are the tip of the ice berg and just one part of the process. The idea has to come first. Millworkers and upholsters make my ideas come to life. They don’t make a move unless I direct them. It is that rigorous. Having said that, the process can be wonderfully collaborative under the right circumstances. And no, you may not have my resources. Calling a designer and asking them for the number of their millworker or upholsterer or any trade or service is not PC. Implicit in this is trying to cut the middle man out. That middle man would be me.
RUGS: I was shopping this week with a client for Persian/Oriental rugs and I have to say, there were some great bargains both at ABC and also Safavieh Home. Well priced and very unusual. When selecting the correct size rug for a living room, remember that for the most part, the sofa legs should be all ON the rug or all OFF the rug. Never put two legs on and two legs off, if you can avoid it. Either of these choices are fine. If the legs are off, the rug will be smaller, thus less expensive!
LIGHTING: GREAT classic choices for flush mount ceiling fixtures from Restoration Hardware. All of them come in different sizes and finishes and honestly, you cannot beat the price. Also Rejuvenation Lighting on the web has some classic designs as well. Be careful of wattage….sometimes these inexpensive fixtures do not have enough wattage.
BO CONCEPT: They are on the web and also have a few showrooms in the city. The aesthetic is rigorous. You can certainly find one or two pieces that will fit into almost any interior, except traditional. The sofas are very reasonably priced and the service from staff is very good.
CORK PLACEMATS: LOVE these from West Elm. And, you can put the dressiest china on them for a dinner party. Why not? Opposites attract.
THROWS: I love luxurious throws on a sofa and there are some fabulous shaggy ones at Room and Board in Soho.
JAN ROSOL: On Lexington Avenue. Check out this interesting furniture resource. It is fairly modern, yet can certainly work in a variety of environments. There are some stock pieces for fast shipment, and also customizing is possible. He uses a large variety of woods. I like his design rigor.
HERE’S WHAT: One of the great things about being a designer is that I never know what is going to happen! For most people, this state creates anxiety, because we all want to know what the end game is. But I have learned over the years and through many clients that the best designs come from just not knowing and sitting in it. I really don’t make a move until I get the correct impulse or direction from my client. So, in this paradigm, the designer and client are playing chess. But knowing 5 moves ahead is not necessary or even helpful! All of this is extremely subtle, of course. “Not knowing” is not a negative, but a necessary component to staying open to the process.
And further to this concept: From WAYNE SHORTER: “For me, the word ‘jazz’ means, ‘I dare you.’ This music, it’s dealing with the unexpected. No one really knows how to deal with the unexpected. How do you rehearse the unknown?”