February 7, 2014
Lots of things inspire me. Inspiration can come from anywhere, a stone wall, a piece of clothing, an old scrap of wood; and it can be applied in a textural, structural, spacial, or even in a literal way. What I find most inspirational is art and nature. The wharf image above is inspiring to me because not only do I dearly love the place, I love the image, and I love the colors. I love the warmth of the pattern on the sand, the strength of the pier silhouetted in black. And, because I have stayed many nights in those fishing shacks on that pier spending countless hours with some of my dearest friends, it means something to me. It doesn’t get more powerful than that.
To execute design based on an inspirational object or image I think it best to identify a color palette first and foremost. This doesn’t have to be completely literal, you can take only the colors you find most pleasing; you can change the amount of each color within the palette to suit your taste or the space in question and obviously you can add to a palette.
I think the photo above with its rich browns, blacks and creamy warm walls captures the colors of the pier quite well. Overall the value of light colors and dark colors is pretty spot on. Not only the palette of the wharf is captured but a bit of the mood too. Strength, a bit of chaos, masculine, with a worn and weathered vibe glazed over the whole thing. This room is wharf like to me, I think it’s a good comparison.
Here’s the same palette, stripped back to something much more sleek a more livable version of the messy working space above. This room gives a vintage undercurrent, it’s strong and masculine and has the boldness and the simplicity of the wharf image. it is the photograph refined down the essential oils of the colors, materials and strong masculine mood. Vintage, warm, woodsy, everything is just sharpened, clearer. To me the collection on the sideboard gives me a bit of the chaos of the wharf supports, the polished concrete is a great stand-in for the sand.
What inspires you? Have a favorite scarf? Use it. In love with the rolling hills of the Pennsylvania landscape in spring? Use it. Pick your colors based on what your comfortable with, go with your gut, but what you love. Oh, and don’t be afraid of not making a statement, sometimes a whisper is more of statement and more powerful.