Master the mix

Home - Santa Fe Real Estate Guide - - ARTFULLIVINGBYDESIGN - LISA SA­MUEL

Merg­ing two house­holds, get­ting mar­ried, in­her­it­ing fam­ily heir­looms or fur­nish­ings, or just hav­ing an ap­pre­ci­a­tion for a va­ri­ety and spice in your life and bring­ing home that spe­cial find from a great flea mar­ket can cause you to ques­tion your abil­ity to bring it all to­gether to cre­ate the per­fect in­te­rior. So, call it eclec­tic...... ooh, still looks aw­ful! Here are some tips to help you pull it to­gether.

Dur­ing my prac­tice as a pro­fes­sional in­te­rior de­signer I have edited many fur­ni­ture col­lec­tions as well as art col­lec­tions, cre­at­ing a soft land­ing for a grace­ful and thought­ful in­te­rior de­sign. I hope to in­spire you to con­sider the fol­low­ing prac­ti­cal ad­vice for cre­at­ing stylish, con­tem­po­rary in­te­ri­ors.

Eval­u­ate your fur­nish­ings, cre­at­ing a list with photos and di­men­sions. De­cide which pieces fit best in spe­cific lo­ca­tions, mak­ing sure to con­sider the di­men­sions of the space and the scale of the room it­self. De­cide which pieces you don’t want to part with be­cause of their sen­ti­men­tal value. This care­ful edit­ing will pro­vide a prac­ti­cal ap­proach and sim­plify the process.

Con­sider site lines, space, light and com­fort while you be­gin this process. Keep in mind that a good de­sign takes into ac­count the gen­er­a­tion of har­mony. Har­mony can be skill­fully cap­tured in the de­sign by a thought­ful use of color. The foun­da­tion for a suc­cess­ful mix­ture of styles in in­te­rior de­sign is a quiet and clean un­der­struc­ture. This clean pal- ette pro­vides a great back­drop for this cre­ation.

The walls sur­round­ing your space can swal­low or grace­fully em­brace your room with its fur­nish­ings and art. Think about the best back­drop for your par­tic­u­lar col­lec­tion; this is key to the fi­nal re­sult. Do your walls need to be quiet and po­lite with a neu­tral paint or plas­ter color? Or does the room and col­lec­tion call for a grass cloth wall cov­er­ing or a dra­matic color or fin­ish?

What ma­te­ri­als can you use to­gether in a room? Hide-cov­ered stools in­te­grate with hand-forged iron ta­bles, and chunks of un­fin­ished tim­ber marry a pu­rity of form with the evoca­tive power of ba­sic ma­te­ri­als. This or­ganic fu­sion is in­ter­est­ing and an ap­proach that I find ex­cit­ing.

Avoid clut­ter to cre­ate vis­ual in­ter­est, giv­ing your art and dec­o­ra­tion room to breathe. If, for ex­am­ple, you have a col­lec­tion of beau­ti­ful rugs, you might con­sider lay­er­ing them (not too many) and then use a solid light-col­ored sofa in the room with a few­toss pil­lows re­flect­ing some of the col­ors in the rugs. This cre­ates a thread of har­mony pulling the room to­gether. Cu­rate your art for each space again keep­ing in mind the color con­nec- tion. Eth­nic in­spi­ra­tion is all around us and makes its way into our homes and pro­vides a rich layer of tex­ture to our de­signs. Group­ing eth­nic col­lec­tions to­gether gives the art a con­tex­tual sen­si­bil­ity that is thought­ful, co­he­sive, and even dra­matic, thus cre­at­ing a fan­tas­tic fo­cal point.

A well thought-out mix has an un­com­mon grace that will pro­vide a ca­sual so­phis­ti­ca­tion un­matched by an in­te­rior that is all “matched” up.

Lisa Sa­muel ASID, IIDA, is a Santa Fe na­tive and prin­ci­pal of Sa­muel De­sign Group, lo­cated in the heart of down­town Santa Fe. She is an award-win­ning in­te­rior de­signer known for cre­at­ing unique in­te­ri­ors im­bued with warmth and el­e­gance. Lisa (info@samuelde­sign­ is pas­sion­ate about good de­sign that sup­ports well-be­ing.

The de­signer art­fully mixed Na­tive Amer­i­can art, Span­ish Colo­nial con­sole (de­signed by Sa­muel) and an African head­rest from Bu­rundi. Photo by Daniel Nadel­bach cour­tesy Sa­muel De­sign Group

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