I’m sure anyone starting a blog has tons of topics swimming in their mind. So how do you begin? Probably no one will read your first post for a while, but it is still an important one. It’s your first effort to define your own little slice of the internet. So what did I pick, what best explains what I’m all about?
My Interior Design Philosophy
My interior design philosophy is the reason I’m starting this site, and it’s why I feel that I have something a little different to contribute in the crowded world of design bloggers.
I approach interior design focused on the use of a space. My aim is not improving aestetics, it’s improving the way room supports the practical needs of the people who use it. I don’t think the goal is to be stylish, to show up in design magazines or to impress your friends. It’s about creating a space that works for you and your unique life. Being happy with your home has nothing to do with being up-to-date with design trends.
Of course I do love shopping, adding color and playing with other visual aspects of design, but feel that those things are frivolous and wasteful if they’re done only for the sake of decorating. Instead the items in a room should connect with something deeper, like a practical use or an emotional reminder. Then aesthetic design skills come in at the end – to unify the essential elements within a space.
My point is that good design is problem solving. You must begin by being honest about the problems, or the issues, at hand. What do you realistically need and want from the space? What can change? What can’t be changed? Any design decisions should align with the answers to these questions.
Does that mean that the space will be picture perfect? Probably not. A person’s home should reflect their interests and support their lifestyle, there is no right or wrong. Just right for you. I mean, really, imagine if you were to transplant yourself to live in a perfect room from a magazine. Could you really live in that space with the lifestyle you have now? Would it actually mesh with your daily life?
Often people are held back from being happy with what they have because of their own perceptions, and comparing themselves to unrealistic standards. If you couldn’t realistically live in the magazine spread, please stop comparing your home to that, you’re not doing yourself any good.
Real spaces incorporate ugly, but necessary, items: a baby swing, a dog crate or maybe an odd shaped room. The way I see it, you have two choices: 1) you can continue to curse the thing and wish for a higher budget or a solution that may never come or 2) you can embrace what you have to work with, make the best of it and get to a point where you can enjoy what you have. Getting frustrated or whining about the state of a room accomplishes nothing and will only bring you down.
In the end, when you work with what you have, you create an interesting space that no one else can duplicate. I’m probably a little off kilter in that I actually enjoy the challenge of finding a way to work with (or around) eyesores. I love mixing elements from different styles and eras in unexpected ways, and best of all making them work with a client’s personal preferences and needs.
I’ve spent years designing spaces and fine tuning all of this. Now with this philosophy crystal clear in my mind, I have a passion to apply what I’ve learned on a wider scale. And so that is why I’ve started Studio Davenue. I could drone on about this forever, but will cut myself off so as not to bash my chances of someone actually reading my first post.
What is this about leopard spots?
Before ending, here’s a personal example that shows what I’m talking about. I live in southern Spain in a flat with 60 or-so year old terrazzo flooring throughout. Terrazzo can be beautiful, but this case is a heavy refinishing job away from beauty. The issue is that we don’t own the house, and so won’t be refurbishing it anytime soon.
So what? I have ugly flooring. It’s obvious, and will probably show in every one of the house photos I will post here later. But it’s not going to keep me from enjoying the rest of the house, from having people over or from painting the rooms and decorating them as I’d like. I haven’t designed to camouflage them, just pretty much accepted them and focused on the positive things that I do enjoy.
Besides, when you blur your eyes the flooring almost becomes neutral. And if you blur your eyes a little more (maybe add a glass of wine), my floor is covered in leopard spots. I have wall to wall leopard flooring, how exotic. See for yourself…
Animal print terrazzo, it’s the latest in interior design trends.