As you may have noticed, the blog has been quiet for a few days as we were off galavanting through Paris. No design stuff and no agenda other than to enjoy a lovely 10 days with the hubby. Or so he thought… Interior design is impossible for me to escape which explains why the end of our first full day was spent at the Louvre, visiting the Napoleon III apartments. Always a sucker for historic interiors recreated with the actual furnishings, it occurred to me just how much one can learn from studying interior design of the past. Surely most of us are not decorating in the Second Empire style of design and our wallets don’t allow for the opulence of an Emperor, however good design is timeless and ignorant of “style”. Don’t worry I am not going to suggest you run out and start guilding anything!
FLOW: The use of a color scheme in a home to connect one space to another. A home has “good flow” when colors are repeated throughout the public spaces of the interior. In laymen’s terms: the use of color makes sense.
One never wants a visitor to walk into a room and question or be met with a jarring change of design or color direction. Rooms need to connect visually.
In the case of Napoleon III, the very patriotic red and blue with gold, appear over and over in different intensities and uses from room to room. In one room red dominates the walls, in another room blue makes a stronger statement while red appears in the carpet, in yet another room a softer blue lightens the formality and the color green is introduced. However, red, blue and gold appear in each room in one form or another. This is where the mere mortal often goes astray in their color scheme design efforts and ends up with a home of visual mishmash. We want a green living room, a red powder room, a blue kitchen, a yellow dining room and but without any flow from one color to the next and purpose for the color scheme we end up with a very cartoon-like home which is not very comfortable.DETAILS: The little elements (or big in this case) which cause one to ponder and look further into an interior. Painting a design or pattern rather than just a plain vanilla solid color captures the eye. A change in texture such as adding fringe or trim on drapery or furniture shows you care to make your room interesting. The purpose of details is to create interest. Details keep a room from being flat or bland, absent of personality like a person who drones on in a monotone voice – hard to be around and boring as all hell. Details give an interior life! By now you might know how I love details added to the ceiling, this might be a bit much for today’s interiors however nothing says the ceiling must be flat and white. Nor does every section of wood floor have to run in the same boring linear pattern. Oooh, I’m standing on the exact same floor Napoleon III stood on. Chills.This stone inlay tabletop is a one stop example in Napoleon’s apartments of flow and detail.
Every home interior needs a color scheme and to make the color scheme work we have to be disciplined to weave colors in and throughout rooms to create comfortable connections in a home, make colors flow. Think of details as mini ah-ha moments throughout a home which capture one’s interest and give your home personality. Regardless of a home’s style, having an open plan or more traditional defined rooms like these apartments, flow and details are what make a house a home.