Inspirations from the Winter Weather

 

Since we are surrounded by all this snow, I highly recommend taking a walk in the park or escaping the city for a day.  If nothing else, snow is peaceful.  Just walking in the midst of a snow fall, is quiet.  There is a special sort of hush.  And it is possible to find yourself surrounded by inspiration, great and small.
pg-fabric-wood-grainBesides design and being inspired to create – I also love to travel – it can be a simple train trip up the Hudson to visit family.   This is one of the most awe inspiring ways of traveling – especially on the East coast.  Most of the trip takes you directly along the river.  Each season has something to offer – the slow moving river during the winter with patches of ice floating, while the gray sky seems to settle on top of the river as the bare tree branches rustle in the winds.  I love looking for the various shades of dark green in the evergreens, and then reflected as deep green blue in the river.  The cool grays and earthy browns of exposed rocks, not normally seen in the summer, offer not only these wonderful shades of color but draw interest in the textures of these elements.  Do not forget the white sky – when you look hard you see shades of grays with hints of lavender, smokey blues, soft whites.
pg-fabric-river-pathIf you find yourself in the forest for cross-country skiing or snowshoeing, some of these same features, trees and rocks take on a deeper tone since the evergreens and bare trees hide the whitish sky without the brightness of a high summer sun.  Or, if you live near the ocean and enjoy the cold, take that brisk walk at the beach.  Look at the patterns the wind has drawn in the sand or snow.  Take in the early morning light as the sun appears on the horizon.  It has a special glow to it in the wee hours on a cold day.  Just the other day, it was a rosie peach color, painting the sky – just for a few minutes.  Most days, it’s the palest yellow spreading across the fading gray of the night sky.

I went to the Charles Rohfls exhibit in the American Wing at the MET this weekend.  The inspiration for his Arts & Crafts style furniture comes from the movement of the grain in the wood that he uses.   Design inspiration comes from many sources.  Looking at the fabric swatches that I found at Kravet‘s and Flourishes, what inspirations do you see?
pg-fabric-moon-shellsEvery season is special.  Which season inspires you?  Do you enjoy the cool, subtle colors of winter?  Or, are you bolder and warmer in your color palette?  Transferring these moments that offer tranquility should be considered when developing your home or office design.     Although they are wonderful, don’t always turn to the obvious – the fabric with leaves, the gray walls – look deeper, a chair with aged leather that reflects the movement of muddy waters.   The soft white fabric with metallic threads as drapery that adds the glistening sparkle of ice on the lake into your decor.     A room color can be inspired by that little speck of pink found inside a seashell.

Tell me about your inspirations, your favorite colors or textures.  It will be fun to understand where they came from!

 

 

Hello world!

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I’ve been designing residential and commercial spaces for over 25 years and I still get asked, “Pat, how did you get started in this business?”  To be honest, I chuckle every time and say “It was an accident!”

When I was in high school I enjoyed my art classes, but always felt that there was something missing.  There was always something I could do better – something that would hold me back from being a success in fine art.  I wanted to be the best in class at whatever I tried to do.  So, while art was the class I enjoyed the most, I decided I needed to be more ‘practical’ and I went off to junior college and ultimately became a legal secretary.

Yet, I did not abandon art.  I continued taking classes.  Then, I reached an unexpected turning point.  I was fortunate enough to have friends with a sailboat.  While we were enjoying a beautiful day sailing, we began discussing my friend’s living room and what color it could be painted.  This was the moment!  I shared my thoughts on color and furniture placement.  My friend was amazed at my suggestions and declared that I should be in the design business.  After an initial moment of silence, I realized that this appealed to my creative side.  Perhaps I could create beautiful places even if I didn’t feel that I could have a career in fine arts.

Over the next few months I investigated my options, pulled my art portfolio together and won a place at Parson’s School of Design. Parson’s was undergoing a shift in its thinking and wanted serious students who were determined to ‘make a difference’ in whatever field of design they chose to pursue.  I worked very hard, competing with students with far more serious art backgrounds than mine.  I learned about interior design, product design, landscape design, architectural design and more.  While it was more challenging than I anticipated, I loved it and learned to keep my eyes open for design inspirations.

I’ve been designing spaces for over 25 years.  My influences come from all around me.  I love texture.  I’ve recently returned to painting and find it filling a gap I hadn’t realized was there.  There is art in so much of what we do.  I feel lucky to have found a career that appeals to my creative side and allows me to create beautiful spaces.

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