roarahgw

What is your design aesthetic?

roarah
2 years ago
last modified: 2 years ago

I was watching "Open House NYC" this morning and designer John Barman said a few sound bites that hit what I would like to accomplish in my own home. First was "memories make the best accessories". As one who has a hard time with accessorizing I am going to have this as a new decorating mantra. Then, the one that really summed up my aesthetic was "a home should be as invigorating as it is comforting".

As one who likes what others on this forum frequently show disdain for, visual stimulation, it was nice to hear a designer validate that visual invigoration is not necessarily noise but can be music.

So how would you sum up your decorating aesthetic?

Comments (54)

  • arcy_gw
    2 years ago

    My 20 something daughters came home this fall for a visit. They are both now in their own separate "first apartments". They said: "Mom of all the houses of all the friends our is the homey-est we have ever been in". I like the memories as decor and I claim my esthetic is FESTIVE.

    roarah thanked arcy_gw
  • Related Discussions

    PLEASE HELP. STRESSED OUT . NEED TO DECIDE TODAY.

    Q

    Comments (48)
    Orangecamera, I think the "won't move..." comment is directed at those people who have complained of the "clicking" and the planks moving under peoples' feet. This is the biggest complaint for laminate flooring. Sadly, the USA has been bombarded with bad laminate - which creates all these complaints. A luxury vinyl plank is a plank (1/2" thickness is common) that is very heavy and very stable. There is very little "movement" or clicking sounds with this type of plank. The vinyl (hard vinyl, like records used to be made of) is the glued to the top of this plank. It is still a hard surface but a surface that is mechanically more stable than the flimsy laminate planks that most people associate with "laminate" flooring. For bad knees, I (of course) would recommend cork flooring. You can look at a floating cork floor (same concept as a laminate floor except it is made with cork - 1/2" thick planks are the norm). Products sold by the "big" names in cork will start at $8/sf (depending on where you live). Icork flooring starts at $2.28/sf for the entry level floor (looks like groung up cork....but it is still several dollars cheaper than Wic......'s flooring!). Icork's floors are produced to European standards, which will still beat the CARB ruless right into the next decade (possibly 2 decades). Europeans are not allowed to use ANY form of solvents in the manufacturing process (that includes use of Urethane). Many North American floors are produced with solvent based products because they are still allowed in the USA. Some cork producers manufacture two different standards = High End cork for Europe and lower quality (cheap to produce) cork for the USA. Sad but true. Icork and Cancork do not make the distinction between the two markets. The same floor that is produced for Austria is sold in Kent WA. Be aware of the finish of cork...urethanes and water based urethanes do not wear very well on cork - it's too brittle and requires FREQUENT refinishing. Water based polyurethane has a much better profile with cork and only needs refreshing every 5-7 years.
    ...See More

    Clashing design aesthetic and home architecture.

    Q

    Comments (5)
    Well just remember modern isn't a style per se, so much as it its an approach or way of looking at things that values simplicity, honesty of materials, etc. So you can do 'traditional' in a modern way. Or use modern pieces in a traditional way. That's basically what the 'transitional' style is to an extent. If you look at the work of someone like Darryl Carter or Thomas O'Brien or Jed Johnson, they are experts at doing this exact thing. Using traditional furniture in a modern minimalist way or the other way around. I've seen a number of people mix Eames or Jacobsen-style wooden chairs with a Biedermeier Greek-Revival pedestal table, for instance. I would consider less about trying to match styles, but rather having an approach. Do you want the home to feel more contemporary with some tradition juxtaposed into it, or the other way around? The first house in particular is a great juxtaposition of a using an Egg chair as a wingback chair.
    ...See More

    design question on use of space vs aesthetics.

    Q

    Comments (3)
    Hanging racks want 28" wide so what I would suggest for this closet is to use the back wall all the way across and use closet shelves and double hanging in alternating sections down one side. You can mount graduated "store display" poles that are supported by the dividers between these elements at several places down the side so there are places to hang clothing facing forward - like in a store, then use the opposite "side wall" for shoe boxes that flank a large wall mirror, a tufted ottoman / girl lounging. To the right when you come in the door, look for a jewelry cabinet like a medicine cabinet (skymall!) and hang it up too. Leave shelves above for hats with a little step stool tucked away in the back corner. Open cubbies below all the single hanging unless she is 6' tall.
    ...See More

    Plain Jane house

    Q

    Comments (27)
    In my opinion, your home is a mid-century split. Here are a few ideas to give you a "woodsy" look while keeping, even celebrating, that mid-century design. First, I like a natural wood with transparent or semi-transparent stain on a shiplap siding for the upper portion. I'd pair that with a chocolate brown for the trim and block foundation. Check out the first inspiration photo: I also like this for inspiration; a combination of solid stained clapboards and a transparent stained shiplap. I'd do the shiplap for your main entrance center section. See the second inspiration photo: Next, as you can see, the entrance has to have the mid-century vibe and that means lots of glass! Finally, change out the garage door for one with translucent windows! See the third inspiration photo:
    ...See More
  • Indigo Rose
    2 years ago

    HA, Pal, LOL!

  • ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9
    2 years ago

    Traditional with English country house leanings, filled with books, paintings, porcelain and color, but not crowded or cluttered because I also have a need for order and negative space. My three criteria are comfort, beauty and individuality.

    roarah thanked ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9
  • roarah
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Pal,from what I know of you I would coin your aesthetic as authentic...

  • bossyvossy
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I tend towards masculine, even though I’m mostly a girlie-girl. Don’t ever want it to look so well curated (hate the word) that it feels like a museum but I do make very deliberate decisions as to what goes where, color, etc.

    roarah thanked bossyvossy
  • DLM2000-GW
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    My heart always goes to looks that are cottage, boho, a bit English country foofy... But I don't live that way and years ago took Magnaverde's advice. "Decorate for the life you have, not the life you wish you had." My homes always lean tailored, crisp, tidy with a mix of family vintage/antique pieces, some thrift store fun re-do, and things that offer interesting shapes, contrast or use.

    roarah thanked DLM2000-GW
  • Lars
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    For me there is no conflict or contradiction between the life I wish I had and the life I have, and so that concept is a bit foreign to me.

    My style might be considered bohemian by others, but I do not call it that. I collect tribal/primitive art, mostly when I travel, but I have a lot of African art even though I've never been to Africa - it just goes well with the other tribal art that I have. As for furniture, I prefer sleek Italian modern and mid-century modern. Although I love Memphis furniture from Italy, I do not have any of it. The furniture that I design at work tends to be minimalist with an Art Deco influence, but I do not yet own any of the furniture that I have designed. I do, however, make all my own drapes, bedspreads, pillows, valances, etc. I used to make my own clothes, but I haven't done that for a while.

    I've noticed that I have a different design aesthetic for outdoors than I do for indoors, and I'm trying to reconcile that.

    BTW, my boss is a design tyrant, and she and her husband had four residences (Beverly Hills, Palm Springs, Santa Fe, and Key West) so that they could live in environments that they liked. She kept the house in BH when they divorced.

    roarah thanked Lars
  • bossyvossy
    2 years ago

    Lars, I see houses in Gotebo OK that dream of being Tuscan villas. Frankly, it is tacky and devoid of originality. I think that’s what they mean by”who you are” and not “who you wannabe”. There are no Italian nobles in Gotebo, why not be fresh mid-America? That can be very beautiful original and personal.

  • powermuffin
    2 years ago

    Cheerful, colorful and family oriented. Totally me, which luckily suits my husband as well.

    roarah thanked powermuffin
  • mojomom
    2 years ago

    While I can appreciate and really enjoy a number of different unique styles from mid-century modern to cottage to southwestern, from farmhouse to English Manor to Tuscan as long as they are well executed, my personal style is fairly eclectic -- a little bit of everything but everything must meet at least one, preferably two, of the following criteria: (1) evoke a happy memory (2) be something I love (make my heart sing), or (3) be really comfortable. I like mixing antique pieces with modern, rustic with elegant, and I tend to incorporate a good deal of nature and texture and use muted earthy colors. No, or very little, glitz or glam or bright colors. I aspire to a comfortable and quiet elegance. I am not a fan of matchy matchy, and I prefer to think in terms of balance rather than symmetry. I also believe style must be regionally relevant -- while I would probably still be relatively eclectic in another location, the execution would vary. For example, at home in the south, while still using many of the same furnishings, it leaned a bit more traditional, while here in the mountains my style leans more rustic.

    roarah thanked mojomom
  • DYH
    2 years ago

    "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful." - William Morris

    I treasure memories, so will try to use what I have before buying something new. I treasure having my family and friends feel comfortable here and the most often heard comment is, "I feel so relaxed in your home."

    I function better in an organized house.


    roarah thanked DYH
  • Lars
    2 years ago

    Bossyvossy, I tend to forget about people who are pretentious, as that does not describe me, and I do not see that in my particular neighborhood, which is fairly affordable, considering the location (but it's getting less so). I can see what you mean about putting a Tuscan style villa in OK, however. My dream has been to live in a Tuscan villa overlooking the Mediterranean, but that can remain a dream, and I can content myself just to visit Tuscany.

    roarah thanked Lars
  • Bumblebeez SC Zone 7
    2 years ago

    Consistent with my locale to feel like the home belongs. I've been here 45 years so I belong too. Traditional NC mountain style ( but not mawkish) with a touch of modern.


    roarah thanked Bumblebeez SC Zone 7
  • suero
    2 years ago

    Books.

    roarah thanked suero
  • nini804
    2 years ago

    Best (to me) home decor compliment I ever received was when an acquaintance came over for a PTA board meeting and said, “You house looks very Phoebe Howard.” I almost swooned! PH designs what I love....traditional, but fresh and clean-lined, not cluttery.

    roarah thanked nini804
  • Sueb20
    2 years ago

    Eclectic, warm, and these days, kinda messy.

    roarah thanked Sueb20
  • DLM2000-GW
    2 years ago

    Lars "there is no conflict or contradiction between the life I wish I had and the life I have" just because I am drawn to elements of other types of decor. I see a room layered with floral prints and over stuffed reading chairs and be enchanted with the romance of it and still not want to live with it. Vacations - yes! Day to day, no. Poor choice of words on my part - I do love looking at those messy, layered, carefree spaces because they represent something free-spirited to me. But I could not live with it day to day.

  • Saypoint 7a CT
    2 years ago

    I don’t know, updated traditional? I don’t have any modern pieces in my home, but I try to be a little stylish. Don’t know if I have succeeded or not. :0)

    roarah thanked Saypoint 7a CT
  • Ellie RK
    2 years ago

    "As one who likes what others on this forum frequently show disdain for, visual stimulation...."

    Are we reading the same forum? I don't think any regular poster here shows disdain for "visual stimulation." It's seems to be the mantra here.

    Uncluttered, minimal, neutral colors/monochromatic and full of light. That's what I love and have always loved. That's what makes me happy and what I've always wanted to come home to after work.

    Now that I work from home, it still hasn't changed. My brain is on over-drive all day long. When I'm done, I don't need anymore stimulus from my home.

    Could be because it stems from and my moms love of soft light, and colorful furniture. Everything always felt dark and enclosed even when it wasn't. Growing up, it drove me crazy.


    roarah thanked Ellie RK
  • lakeaffect
    2 years ago

    Comfortable, colorful, eclectic and lived in.

    roarah thanked lakeaffect
  • Em11
    2 years ago

    The William Morris quote, "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful." is constantly in my mind. Also, one of my favorite decor books, "Living with What You Love" by photographer Monica Rich Kosann rings true for me too.

    roarah thanked Em11
  • junco East Georgia zone 8a
    2 years ago

    Ellie--I agreed with the OP's (Roarah"s) comment. I had the perception that most on this forum strive for beige or gray decor with very little color and/or decorative accessories. I am glad to see the comments here about living with what you love.

    roarah thanked junco East Georgia zone 8a
  • PRO
    BeverlyFLADeziner
    2 years ago

    Never heard of this designer, John Barman, so I looked at his work, and was surprised to see that none of his published work IMO appears to illustrate these quotes:

    "a home should be as invigorating as it is comforting"

    "memories make the best accessories"

    I don't think the rooms look comforting or look as though they could be lived in, and for 'memories making the best accessories',...............is that to mean you just remember the event in your mind and don't use anything physical to remind you of the event?

    There are con men in all types of businesses.



    roarah thanked BeverlyFLADeziner
  • roarah
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Beverly, you did not share your design aesthetic.

    I knew nothing of Barman's work other than his house in the Hamptons that was featured on the Sunday morning show. I did look at his website and some I like, some I think is ok and some I dislike. His quotes above work for me even if his style does not.

  • woodteam5
    2 years ago

    I think if I had to describe my style like that, I would say my bedrooms and baths are relaxing. My tv room, that is painted night sky, is other worldly and my living, dining and kitchen are in your face colorful and happy

    or

    My bedrooms and bathrooms are classical music, think Bach

    My tv room is Vaperwave

    And my living/dining/kitchen are Cyndi Lauper

  • roarah
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Wood team, I want a tour of your house! It sounds beautifully unique.

  • 3katz4me
    2 years ago

    Mine is an uncluttered, casual, comfortable, eclectic collection of things I've encountered during my life that came together with no particular plan. I don't purchase artwork or décor items to fill my space. I fill my space with meaningful things I've collected during my life.

    roarah thanked 3katz4me
  • Lars
    2 years ago

    Beverly, the dining chairs in the last photo look a lot like theRialto dining chairs from J Robert Scott. Do you happen to know who made them?

  • jo_in_tx
    2 years ago

    Mine is "transitional cottage with a bit of... what-was-I-thinking?" :)

    roarah thanked jo_in_tx
  • PRO
    BeverlyFLADeziner
    2 years ago

    Lars, you would know better than I. All photos are John Barman.

  • LynnNM
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Mine is probably Eclectic Contemporary Southwestern = Western/ Native American/ Hispanic + a bit of Romantic. We are blessed to live in Northern New Mexico, an artists’ mecca. We love and collect art, but not for investment; ONLY what we love and what makes us happy. Our home is a Contemporary all-adobe hacienda. Yes, the colors are muted, with warm cream (exposed adobe) walls, wood and beamed ceilings, and brick floors. But, only because this allows the focus to be on our art, Middle Eastern rugs, and our drop-dead mountain and mesa views. It works for us, because it’s what makes “US” happy.

    roarah thanked LynnNM
  • mojomom
    2 years ago

    I love your house, Lynn! It was what I was thinking about when I mentioned Southwestern as I style I enjoy and appreciate. You have authentic architecture, gorgeous pieces -- art and furniture and your house seems warm and homey, but with lots of interest and a bit of unexpected without being overdone.

  • PRO
    Anglophilia
    2 years ago

    I subscribe to a blog called Habitually Chic. Just got tomorrow's issue and it is so totally my design aesthetic, I could move in tomorrow! I subscribe to the British version of House & Garden but this issues has not arrived yet (of course, my postman leaves my mail all over the neighborhood, and leaves the mail of others in my box!).

    <http://habituallychic.luxury/2018/01/floral-prints-and-chintz/>; I ADORE this house! It has several old Colefax & Fowler prints that I have used in my own house, plus there is Lee Jofa's Althea in a bedroom. Althea is the smaller scale version of their legendary handblocked print, Hollyhock, which i have as curtains in my LR and on a chair in that room as well.

    I could move in this house tonight and sleep well. I love Cameron Kimber's description of his own aesthetic: "“I like the way English interiors have a handed-down look. It doesn’t matter if something doesn’t quite match or isn’t perfect, and it’s ok to have the dog bed in the sitting room. Things are beautiful and comfortable, and that’s really all that matters.”

    Couldn't' have said it better!

    roarah thanked Anglophilia
  • LynnNM
    2 years ago

    Thank you so much, Mojomom! Yes, homey comfort and warmth are very important to me. To us.

  • mtnrdredux_gw
    2 years ago

    Shabby Chic Farmhouse Bohemian Industrial

    roarah thanked mtnrdredux_gw
  • xenapittsburgh
    2 years ago

    Colorful and comfortable. As an artist by profession my favorite part of decorating/designing is choosing a color scheme. I have no fear of color but at the same time I'm also sensitive to the perfect color combinations. If something isn't quite right it will drive me nuts until I figure it out and correct it. I see rooms as a canvas.

    roarah thanked xenapittsburgh
  • PRO
    Lars/J. Robert Scott
    2 years ago

    Beverly, you are right. I was not at work before, but I checked our client database and found that John Barman has bought quite a bit of furniture from us. I generally do not get involved with clients, except for special cases. Those dining chairs are the only ones I recognize as ours, however.

  • PRO
    Stash Home
    2 years ago

    We believe a comfortable, inviting, stylish home that is unique to the owner is the most important!

    roarah thanked Stash Home
  • lobby68
    2 years ago

    "I can't find exactly what I want so I'm going to use this thing from Homegoods for awhile and then I will replace it and oh dear where did the time go why haven't I replaced this thing in five years" is about it.

    roarah thanked lobby68
  • hamamelis
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Lol, Lobby. And yet you're here. A time will come.

    Regarding the amount of stimulation or calm. Long ago, the first time I visited the home of a certain really outstanding family, I was so surprised. They were achievers in so many ways, constantly contributing, traveling, entertaining, civically involved, very into sports. And affluent.

    I'd describe their active living areas as something like hospital waiting areas, but perhaps not quite so nice, could really have used an industrial designer to give it some style. Lots of seating for big groups, though . Then I realized this family used their home as a launch pad, not a shelter.

    I'm a shelter sort naturally, always have been. Books, art, memories, eclectic mix. I also need stimulation in my home because in these years with health issues I'm not that active.

    It's still easy to sympathize with people who need serenity and little stimulation at home, though, because there was a period long ago when I got all the stimulation I could handle before I got home to my second "job," with always more to come the next day.

    I've always really disliked, "Decorate for the life you have, not the life you wish you had" for itself as limiting and preachy, but especially as a general mantra for everyone. It doesn't just seem small and anti-aspirational -- It is as exactly wrong for some people, such as those living dynamic lives of directed change, as it can be a sensible guideline for others, such as people raising children on limited income. Even they may be able to put their spare change in a can and buy an "unaffordable" piece of art or furniture each year, moving toward the home they want.

    Morris's "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful" does have strong appeal to me as a general guideline to clarify thinking, emphasis on the beauty since our kids are grown.

    roarah thanked hamamelis
  • beckysharp Reinstate SW Unconditionally
    2 years ago

    I think mine would be English country comfortable. Books, pattern, color. Comfortable places to sit, talk, read. And I live on a farm, so I guess farmhouse has to be in there somewhere (sigh...).

    I think the saying that "memories make the best accessories" is a great antidote to the mass merchandise "instant accessorizing" promoted by Home Goods, Pottery Barn, West Elm etc. Memories also make the best art, which should also shouldn't be mass merchandised -- accessories and art should be meaningful and personal. That's not to say that you can't have a copy of the Mona Lisa or Blue Boy or Monet's Water Lilies in your living room -- but you should choose it because you love it or it speaks to you, not because the colors match your sofa or it's the right size for the space next to the tv : ) .


    roarah thanked beckysharp Reinstate SW Unconditionally
  • Kathy Yata
    2 years ago

    I guess early 1960s homey American Danish Modern. Warm woods, clean lines, lots of stiletto heeled furniture but a lot more things then Scandinavian should have. Some Asian decorative pieces from DH's family. The bedroom furniture is from earlier eras, daughter has a nice waterfall set of uncertain age and mine is 1956 clunky. Very surprised I ended up with bedroom sets, for decades had nothing like a set and never really wanted such a thing but both fell into our laps. Very little was bought new.

    I also love William Morris's quote. It has a prominent spot in my journal. It helped me get rid of much loved pieces that weren't useful here even though they were beautiful. My bedroom especially has had a parade of various beautiful things that weren't quite right passing through.

    roarah thanked Kathy Yata
  • jmm1837
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Hmm, well, if the man is right and "memories make the best accessories" then I'm in, for sure. My house is full of stuff with memories of places I've been and experiences I've lived.

    If I were hi-falutin, I'd call my style "eclectic." Since I'm not, I'm going to call it a mixture of contemporary and tribal. I have a lot of Danish teak furniture from my first big splurge on furniture, back in 1981, and some more Australian blackwood furniture (blackwood is very similar in tone and look to teak) from the early 2000s. Plus a new blackwood entertainment center I bought when we moved into our new house in 2015. That's the kind of contemporary back drop. Somehow, my great grandmother's Edwardian china cabinet fits in, albeit in one of those dreaded "niches" that seem to be out of style these days.

    I also have a houseful of Afghan, Indian and Turkish rugs (of the tribal, not the sophisticated Persian ilk); camel and donkey bags from the same sources; hand beaten copper and brass trays, samovars and water jugs from Turkey, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bosnia; several bronze elephants, a brass camel and ceramic bulls and horses from India, Pakistan and Ukraine respectively; wooden bowls and a few wood carvings from British Columbia, South Africa, Fiji and India; and some ceramics and blown glass from places as far afield as Italy and Swaziland. What can I say?

    I also have a fair amount of art, picked up a variety of places - oils, water colours, old lithographs and prints (of which my avatar is one).

    Nothing I own is particularly valuable (except my great grandmother's china cabinet) but these are all things that have stories, so, even though I'll never make the pages of a decorating magazine, I'm happy with what I have.

    Bottom line: sleek and minimal isn't me; colour, texture and lots of it, and personality, yep. That's my house.

    roarah thanked jmm1837
  • H202
    2 years ago

    I was going to write, but Ellie above put my mantra better:

    "Uncluttered, minimal, neutral colors/monochromatic and full of light."

    My very first furniture purchase was (paid for by my parents) $350 for a full bedroom set when i left for college in 1997. Vintage deco/midcentury. Twenty-one years later (and professional refinished), it is in my son's bedroom and works perfectly with our home style. I don't know if i've ever bought something in the interim that doesn't style work with my style (as in, my style and preferences have stayed consistent). My paint preferences and color schemes have changed over time, but that's normal. After 10 years, it's usually time to swap out the well-loved sofa and scuffed walls. We have learned that we *abhor* anything with a pattern in our home. No patterned backsplash, no patterned duvet, no patterned lounge chair. I also hate "pops of color", other than through artwork. Despite the above-cold-sound description, our home is always warm and inviting and a place for gathering.

    roarah thanked H202
  • H202
    2 years ago

    Another thing to add: Learned from experience, i will *never* paint a room anything other than the "bottom" color on the paint chip strip. As in, if the chip has 6 colors from dark to light, anything other than the lightest one is too dark. This applies to libraries, powder rooms, "accent walls", kitchens. Sometimes that "lightest" option looks full of color when on the wall, and sometimes it looks simply off white. Either way, it's all i ever want.

    roarah thanked H202
  • Boopadaboo
    2 years ago


    PRO

    Anglophilia i LOVE that link!floral prints and chintz! ty!

  • roarah
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    H2o, I am your polar opposite on paint. I prefer the darker paint on most strips. My small house has tons of Windows and natural light so I felt it could still be bright and cherry with deeper colors.

    Hamamelis, I have always looked at the quote to decorate for the life you have not the one you want as being helpful in avoiding the keeping up with the Jones trap and as being helpful in appreciating what you have vs pining for a life that might not exist. But I liked looking at it from your point of view.

    A house should represent simultaneously the past, present and future. It should function well for your daily present life but also nurture your dreams for tomorrow.

  • DLM2000-GW
    2 years ago

    So well said, roarah. The saying decorate for the life you have not the one you want is not about stifling dreams but about blooming where you're planted, to use another saying! And I LOVE your words about past, present and future - not THAT would have been a forum header in the old days!

    roarah thanked DLM2000-GW
  • beckysharp Reinstate SW Unconditionally
    2 years ago

    Anglo, I thought you might enjoy today's Quintessence blog post, celebrating a return to color and pattern: "What’s next in interiors is certainly not new. The current return to maximalism has been brewing for years. What’s new is the attitude. As we crave layers and pattern, florals, geometrics and brown furniture, we aren’t looking back to the carefully coiffed rooms of the elaborate 80s, but rather interiors with a human presence and charm. It’s about comfort and warmth, our personal style security blankets in a world of uncertainty."

    https://quintessenceblog.com/whats-next-in-interiors-for-2018