Breaking the rules.
Whenever I see pictures of beautiful rooms, I am always challenged by the way good designers are able to pull together unrelated items in a sort of harmonious dissonance. Knowing the rules of design, but, more importantly, knowing how to break them. This is what makes rooms feel friendly and welcoming. I tend to over coordinate things, so I'm challenged to become more comfortable with having things a little more open ended. Here are some rooms that have been inspiring me lately.
What stands out to me about these spaces? They feel effortless. The warmth of the wood tones is balanced by white or neutral walls. Plants add vitality. The colors are spontaneous and complementary, not necessarily driving the spaces as themes. Bronze and silver are used side-by-side. Old and new meld together. Black and navy are used as grounding elements. The textures are earthy and natural. These spaces leave room for people to live & breathe.
My natural tendency is make everything in a room tie together too cleanly. I want to follow the rules to get a clean and coordinated outcome. But this can sometimes make my spaces feel sterile and disrupted when real life happens. One of the things I appreciate about the rooms pictured above is the unassuming feeling of simplicity.
I want to design spaces that welcome people. I want people to feel the love and the peace of Christ by entering my home. I freely admit that it's hard to make spaces that do this while also accommodating the accoutrements of real life with a family— you know, dirty laundry, messy faces, trashcans, noisy toys, old wet diapers, markers and all that. It's unhelpful and unrealistic to think that my house is supposed to look like a magazine all the time, but at the same time, it's inspiring to look for ways to make a more ordered and welcoming home. I guess it's just a matter of balance and what works for each family in any given season of life.