A new year means it is time for new inspiration, as we flip through the calendar in our minds our thoughts may land on our interiors. Fresh off a pilgrimage to the architectural mecca of Taliesin West, the personal winter home of Frank Lloyd Wright, his studio, and architectural campus, I am completely inspired and flooded with fresh ideas for the 2015 interiors.
Design is less about creating something totally new than its embracing a great idea with fresh eyes. There is no cheat in looking towards the past for appropriate solutions.
Make entrances and transition intimate.
This one component is the key to creating a grander home.
One of the life long design attributes FLW used to make a space feel larger was low ceilings and narrow hallways. This creates intimacy. Homes with large two story hallways and entrances are an epic fail for this very reason, they give it all away at the first look. Mr. Wright understood a home or building has to romance all who enter. Make them wander and linger, create anticipation.
Today’s homes are all about embracing the open plan, who do you think started this back at the turn of the last century? Frank Lloyd Wright. We’ve taken it a step further by turning the once private kitchen into a public space and incorporating this into the new open living plan.
Use built-in furniture to maximize space.
Not only do built-ins make life easier, a room can seat so many more people. I write this seated in a huge open living room which can seat four people. If I did it the right or Wright way, I could easily seat 12 or more. Built-in bookshelves and cabinetry add value to a home, as opposed to the often crappy furniture we can buy which has almost no value once it is used. When we float or used free standing furniture a lot of space is wasted which leaves us with rooms overflowing with visual clutter.
Another embraceable characteristic of the FLW interiors is organization. He was coming off the goopy over decorated Victorian era of the late 1800’s where there was never an empty table, but often full of decorative stuff. A livable home is an organized home. Everything has a place, and everything in its place.
“Organic architecture seeks superior sense of use and a finer sense of comfort, expressed in organic simplicity” – Frank Lloyd Wright
The whole concept of organic architecture is to embrace what nature offers and utilize it to create beauty which appears natural. Simple lines and shapes create beauty, simple colors and their organization makes us comfortable. In our hectic lives with technology blasting us from every angle, our home decor must become simple in order for us to find balance and refuge in the home.
Repetition is a superb way to create interest. Repeating the same shape, color or form in a space creates a sense of comfort and ease, no surprises we know what is coming next.
Make color palette the law of the home.
Nothing celebrates the comfort of repetition and simplicity more than Frank Lloyd Wright’s discipline with a color palette. Select a color palette and stick with it. Interiors today become such a chaotic mish-mash due to our need for something new. Homeowners pick a new color each time they flip a page in a magazine. Don’t fall into this trap.
Although it would be nice for that wheelbarrow full of money to roll up the driveway, often it is less about money than it is about ideas. What is the best way to generate new interior ideas? Look to the past, to historic architecture. Taliesin West provides plenty of interior inspiration.
And as I always tell people, interior design is not a hobby, it is a vocation. Do it once, do it right and move on to something else. 🙂