Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Inspired by ... celebrity designers

I love this color combination of a strong red with a grayish blue background (see flower arrangement in my last post). I took this photo at Studio 534 in the Boston Design Center which was host to Kathryn M. Ireland for her book signing on Tuesday, November 3rd.

While some people are fascinated with sports figures or high-profile celebrities, I find myself getting giddy over seeing “design stars in person. I really respect what it takes to make it as an accomplished designer in this business, whether one is designing for big movie-star type budgets or for homes that are more modest in comparison. For me, being able to design for others is like being commissioned to create a work of art. My client’s home becomes the canvas, and I get to play artist. It is an honor (and pleasure) to be invited to make someone’s house “a home.

Today at the Boston Design Center, Kathryn M. Ireland spoke on Easy Elegance and Comfortable Living, The Art of Creating a Home. She was there to promote her new book titled Creating a Home, which is also available online. Check it out (and definitely visit her website) to see some of her amazing work with textiles, patterns, color and scale.

Interior design by Kathryn M. Ireland
photographed by Miguel Flores-Vianna
as seen in Veranda magazine, Sept. ’09

Ireland’s visual language is well studied and appeals to the artist in me who loves bold patterns and vivid colors. She is known for her Bohemian chic approach that combines California’s easy living with the grandeur of world-traveled influences. Although she is a huge fan of saturated color combinations, she is also able to achieve the same richly varied look in a more subdued color palette (when asked!).

Fabrics from her newest collections.

Despite the fact that I was just a wee bit jealous of her well traveled life (Ireland used to take her three boys on trips and they would ask, “How many planes is it going to take to get there? while my husband and I are basically afraid to plan a long – a.k.a. over 20 minute – car ride with our brood of four boys), I did appreciate her take on fearlessly surrounding oneself with color and beauty. Although after just peeking around the corner into my family room, I think we have achieved the same result as my boys apparently had a battle with a purple feather boa from the Halloween costume bin ... and the boa lost.

This pattern Fez Palm in Olive Green from Kathryn Ireland’s newest fabric collection would be right at home in one of my boys rooms, which boldly incorporates all of these colors (some day I will post images from it when it is “photo shoot clean ...)

I am sure I could probably learn a lot from Ireland on how to live a stylish life while surrounded by a bunch of boys, but I did not have the luxury to sit down and chat with her today. She did share some funny stories, however, about making a huge outdoor trampoline that did not jive with her design aesthetic mysteriously disappear while her boys went to school, and I especially liked how she admitted to offering one of her reluctant sons money to participate in a magazine photo shoot since this is a trick I have been known to use around December 1st for holiday photos.

While my friends and I were waiting to meet with Kathryn, I had the opportunity to say hello to one of my favorite designer-bloggers, Erin Gates from Elements of Style. She was hard to miss as she is model gorgeous and was dressed very stylishly even for the Design Center (sorry, I wasn’t ready with my camera this time, and besides she probably thinks I am stalking her!) Be sure to visit her blog to read her take on today’s lecture since she mentioned that she would be posting about it, too. She has a refreshing take on this business of design that I find laugh-out-loud entertaining. She is also great at spotting design trends, and I predict she will soon be setting them, too.

Below are a couple of pictures of other designers who have inspired me lately ...

Nancy Faye Glass of Glass House Design and
Linda Hentschel of Renaissance Interiors who I met through our design collaboration at The Stevens Estate in North Andover. (I had them pose today in front of the New England Design Hall of Fame Allee of Trees – just for luck). They have both been very generous in sharing their design stories and advice with me (plus we have a great time going to events like this together).

Check back tomorrow for my post on last week’s lecture at the BDC presented by Barclay Butera

“Barclay and I” at the Kravet showroom
or I love this job!


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