Last Thursday evening I had the opportunity to peek into over 20 stranger’s bedrooms and other living spaces. Actually, I was invited to not only peruse, but to purchase the lamps, tables, beds….anything with a price tag on it. There were plenty of nice items to choose from, and it wasn’t just a shabby chic auction or a fire sale going on, it was Housing Works’ “Design on a Dime” Benefit show, held at The Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West 18th Street in Manhattan. Is New York in a spring cleaning/home design frenzy? I ask because as the Benefit opened its doors the May 11, 2009 issue of New York Magazine cover article was Design Liberation: The 2009 Home Design Issue.
I don’t have an answer why home design is on the mind of New Yorkers right now, and you can just look at my pics below from the Design on a Dime Benefit show and not read anymore of this post. But it is a good time to think about design as something that isn’t just in the minds and hands of experts.
We all design (by accident as well as on purpose), starting with our home and work spaces. Rather than being just an unconscious reflection of who we are (messy or neat, bright or somber), it can be what we want it to be by applying thought about how the contents of the room affects us, choosing colors that dominate the setting for each room, and displaying a few choice items that make a statement. This is where visiting a show like this or reading the New York Magazine article can stimulate our creativity and inspire us.
Enjoy the picture show below. Look for color, shapes, organization. See what you like, and think about how it sets a mood. Imagine why you’d like to spend time in that room or why you wouldn’t even walk into a room like that. Design is proactive, and after you’ve looked at what other people have done to create an environment, think about what you might do to change yours.
Moving from 3-D to the flat spaces we design all the time as well, apply the same criteria: is this slide or page or web site inviting, welcoming, cold, formal, funky? Would I want to spend time here or just go past it quickly because it’s too messy and unorganized? Take a stroll through a presentation on Slideshare and see what others are designing that make you feel at home, and use it as an example. Hopefully a light bulb with a pretty lampshade will turn on in your mind.