For those who didn’t know it already, a certain fashion documentary make it quite clear that September is the January of fashion. Well, I would like to extend that to design as well.
Most people believe in spring cleaning, I am more of an autumn person, especially when it comes to anything design. As a result, decluttering is on my mind; out with the old and in with the new — Happy New Design Year to me.
It’s not just about making space for the fresh ideas that might permeate my home and my wardrobe, it’s about making mental space. The needs to grow, explore new things and just approach life differently needs a shift of attitude and that ultimately reflects in one’s immediate surroundings.
For example, I love visualising clean, white spaces. They are calm, open and have a sense of being a canvas to whatever direction your inspiration might lead you in. From the minute you step out of the house you are bombarded with visual, sonic, mental stimulus — a lot of it is unnecessary, loud and quite frankly, noise. Now imagine coming home to serenity.
Not that white is the only colour to this end; there are varying shades of grey, teal, blue and pastel corals — and they all deliver calm. What I am after as something that will make walls seamless — and for that, the concept of an accent wall is out, unless it is depth that the room might require. In that case, refrain from patterns, try the artisanal plaster texture or a flat matte paint is just as good.
In case you are a colour fiend, try an accent sofa or chair in lieu of an accent wall. Both bright and deep colours will pop in a monochrome setting. Alternatively, go full out monochrome. Match your blush or coral walls, with rose gold and natural wood finishes; paint white shelves to match the wall colour, and if possible thrown in some tile work or stone terrazzo in similar hues.
Another look that is high on my ‘calm down’ list is one that celebrates natural, artisanal materials in their full glory. High on visual impact, but still carting an air of Zen, there is something we familiar about brick walls. Paint them white, without plaster of course, or leave them as is, they lend colour and texture without being overpowering. Style the look with other natural elements like wooden furniture, plants and add trims in white or black for maximum impact.
I am no Marie Kondo; in fact her fetishist approach to organising freaks me out, but as you get rid of the clothes, books and DVDs you no longer fit into or need, you will have more room both physically and mentally to actually focus on things you love. For me, that means art and design pieces that I will cherish forever.
Investing in art and design is something that is a lifelong work for me. From pieces that came at an eye watering price and to those passed on as heirloom to others that I’ve collected along life’s way, what we decorate our home with speaks about what we value. I would recommend that you get rid of commercial prints and canvases bought at fairgrounds. Instead seek out local designers, research on those who are celebrating the best — be it high tech enabled design or pieces that speak of the highest values of artisanal culture. If you can, seek advice of collectors, scour galleries and vintage markets when you travel and indulge your own creative side. Paint, or frame your own pictures.
Your space will speak of your personality, but more importantly, the act of creating will bring you immense satisfaction.