During the last quarter, HGTV’s Home Studio interns, Diana Stercula and Monica Blair from the University of Cincinnati, have been working on various design projects in and outside the building, including HGTV Headquarters’ newest interactive vignette: East Meets West. The Home Studio university co-op program allows up-and-coming designers, like Monica and Diana, to work closely with design experts to offer unique and educational takes on interior design elements. For this globally-inspired vignette, Monica and Diana worked with Vern Yip and other HGTV professionals to create a one-of-a-kind concept, living right here at our offices. I recently talked to the designers about their piece. See what they had to say:
East Meets West: Spiritually-inspired designs of the East merge harmoniously with styles of the West.
KK: What was your influence and inspiration for choosing the “East Meets West” theme and design concept?
MB: Our main objective of the “East Meets West” vignette is to show that these two very different looks can work very well together in the same space. Everyone has an eclectic assortment of pieces in their home that they have collected throughout different phases and styles in their life. This display highlights the beauty of an eclectic mix by showing that very different styles can look beautiful together.
The style and organization of this display was developed by following Eastern philosophies that originated from a Buddhist foundation. Balance, repetition, symmetry, transparency, simplicity and a monochromatic color palette are used to create the Eastern aesthetic.
HGTV Home Studio interns: Monica Blair and Diana Stercula
KK: What does your choice of a globally-inspired vignette say about you as a designer? And what did you learn from mixing global design styles?
MB: Vern has been a wonderful mentor for this project. Working with him has taught us to take our design style and interests out of the picture while designing for someone else. We have created this space to truly reflect unique Eastern philosophies and exhibit a cohesive, eclectic look.
DS: Vern always emphasizes the importance of accuracy when conveying information. This
was most important with this display because there was a lot of important information to convey on Eastern and Western design. In order for these things to be relevant to our viewers, it was critical that our design reflect all of our research in a way that everyone could easily take something away from it.
The Arco Lamp: It’s iconic for its innovative design and admired for its timeless, elegant form.
KK: Why did you choose the Arco lamp and the Louis XV side chair as your iconic pieces, especially in this particular setting?
MB: We chose these two Western iconic pieces because they are both beautiful and timeless, yet have a very different aesthetic. We wanted to show the viewer how an eclectic collection of furniture can work beautifully together. The Louis XV chair is ornate, and the Arco lamp is sleek and modern.
DS: It was also an opportunity to show how these pieces could be used in a context they’re not normally seen in.
Louis XV Side Chair: This chair represents a change in French monarchy and the origin of Rococo style.
KK: These two iconic pieces are typically seen within specific design aesthetics. What design styles would the Louis XV chair and Arco lamp work well in other than these?
MB: The Louis XV chair and the Arco lamp can be paired with many styles. An iconic piece stands the test of time because it speaks volumes on its own, but also because it complements any space it’s in.
Rope Partition: This represents the Eastern design aesthetic and creates a sense of balance and organization.
KK: Through the process of designing your vignette and working with these classic pieces, what did you learn about them that you didn’t know before?
DS: We learned a lot about the Louis chair and the Rococo period of design during our history class at school, but it was cool to be able to apply this knowledge to our design and share it with others. One thing I found really interesting about the Arco lamp was that it was inspired by a street lamp, which makes sense since its main function is to provide overhead lighting without being affixed to the ceiling.
Love the look? Monica and Diana share their tips for an East-meets-West space:
- Pair Western-style furniture with Eastern-inspired accents.
- Create balance in your space using Eastern Design Principles, such as symmetry and repetition.
If you’ve officially added our Arco lamp to your wish list, we have a secret to reveal — our look-alike cost $450! Check out these four tips for getting designer pieces for less, too:
- To incorporate design style without breaking your budget, find an inexpensive look-alike.
- Arco lamps are typically $2460, but our twin cost $450.
- Choose a replica that resembles the original piece in form or material to create a similar look.
- Only include one or two designer-esque pieces in one space to let them shine.
What’s your take on this globally-inspired design vignette? Would you bring any of these pieces into your home? Tell us in the comments below.