April 02, 2011:

Designer Inspiration - #ProjectKitchenGorgeous

What does Creativity look like? It's not an easy question to answer but it's a great one to try to define.  I'm often asked what my inspiration is for a particular room, design, fabric scheme etc. What is the genesis? How do you start a room?

Well the easy answer is, it is never just one thing. Hardly illuminating is it? I am often inspired by something that just catches my eye that I'm not really focusing on. It could be a texture, an unusual colour combination that occurs naturally or on a runway or it could be simply the way something is put together that triggers an idea. 

What I do differently than many other designers however, is attempt to articulate or convey my inspiration in several different ways: A collage or grouping of images (have I mentioned that I really hate the term Mood Board - it's soooooo overdone) that try & convey a feeling or express a sense of movement that triggers an emotional response in my clients. I also try and pair a Vision Statement that also conjures images, feelings, memories in a client that sums up the direction I would like to see the space head towards. I used to be an elementary school teacher - I actually approach design the way I would young learners. Some are visual learners and must see. Others are tactile or kinesthetic learners and need to feel or move through it & of course their are those who listen best for learning.

I see my job as designer to be similar to a conductor of an orchestra. I have to inspire, motivate and encourage a large group of people to work in concert with one another to evoke an experience or a feeling in the intended audience. Christine as far as a client goes, was and is the ideal audience. She has a vision of what she loves and aspires toward, she just needed someone to harness these ideas & help her to take it to the next level. If you've read her account of the beginning of our working relationship, then you will see that I pretty much had her at my full length vintage mink & this statement: "Your kitchen needs to have a curated feel, New York Brownstone meets Parisian Pied a Terre shipped to Oakville via London England."

We've since learned that we share a LOT of gray matter and that statement set off a series of visual fireworks in Christine's head that made her giddy beyond belief. Now THAT's the way to start a project off on the right foot.  Of course we immediately began working on the more technical aspects of the kitchen & while I'm sure there are those of you who would love to see shop drawings of what we are doing, I'd actually like to walk you through how I take inspiration pictures and then translate them into functional/moveable parts of a project.

Stay tuned to Christine's blog next week for a Tale of Many, Many, Many, Many Conversations About Lighting Fixtures.

INSPIRATION: From reading Christine's blog I knew that she was a sequin sparkly type. Shades of blush were right up her alley. A strong femininity juxtaposed with whimsical conversation pieces.

Clockwise: Sequins; Artwork, Python Purse, Silk Wash.

TRANSLATION: Sparkly lighting that drips like a sequin top or chandelier earring would. The python purse is SO meant for a dining banquette. This one from The Cross is a beauty. The shades of blush translated into these art panels from DeGournay will make for a great DIY!

INSPIRATION: Gold that glimmers and sparkles is a must for this kitchen. The watercolour has an unexpected bit of blue that I think will find it's way into the space via accessories. This feather & rhinestone purse by Lanvin- well that's just something that Christine & I each need to own. The perfume Illustration - well let's just say that perfume bottles don't need to just hold perfume.


TRANSLATION: Gold Ceiling medallion - something to consider. Gold hardware a must. Blush is finding its way in again - look at that silk drapery! Maybe the ceiling could be painted blush & the walls left white.

The unexpected bit of blue - maybe in an antique persian??