Thursday, October 9, 2014

Style storyboards: Creating you through design

I’ve done a segment or two on color before, but as I put my home together, I find myself returning time and again to my mental storyboard.  In the design world, whether it’s fashion, interior or graphic, we work with mood boards and storyboards as a way of life.
For instance, if you go to my Houzz ideabooks, you’ll see a lot of the same sorts of influences.  Vibrant and interesting gardens with texture woven throughout and useful features in every nook and cranny surround a surprisingly sedate home (on the outside).  I believe the contrasts and illusion in design are the most compelling.

So, for fun, I thought I would share how I created my home’s storyboard in case you’re attempting to do the same thing. 

I am fairly well-traveled.  It’s the blessing of a military childhood and a blessed adulthood.  Beyond that, I’m nosy inquisitive about everything around me, especially other cultures.  The idea of learning not only what people did in a society, but why and how that influences the current generation enthralls me.  I’m not one for watching it on television, but rather reading or visiting in person.  The internet is great for virtual travel, by the way.  So exploring it all to see what calls to you is important.

My explorations range from an Asian influence at birth to growing up around the globe but calling Louisiana home.  I am drawn to a certain level of intricate décor but refined and classic lines.  I can appreciate minimalism and sharp edges, but it’s not something that speaks to me. 

From the romance languages to their associated countries and a love for the vibrance of color used in Asia, it’s created an interesting mix of images for my idea boards.  PS:  All the pictures from france and Spain are my own... I forgot to take pics in Japan both times (work).
If it speaks to you, take a picture or buy a garment in the colors.  Have souvenirs of the places and things that grab you.  You may not understand the message they are speaking immediately, but if you let them pass you by, you’ll never have the chance to study them and figure it out.  This is the great benefit of things like the Houzz ideabook, Pinterest, and several other similar “pin” sites.  It gives you a virtual storyboard.  I also advise having a physical one, when it comes to interior and fashion design, at home.  I have tile samples, fabric swatches, paint samples, and flooring samples galore.  Why?  Because I need to know what the house will feel like as well as the visual impact.  Texture is important.
Visit my idea books to see how these are applied to homeideas.
Check out my review on color to see how it can apply toevery part of life!

As you curate your storyboard, some things will fall off your radar.  You’ll come back to it and while it may be intellectually striking, you’ll find it no longer actually speaks to you.  The color is just a little wrong or it doesn’t feel pleasant.  Discard those items so they don’t distract you from your core interests.  This is why samples and virtual boards are great; you won’t waste money and time on large pieces of furniture or artwork only to find you can’t stand it.

Mid-century modern = Helvetica Font to me.  They have their use and are not displeasing to the eye, but lack personality or originality (in my mind).  They are overly organized to the point of lack of character.  That may not be true, but it’s how I see it.  I would feel displaced in a home with this design.

Gothic or Victorian = Old English Font to me.  They are ornate and can only be used minimally.  They are accent pieces not a full paragraph or room of design.  If overused, they drown the senses and make anything beautiful difficult to discern.  Walking through Versailles was a stunning hit to the senses – great for a visit, but you can’t really LIVE there.  Which Marie knew judging by her little village down the road.
Arts and Crafts, Classic French, Italian, Moroccan, Tuscan, and Spanish however all seem to call my name.  Touches of the Industrial, Art Deco and Art Nouveau balance out the lushness of some of the design which leads me to the next element.

Combine the seemingly unrelated.  Somewhere in the mix of all the things you capture is the right mix that represents you.  It’s not formulaic; it’s instinctive and takes time, trial and error.  If you’re working on a space or home, consider not just yourself but everyone sharing the space.  This makes it a challenge at times, but it will be all the more rewarding when everyone in the house can look around and say, “Our home is perfect.”

Create something from scratch.  Repurpose something personal.  You must infuse yourself into anything you design because, much like theater, design only sparks when there is some personality infused.  When you’re working on a home, it’s a schizophrenic infusion of all the inhabitants personality, but it can be done.  This is the beauty of today’s intrigue with DIY, Upcycling, and inventive space utilization.

Looking into 2015, I see color trends after my own heart.  I love the idea of not reserving certain shades for Fall or Winter, but embracing them year round – much like nature.
Elle Décor’s look at Pantone Colors are a brilliant mix of rich and neutral.

Sherwin William’s ColorMix for 2015 is beautiful.  There are only a few colors I find jarring, but the rest flow together with a classic and cultural vibe.
Even Pantone’s glimpse into the fashion world’s colorpalette will make the spring designs a temptation for me!

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