Thursday, September 29, 2011

I Geek Interior Design

Maybe it was the opportunity to select wallpaper for my room when I was nine, or maybe it was the constant rearranging of furniture I did, but in either case my interest in interior design started early. At the time I did not know it had a name—I just knew I was impacted by my surroundings and did what I could to arrange and organize my room. Over time I had reconfigured my room as many ways as was possible, and I definitely had my favorite floor plans. Rearranging furniture took a bit of planning, and I would determine what furniture went where and which piece of furniture needed to be moved first. Why all the planning? We lived in an Italianate home, which at the time was over 120 years old, and I had to be very careful not to scratch the wood floors. So I planned thoroughly, and then at a snail’s pace, would ever so gently move one piece of furniture, then the next, and the next until all was in place.

Several years later I had the opportunity to visit The Greenbrier and was absolutely enchanted. Room after room opened up to the colorful, grand, bold designs of Dorothy Draper. The striking color combinations and designs, framed by formal architectural features, were so dynamic my eyes raced around the room to take in all that was presented. Much later I would discover the book In the Pink: Dorothy Draper and have looked through it time and again.

More recently I happened upon the book New Asian Interiors, which showcases homes throughout Asia with sleek, contemporary designs. The nearly all-white tea house with its strong, geometric architectural features, modern furniture, and minimalist aesthetic combine to create an interior that balances visual interest with emptiness, which results in a soothing calm. Even an imagined visit to this locale will leave you relaxed in seconds.

That spaces have the ability to evoke feelings, such as calm, continues to intrigue me, and, as a result, I continue to rearrange and change my surroundings. Having access to books for inspiration is one way to find images that speak to you. The library has numerous titles on interior design, covering specific designers, styles, furniture, curtains, lighting and much, much more. Next time you are in the library, browse the 747s of the non-fiction collection and find books that appeal to you. You never know, you may be inspired to rearrange a room, too—just be careful of the floors.

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