A friend of mine from Texas e-mailed me today with a interesting set of questions about me and interior design. I wouldn't normally post something like this - but as the questions are actually very good, I thought I'd leave this here for you all to browse until I update you on Sunday with a full video tour of my CLEAN bottom floor (yes - I'm using this as incentive to make sure it's clean by Sunday!) So if there is anything you want to see, let me know! Enjoy.
1. When designing a room, what three things are most important?
Scale, Color, and Personality. I think that you have to remember that these (most often) are rooms you'll be living in, and they should be an extension of the life you live, or the life you'd like to. Scale makes and breaks good design, and color - of course, will evoke a mood in a room. So make sure to take a measuring tape to all stores, and don't be afraid of color!
2. When did you know you wanted to be a designer?
I still want to be a designer. I knew that interior design was my passion from about age 10. I would take scraps of my mothers fabric and tie them around pillows in no-sew projects to make her bed look better. My younger brother would get so mad when I'd switch the layout of our bedroom because I needed a change, and my Aunt constantly joked: "Artie, you can only paint drywall so many times before it crumbles!" It makes me happy, it gives me energy and keeps me creative and vibrant.
3. What has been your most challenging project?
Decorating my house in New York. It was built in 1924, filled to the brim with beautiful Chestnut colored woodwork that Scott will not allow me to paint, and should I do it anyway, it would spell out divorce, possibly sudden death. Finding my voice in the house has been difficult, and even now I'm not always happy with the rooms I've created, especially with the popularity of Swedish and French influences gracing almost every magazine and decor blog.
4. Attach a picture of your current "dream room" and explain why it has that status.
This room is a symbol of everything I love. The freshness of a simple palate, the mix of antiques with new, and the sophistication of the black and white harlequin patterned floor. As Scott and I review options for the remodel of our kitchen, I keep this in my file, hoping that he might give in - and let me play.
5. Who has been your greatest design influence?
That's a hard question: Bunny Williams, Phoebe Howard, Candice Olson (yes - I know), Thom Filicia, Christopher Lowell (yeah - again - I know!) and now that I've been blogging, there are far too many unpublished designers with extreme talent that influence me daily.
6. The highest design praise you've ever received?
7. Where do you draw the most inspiration from?
Nature. First and foremost. Then the list is sort of endless: music, television, people, a feeling, a mood, a sofa, fabric, a candlestick: its a process for me - start to finish, and I get perspective and inspiration from almost everything I see during that process, maybe not for that project - but my eyes are always open to good design.
8. What would be your dream design job?
Eeek. Um, that's difficult to say. A part of me would love to do set design for a long-running series, like the genius behind the Will & Grace Sets, Melinda Ritz; but then another part of me would love to have a tv show where I could help people who needed design advice, or inspiration, or both.
9. In your home, what are your favorite pieces, and where did you get them?
(1) My Door - a Victorian garage door section, Antique Mart
(2) My Cart/Coffee Table - a Train Luggage Cart from the Cincinnati Railroad, Old Flower Shoppe
(3) My Art - all of it, various locations and artist friends
10. When you make it big, what would you want people to say about your design?
Timeless, Livable, and Beautiful.
Feel free to take this and post on your blog. I'd love to hear your answers to these questions, and if you have a particular object you would like me to talk about in the video blog Sunday, let me know here. Have a great weekend!