When people ask me what my favorite movie or album is, I usually lie. For some odd reason, I’m tempted to filter my response with the hope of impressing the person asking the question. Why? I have no idea. While the honest answers are Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead and Tuesday Night Music Club, what comes out of my mouth is an entirely different story.
First, there’s the hipster answer, “The Big Lebowski is my favorite movie. London Calling is my favorite album.” Next is the corporate aka “generic” answer, “Movie, Forrest Gump. Album, The Dark Side of the Moon.” Last is the impress-your-friends answer, “A Spanish film called All About My Mother and Clouds, Joni Mitchell.” Then I start to think “What the hell is wrong with me?”
After some time, I realized it’s not necessarily the movie or album but rather what it suggests about my own personal taste. It’s similar to designing a hot pink, skull-and-crossbones style dining room in a showhouse for Southern traditionalists who favor cream and toile. Maybe the audience just won’t “get it.”
This got me thinking “How would a designer or decorator feel if asked to choose one project that sums up their style?” Well, I asked seven and only four answered…so I guess the proof is in the pudding…and when I say pudding, I mean pictures. And by pictures I mean the inspiring ones below.
Chassie Post, Lifestyle Contributor, GILT Home, New York
“The great room of my New York loft in Chelsea is definitely the most ‘me.’ People gawk over the Birds and Butterflies wallpaper from Schumacher and its apparent inappropriateness to the space; I was hoping it would be so wrong that it just might be right. So, in keeping with my maximalist credo, I decided to cover every square inch of the main living space — kitchen, living room, dining area, office area and hallway — about 1,500 square feet, with this rather nutty but lovable ’70s version of a de Gournay paper. If I had to do it over again, there is not too much I would change. This time, the big idea worked — next time who knows? I encourage risk taking in decorating. The bottom line is that it makes me happy — and that is what it’s all about.”
Jaime Rummerfield and Ron Woodson, Woodson & Rummerfield’s House of Design, Los Angeles
“This dining room is a classic “W&R” space. The calling cards are the dynamic layers within the same color family: striped wallpaper, black walls, Harlequin drapery fabric. We mixed vintage artwork and furnishings with a strong accent color — in this case, a luscious green. In addition to the dining chairs (covered in rich Maharam velvet), the tone also appears in small details, such as the custom napkins and place mats, the floral arrangement and side chairs. The consistent touches of green make for a dramatic room that pops against the black walls. Add in a Venini snowflake chandelier to 1970’s Lucite chairs, well-curated accessories and a few elements of surprise, and the room feels soulful and “on purpose.” Pushing the layers is what completes the room.” (Take the Woodson & Rummerfield look home with you by purchasing their book, High Style.)
Yours Truly, Decorator, Atlanta
First up, I am so NOT using quotations to talk about myself. It’s kinda creepy. The master bedroom of my mid-century ranch in Atlanta is definitely the most “me.” I brought the 1970’s in via the Cole & Son “Pompeiian” wallpaper sporting a masculine palette of black, brown and grey, the same palette that flows throughout the house. For a touch of traditionalism with a play-on-scale, I designed an 8-foot wingback style bed from scratch, then upholstered it in a silvery brown silk-linen from Kravet and added 1-inch chrome nailhead detail. Always in need of some touch of Hollywood, I had a custom duvet made from a smoky gray satin, then accented it all with touches of silver and plum as seen in the pillows. The enormity of the bed and the graphic impact of the paper both help distract the eye from the drastic slope of the ceiling. Guess how many times I have fully made my bed this year? Zero point zero zero. Smoke and mirrors, kids.
Scot Meacham Wood, Designer, SMW Design, San Francisco
“The drawing room of my own San Francisco home is easily my favorite — even taking into consideration its lack of natural light. It contains several elements that are part of what I consider to be my signature style. (1) Color: When I’m working with a room that has very little natural light, I love really adding to the drama by going very dark. This particular space only has two small windows that face northwest and receive very little sunlight. Keep in mind, in a bright room, a dark color will magnify any flaws in the wall texture. (2) Artwork: One of the most important aspects of my artwork is that I always have it matted the same, in either white or black matte stock. That way, I can move artwork to any room in the house and everything always works together. (3) Fabrics: When looking for fabrics for any project, don’t just strive for a balance in scale and color, but also keep in mind the weight each will have on the room. Though the black crocodile on the arm chair is very dramatic, there is very little used in the room — and by using an over-scaled tartan on the windows, the smaller-gauged patterns have something to play against.”
Valorie Hart, Decorator, Stylist and Blogger, Visual Vamp, New Orleans
“My living room is the best representation of me: I’m adventurous, fearless, energetic, upbeat and creative and I have no regrets about any decor choices I have made. I have the ability to see a room fully decorated the minute I see it. It may take some effort to achieve it because of budget and time, but I can give the space the gesture of what is in my mind’s eye almost immediately. Stand-outs for me are color, layering of interesting objects and art, and the mix of high and low furniture of all ages. I had a red dining room/office for five years, and recently changed the color. I did not change it because it was mistake, or it was unflattering to my skin tone. It was just time to freshen up the room, and I was ready to try a new crayon. I loved my red room, and I now love the new color just as much, but in a different way. It’s like having two boyfriends that you equally adore.”