If you’re in a relationship, are both partners’ sensibilities expressed? Equal aesthetic representation within a space lays a foundation for a balanced partnership. One of my favorite aspects of my role as a designer is finding a common ground for couples, even when aesthetics clash, and working to build connectedness.
Once I understand their differences I can find ways to celebrate their similarities and then design a space that represents them both at the same time. Everyone has different rhythms, needs, likes….colors they are drawn to, personal style (even when they don’t know what it is!) and really just responds to different types of things. Couples are dynamic as I examine how they are as individuals versus who they are in their identity together, within the relationship.
When space only represents one person in the relationship, it can erode their sense of security, undermine their sense of equality and depending on the level of sensitivity, have the potential to make the person feel more insecure. There is nothing more rewarding for me, than to capture the essence of both individuals and create a look that is driven by their union as a couple, while still empowering them each as individuals.
This process of designing for couples becomes a wonderful process of discovering what resonates with them on a deeper basis. Designs for couples can create even more closeness within the relationship because it stimulates that feeling for each person that they feel in love with from the beginning.
For this project we had a dynamic couple who have two beautiful young daughters. The space in its previous form (scroll gallery above to see before images) had no relationship to who they are. The second challenge for this project is to create a sense of warmth and excitement, so that the minute you walk in you feel transported into a fabulous environment that wakes up your senses. Getting the home to exude an ambient feeling can be a process on its own, depending on what we are starting with.
Doing interior design for couples begins with finding the balance between each of their personalities. I chose the combination of bold, clean-lined drama with comfy, imaginative elements for the overall concept. Paying special attention to the psychological use of color, the balance of the natural elements in terms of feng shui, I shopped for pieces that I knew would feel more special to both of them at the same time.The end result is a home that spoke to the different aspects of their sensibilities and needs as a family.
When coming up with bedroom colors for couples I create a personal prescription for them based on the psychology of color, using the concept to showcase how their personalities can merge together in interesting ways. For them it was a matter of creating the striking visuals in each room without losing site of making the home feel accessible. We used color to take the home from drab to fab, making bold statements with a bit of restraint to keep the look sophisticated. I was always conscious of balancing the masculine and feminine –yin and yang — aspects, creating a combination of his slight edge juxtaposed to her smart, refined yet easy going touch.
The powder room is a great example of using feng shui in a bathroom to bring out the atmospheric feel. Each natural element, color, and shape was carefully balanced. The beautiful reflective qualities of the glass and metal in various textures were strategically placed to exude an ambient feel. The interplay of yin and yang are shown here as well with the strong masculine lines set against the soft, reflective lighting. Even the lit backsplash – laminated Amazon grass – added an unexpected addition of nature, which became a creative twist to the 70’s monochromatic hues mixed with a contemporary pop of bright orange. It was a fun and inspiring project to create.