Monday, May 31, 2010

Inspired by: Unlikely pairs

This post is a journey... and a meandering one at that... I hope you'll bear with me! Here we go.

It started when I was driving to work a week or two ago and heard my local station's debut of the new Katy Perry song "California Gurlz." I thought I heard the DJ say that it was with Snoop Dog, but that made no sense to me, so I decided I needed to get my hearing checked and mentally moved on. Then, the boppy, cutesy song began and I thought to myself... "this is so Katy Perry" as I did the little car-dancing thing that you do when you are buckled-up for safety. About two thirds of the way through I hear a male voice begin to rap. Could it really be Snoop Dog? Huh? (By the way, when I started writing this blog, if you had told me that Snoop Dog would ever appear, I would have laughed you right out of town!). How on earth do Katy Perry and Snoop Dog even decide to work together? Who came up with that? And how on earth does it totally work?

In the meantime, I had been carrying around the New York Magazine Home Design issue in my purse for a week because I had intended to blog about the amazing Neo-Country piece that got my creative juices flowing. Not only was I in love with the clean, mid-Century Modern room that perfectly integrated hand-made wooden pieces that were rustic-inspired but with modern finishes, but the "Neo Classics" spread in which the classic shapes of farm tables and Baroque frames are made of unexpectedly modern materials such as glass and plastic had me itching to completed redecorate my house. NY Mag said it so perfectly... it is the "new old." And it works.

Rustic materials are the highlight of this room, which does not feel at all rustic.

As much as I love the shape of the classic farm table, it would have no place with my more contemporary home aesthetic. The glass re-imagining of it is both modern and classic at once giving it new life.

Bright colors free these frames from their traditional roots while the shape pays homage to a classic style.

Why do these unlikely matches come together to create a whole that is superior to the sum of its parts? The best way I can explain it is to compare it to baking... have you ever wondered why recipes for cookies, cakes and pies call for at least one big, heaping teaspoon of salt? The salt brings out the sweetness in the other ingredients and heightens the strengths of their flavors.

It is easy to group things together which are the same - we are taught to do that basically from birth. And I distinctly remember learning what the word "clash" meant when a classmate teased another friend about wearing a pink shirt with red pants. But the thing is that when you limit yourself to only combining things that have elements of sameness or that organically "go together," you run out of options pretty quickly.

This applies not only to decor but to the other most important components of any event: music and food. A music trend that is beginning to run its course is classical string instruments playing contemporary music for a wedding ceremony... an unlikely match of modern melody and classic instrument makes an impact far greater than the music "expected" to emanate from a violin. And, if you watch Top Chef (or any cooking show) you know that you can't win unless you know how to put bacon in a dessert! Seriously. Bacon. In. Dessert.

The truth is that if you can finish the sentence without all of the words, the sentence doesn't even need to be said aloud. But, when the end of the story takes you to a place you never expected, you are riveted, and the story settles into your mind.

Why, oh, why have I told you all of this? Because I spend my days trying to create decor that sticks with you. More than just beautiful, I am after a look that is memorable. Does it always have to be accomplished with an unusual pairing? Certainly not. But it must be well-enough thought out that the choices appear to be conscious since I believe that something with that amount of power will find its way into the consciousness of another. Just like how Snoop meandered his way into my mind and into my blog.

Inspiration is everywhere.

1 comment:

  1. wow! I love that room! and although i would never be able to conceive of putting any of those elements together I like it when I see it. I love reading your thought process and what you have in your mind when designing. It's getting to know your client and taking their idea and bringing it further and to a place they would never have thought of. That's you definitely!