Inspirations and Imperfections

Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - 10:30am

I love to travel, eat out at great restaurants, and stay at nice boutique hotels. This gives me lots of opportunity to see what’s out there in other parts of the world and get lots of good design ideas. Everything has been done before – it’s just how you put your own creative spin on it! In a recent trip to Peru, I was inspired by some of the great design ideas I saw using local woods and other natural materials.


I love all these organic materials and organic shapes! The other designers on my team say I’m obsessed with lines and waves right now…..

I’m a pretty linear designer and obsessed with scale and symmetry – sometimes to a fault! After years and years of commercial design adapting offices and workstations to rectangular and mostly perfect spaces, I enjoy the asymmetry now of interior design and have become a big fan of the “imperfect” house. In meeting with a recent client, we discussed the fact that absolute perfection in layout and design isn’t really achievable, and should we achieve it, it would become like the perfectly proportioned human face – not that beautiful or interesting. So…my words of wisdom for today is to embrace the little imperfections and items in your home that inspire you, make you happy, but might not be what a “home stager” or “decorator” would allow.

On a recent trip to Tucson, I was fortunate enough to stay at the Catalina Park B&B. This is an historic house close to the University of Arizona Campus in a residential area of town. The gentlemen who own and run it have decided to keep the older tile bathrooms, patina’d wood floors, creaky stairs, and vintage details which have not been redone to today’s standards.


I loved this house so much and embraced ALL of it’s oldest but not perfect parts. It feels like the most beautiful “imperfect” home – not at all like the latest McMansion, Spec Builder home, or groovy modern condominium with the same floor plans, pristine new finishes, and latest light fixtures as everyone else on the block. That work is for the “fashion frightened” – everything from Home Depot.

So, please recycle, re-use, fix up, refinish your existing house interior, furniture, and other things before you go to your local big box store and buy stuff to look like everyone else. Paint or re-stain your old oak kitchen cabinets or get someone to do it for you! It will really give you a chance to contribute to the environment and go green in a BIG way.

Don’t forget to use low VOC paints and stains. Say no to resins, solvents, and formaldehyde. Just like your food – check the labels!