27 July, 2009

Effortless Design

by Lisa Peck
I love to read about the creative process. I often read about how others...writers, scientists, dancers, photographers, architects approach their work and what inspires them. How they develop a fresh approach after years of working in their chosen field. Reading how others are creative adds to my arsenal of tools and allows me to experiment with my approach to the creative process. In the July issue of Oprah Magazine four authors talked about their process and the difficulties and joys of being writers. I found something to relate to in every piece, but the following excerpt written by Michael Cunningham struck a particular cord.
"The widespread conviction that anyone can write a novel is, naturally, cranky-making to those of us who actually write them, but I admit that I can understand its source. A good writer strives to conceal the effort that went into producing a short story or novel. A fireman or a doctor, visibly saving lives, does and should inspire in us an appreciation of the courage and training required. A work of fiction, if it's any good, has precisely the opposite effect. It should seem effortless. It should so infiltrate the reader's consciousness that by its end it should seem not like the long, heroic effort of another person but like an unusually vivid dream the reader has had." (See article)
The best interiors, I believe, are similar to how Mr. Cunnigham describes a good work of fiction. When you occupy a well designed space it should not be obvious the effort that went into designing it. The thousands of details and decisions that were made should melt away into a feeling of "It is so nice to be here, I love it" but it should never occur to you to analyze why the space feels right.
When a client tells me that guests say they can't put their finger on it but there is something so unique, comfortable or gracious about their home, I consider it a big compliment. When we completed a recent remodel of a kitchen/family room a visitor said "I am not sure what you did...seems like it always should have been this way", I know I have done my job well. The interior melds with the architecture and the client's personality in a way that seems so natural, it seems effortless. I know my training, the well developed concept for the space and each detail that was put in place. I know the months of planning, construction and the skilled craftsmanship of the tradespeople behind the scenes. My clients know the joy of having their friends and families feel so comfortable in a space that they love to be there.
This is the best thing an interior designer can achieve.

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