Designs That Inspire

Photo Credit:  Nathan Schroder / House Beautiful,  November 2008

Whether the above image meshes with your particular design style, I thought this was a wonderful example of something to blog about for the design lover, enthusiast, or student.  We all have a pretty good sense as to whether we gravitate towards more traditional or contemporary designs, but that doesn’t mean that one can’t learn something from an image with well-executed design elements.

This particular living room was featured in House Beautiful Magazine, and was designed by Ginger Barber.  House Beautiful praised Ginger for her ability to create an informal seating arrangement…I couldn’t agree more…This is a wonderful example for a reader who has trouble envisioning seating environments in a “unconventional” sense.  Imagine if this room were empty…Two options that would immediately come to mind to many would be:  flank two sofas on the fireplace, or put a sofa directly across from the fireplace and build additional seating from there.

The number one reason why this furniture layout works in this space?!  SCALE!  Each piece has been carefully selected based on appropriately proportioned dimensions…Like a puzzle, each piece needs to fit…and if one piece doesn’t, it ends up impacting everything around it!

I was also drawn to this image for several reasons:  I love that there isn’t “one collection” of furniture in the space…If you notice, each piece carries its own weight yet is the perfect accompaniment to each and every adjoining piece of furniture.  I also love the interjection of some tufting on the upholstery for some texture, the slightest touch of print / pattern for visual interest and color, and the continuous and seamless thread of light and dark elements throughout the space…from wood finishes on the upholstery to the occasional tables to the fireplace and mantle to the sconces…even to the window treatments and hardware that were selected for this living room.

Finally, and this is a big one…artwork…Many people debate whether you should start with the artwork and work around it or start with the environment and select accompanying artwork…What I would say to you is this…No matter which direction you do decide to go in, there should be a relationship between the artwork and the colors involved (frame included) and its surrounding environement.  Otherwise, there’s absolutely no connection to the space and the design that has been executed around it.  (Notice, too, that the portrait to the left is hung at an exceptionally appropriate height…almost appears as if the person is participating in the conversation…lovely!)

Exceptionally well-executed, Ginger, and a wonderful example for us all to learn from…inspiring!


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