How you live in your space. Establish the functions of your home and the roles of individual spaces, and then the conversations between those spaces will begin and you’ll start to develop a cohesive vision.
Designing is storytelling. The things we surround ourselves with should tell our stories, as well as inspire us.
An antique or something that belonged to someone before it belonged to you.
Don’t wait for a redecorating project to go out and buy furniture. Buy what you love when you find it—when traveling, antiquing or walking by a neighborhood yard sale. If something speaks to you, buy it, even if you don’t have a specific place for it. This is how you’ll be able to layer a room with soul and create a space that tells your story.
Learn the history of the architecture and then you can determine how important it is to incorporate it into the interior.
Design starts with experimenting. Create a physical mood board. Get a tray and start collecting samples, swatches, paint chips and anything that inspires or that you’d like to somehow incorporate into your space. Play with the different pieces and see how they work together. Continue to layer and edit until it feels right to you. Design is ultimately the balance of research and intuition. Beautiful spaces are the result of taking risks.
I’m constantly mixing different periods and styles. One of my favorite spaces is a foyer in a midcentury ranch I designed in Delaware. You enter through the massive patinaed copper doors and are met by two large pieces—a floor-to-ceiling antique gilded mirror next to a very modern interpretation of a classic midcentury credenza, above which hangs a collection of the kids’ artwork.
Start with something you know you want to include. Is there a particular piece of art? An existing bed or sofa? Is your heart set on a fabric in a particular pattern or colorway? Pull your color palette from here.
Buying all your furniture from one place. You’re starting a dialogue, and the conversation can’t be interesting if everything in the room is telling the same story.