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  • Writer's picturestyledbystorms

Unexpected, Experiential, Intentional Design

Updated: Feb 17

I have spent the better part of the last 20 years in luxury fashion.

I like to think that I earned my Master’s and Doctoral degrees at Ralph Lauren. Through my 13-year tenure, I developed gorgeous textiles, color palettes and editorial looks with my international partners at textile mills, print houses, dye houses and specialty embroidery facilities. Learning to dream the unexpected and bring that dream to life with intention was my job. You could say that it is truly the ethos that guides my design sensibility.

Purple Label Spring 19 RTW

Collection Spring 10 RTW

The two principles from designing a collection that I follow now when designing a home are as follows:

1. There should be an invisible string that ties everything together (throughout the room but also the home) so there are no jarring transitions from room to room.

2. Colors and patterns must work in balancing with one another. Meaning, everything cannot be the star of the show.

Think about this.

You have a fabulous ballgown skirt. It is your show-stopper, your outfit-maker & you want it to shine like the star it is. One of the ways you might do this is by pairing it with a neutral color cashmere sweater, or white button-down. You accent this with minimal jewelry, and your hair pulled back in a low sleek pony tail. By allowing the ballgown skirt to be the star, you also allowing the simpler items to shine.

Courtesy of Olivia Palermo - Designer Carolina Herrera

Courtesy of Brides Magazine June 2014

Now picture this.

You are wearing the same ballgown skirt only this time it’s a bright sequin gown with oversized sleeves, platform heels, with dramatic hair & make-up.

Together, it becomes too much.

The outfit feels chaotic & theatrical.

Marc Jacobs Fall 22 RTW

In your home, think of each piece as if it was a category within a collection. How is each item speaking to the other pieces? Are they working together to highlight each other?

Each item is designed and chosen with intention based on the feeling it wants to elicit.

For me, designing all starts with the feeling that my client wants to experience.

The feeling is our destination and the design concept is the rule book that guides our decisions. These "rules" ensure that every element in the room works together to elicit that feeling. Change one item, and you can easily change the feeling of the room. The "rules" gives us permission to TRUST the feeling and allow it to guide all our decisions.

The result is Unexpected, Experiential, Intentional Design.

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