2018 was a year of growth for our business and our team. We have been working on systems to make what we do and how we do it more efficient and enable us to produce a better quality product for our clients. This included an upgraded CAD program, a new design management software program and fine tuning our procedures in the office. They are the building blocks, the foundation for doing the work we love.
With that squared away, Lauren and I felt inspired to push ourselves with our design work. It’s easy to get complacent in what we know and do well and not push ourselves to grow as interior designers. We decided to give ourselves a bit of homework and individually pin images of where we wanted to head in 2019.
We were both surprised to find that we had pinned a lot of the same or similar images. I’d like to share in this blog what is getting us excited and what we are moving towards in this coming year.
Here are a few of the pins that we are loving…
(Images from Pinterest; Betsy Brown, Lisa Tharp)
I want our work to be an exercise in stripped away simplicity. I believe that the best design, is work in its most simple form. It is hard to strip away the fuss and just be able to highlight what is beautiful about the elements. It’s why I like white. We are often on a consultation and find ourselves talking about saturation. A lot of what we see has color with heavy saturation on the walls (and this doesn’t mean the color has to be dark to be saturated).
I find that when the walls are saturated in color, that is what you see. The walls become the focal point and the furnishings take a back seat. When the walls are white the furnishings, and nature outside (a view, perhaps) is what becomes most important. And, it sets the foundation for pattern and color elsewhere, and texture and materials to be focal.
So, we are thinking about what we want to create with our palette this year. Below is just a hint of what we are getting ready to create…
Our trending palette is still a balance of neutrals, but tending to a bit more contrast. A traditional take on white and black with warm accents of camel, cypress greens and saffron.
We are loving pale hides, layered over natural rugs or just by themselves on a warm, wide plank wood floor.
We have always tended towards off white for interior colors, but, we are fine tuning towards a simplification of colors. Clean, off-white walls need architecture behind the starkness to work well. So, it is important to understand if you have enough architecture or if you need to add elements to have white work the way it should.
We are loving slightly darker trim and door colors in shades of grey with just the hint of blue or green. It reminds me of English interiors. Simple, classic and truly beautiful without trying too hard. In the image below, the walls are Benjamin Moore Cotton Balls and the door and trim are in Halo. The warmth of the wood floor is the perfect compliment to the stark, clean and cool paint scheme.
We are tending towards solids in linen and adding more solid and textured velvets along with patterns with primitive design and texture. We are loving the black and white and shades of natural linen and cream. We are leaning towards jewel tones in saffron, emerald and indigo.
And the Pieces
We have been focusing on perfecting the final layers of accessories and art. Perfecting the art of styling, and it is an art and one that gets better and better with practice. On our installations we always bring a large selection of what we call “add-ons” so that we can accessorize on site to make sure the final look is perfect. We are currently using a curated combination of metal in gild and brass tones, rustic wood, marble and baskets in fine and heavier weave. The large gilded shell bowl, shown below, is one of our favorite finds.
We continue to work with tone on tone, in white, taupe and gray, with black accents. We are working on restraint in accent and the dramatic pieces. How to add just the right amount of interest without tipping the balance out of quiet elegance. This is tricky but we continue to work on this and hone this skill.
When it is right, it has a rhythm that is soft and comfortable but holds your interest. I see it is the spaces that draw you in to look at the details. The details should matter, and they should be simultaneously thoughtful, layered and beautiful.
We are really excited about focusing our design, and creating truly beautiful, classic spaces that withstand the test of time. Let us know if we can help you to create just that for your space.
Tama Bell Design is an interior design firm with projects in Santa Rosa, Healdsburg, Sebastopol, Petaluma and throughout Sonoma County and the Bay Area.