Thursday, June 24, 2010

Are you in a relationship??

I was thinking about relationships today. 

The good ones create balance and pleasure and they make us feel whole and complete.

The crummy ones leave us off base, irritated and generally discombobulated!

Have you ever noticed that spaces are all about relationship too?
When we're in one that "clicks" with us, we feel sooo GOOD!  We feel connected and happy, and we just don't want to leave.

And when we're in spaces that just don't work, we're left feeling a little off and uncomfortable.

I posted last week here about details, and how details really separate good design from "just ok" design.  Paying attention to the details is kind of like taking care of a good want it to work, so you go the extra mile and do the extra little things that will bring the best out of everyone.

I thought it might be fun to look at a room and think about the way the relationships within it are workiing.

I came across this room designed by Lisa Levin.  It's not what I would consider my "style", but there is something about this room that just works. 

I think the first thing that I notice is the color palatte.  What relationships are forged in this space with color?  It's primarily neutral, with grays, white, black and beige. But there is so much life in these neutrals.  There is relationship between them because they all have a warm base.  The color selection was so carefully made that there is not a single color that doesn't relate to the others. 
The inclusion of the cerise yellow-green brings life to the party!  We all want to go and visit with the green! 
Aren't you drawn in by the fun-loving color? 
Lisa Levin has bounced this pop of color all around the room, generously drawing us from side to side so that we don't miss any of the details.

She's also thoughtfully brought balance to the space.  The large heavy pieces ( the credenza and the fireplace ) are in relationship with each other from afar, flirting across the room at one another.
The boldness of the black in the rug and the credenza are balanced by the elements of white that move around the space.  

There's relationship between patterns as well.  Only on the pillows are the patterns repeated. The drapes, the settee and the sofa are all different patterns, but they relate through color and scale....just like people.  We're not alike, but we still can fit and find companionship between us.

Because there is so much connection in the space, it's ok to bring in a little whimsy and personality through art and color.

How different would this space be if she had used a landscape or a floral picture instead of this "portrait"?  Every relationship needs to have an element of fun and playfulness, and I think a room does too, don't you?

I could go on and on about the relationships in this space, but I thought I'd leave a few for you to figure out on your own. 

Afterall, it's what we learn on our own that makes this "relating" thing really personal. 

I'd love to hear what you think about the relationships in this space.  Open our eyes to new things. I always learn things from your comments, and that' what really makes a relationship work.....right?  


  1. Each time I see this color palette used, which doesn't seem to be often, I love it! Grays (and taupes and pale pinks) with green as the accent. Peaceful, to my eye! Janell

  2. I love the sofa in the background. It doesn't upstage the 2 chairs but it does command attention (and I'm a sucker for the x pattern).
    Discombobulated - love that word!

  3. I like the cheerful nature..I know there would be laughter here.
    The best kind of friend.

    I have this thing for unframed paintings...not only over the fireplace, but also spotted a small one over the sofa in the background. The small painting on naked wall...pops

    Very nice post...creative, as usual.

  4. Good thought provoking post, Sally! Not a fan of this space, a little too perfect and "designed" for my taste.I guess I'm more a dysfunctional relationship type! :)

  5. Such an interesting post as I think about this often! I find the best "relationship" in the room happens when the client doesn't force an element that doesn't keep the room balanced. She got the proportions and balance of this room just right, great example.

  6. Beautiful rooms I adore the color palette and the art is a definite wow. It really makes the space!!

    I hope you will join my Giveaway!! It if offered from Pillow Mint and I think you will love it!

    Art by Karena

  7. I agree, she has done a fabulous job with this space! You make some really good points, she has achieved such a balance here, and it is lovely and inviting. As for personal relationships, yes, balance is key, too. I've had some bad ones, but my hubby and I just click, which is great, because, well, he's my husband! XO!

  8. I love the content and thought process you shared. I can absolutely identify and completely agree with everything said! This room I think is great. At 1st I thought it seemed "unfinished" (don't get me wrong, it blows away anything in my home!), but that's what it's perfect for...whoever would live here would put the personal jewelry on this already fantastically thought out space. Very warm indeed :)

  9. I love spaces like this - that seem individual and effortless. I am really attracted to the columns and the adorable settee placed perfectly in the center though it's clearly not centered on the wall where it sits. I love that. I will say I'd like to see more substantial moldings, particularly baseboards, but I suspect there was a reason for this...there always is!

  10. So true! I have the same feeling about clothing as well that is or isnt right for you! Have a lovely weekend xx

  11. Hi Sally,
    I loved this piece. Very creative and insightful. You should make it a series. It was so much fun to read how you broke down the pieces of the whole. I have a real hard time with color, but your explanation on how the colors tied together because of their warmth made absolute sense. I am curious as to find out why the designer or homeowner left the back wall (with the columns) bare. Maybe to emphasize the settee against the wall in the next room...?

  12. Hi Sally
    Great Post and I really like your Blog. Thanks for adding me to the list of your 'Divine Blogs'. I have added you to mine also.
    Kind Regards

  13. My husband does not understand why being in an unbalanced space makes me feel so bad (truly, I feel physical discomfort!). It is because I don't have a good relationship with the space, and the space has things that don't feel good within it. It is not so much a style thing as a balance, proportion thing.

    Clearly, some people are in tune with this (like me), and some aren't (like my husband). On the other hand, he likes things to be neat as a pin, and a little bit of mess doesn't bother me in the slightest!

    Great post - got me thinking!

  14. Sally, what a beautifully writen post you have articulated in a way that anyone can understand this principle and apply it. I can tell you were in teaching!!! Great Post my friend, it is good to be back, Kathysue


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