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Design As Refuge

The word “refuge” may be the very definition of “home” as a place of safety calm and privacy, meanwhile also serving as a supportive place, at all stages of life, and whether healthy and abled or otherwise.

While these happy circumstances can occur under a variety of conditions, relative to the sensitivities, (even  proclivities), of its inhabitants, for those who are in a position to thus avail themselves, the guidance of  a skilled designer can produce an enhanced level of satisfaction.

On behalf of those who consult with us, we balance “the familiar” with “the new,” in combination with judicious editing of existing items of décor, and around a cluster of predefined goals. Thereby, we strive to guide our clients to the efficient completion of their domestic objectives. Even for single-item acquisitions of furniture or furnishings, this can reduce doubt & anxiety---sometimes even unnecessary expense, as in the selection of competing items where one, although it may be of lesser cost, has a greater likelihood of achieving the intended purpose.


Design as Motivation

Design can be instrumental in introducing "motivation" into routine by working to minimize points of friction tthat impede, thus depress, the performance of activities. This is partly accomplished by the manner in which space is organized; in the selection of specific furniture, furnishings and equipment that help promote 'best-practice' habits and procedures. Two expressions come to mind which, taken together, illustrate our meaning. The first, biblical in origin, was the theme of a well-known pop song:

“To everything there is a season and a time for every purpose…”

...while the other is more colloquial:

"Use the right tool for the job.”

By letting forethought inform the goals of a given design project, there can be an easing of those moments where the tasks at hand are, what we might call, 'less than engaging.' Hence, there is the encouragement that, at least, those necessities are likely to be accomplished with a minimum of frustrating hindrances. A more positve view is that thoughtful coordination of the environment will imbue even 'average' days with above average beginnings, allowing for them to start in happy achnowlegement of good fortune.


Chaos to Cosmos

When possessions have no space to ‘breathe’ within their surroundings because they are undifferentiated among a jumble of equally neglected neighbors, even the shadow of their presence may cease to be felt. ‘Out of sight, out of mind,’ things once acquired in a burst of enthusiasm can, in time, become erased from immediate memory and therefore from any functionally practical existence.  As with the treasure of an absent-minded pirate, once buried, (in this case by confusion instead of earth), both enjoyment of them, and effective interactivity with them, are reduced to an abstracted reality until, and unless, they are somehow brought back into the light. This is something that design can address.


We have coined the phrase 'conscientious order' to stand for the culling and cultivation of environments that promotes clarity of mind, or, in the best cases, a form of  "spiritual serenity." It should be noted that the quantifiable volume of individual objects in one's possession---whether minimal, maximal, or somewhere in between---is ultimately irrelevant. What matters is how they are made to behave together in order for each to achieve the purpose for which it was originally selected.


The Beauty Element

Are the mere presence of beautiful appointments sufficient to qualify a living space as a functional residence? While opinions will vary depending upon who is answering the question, in our estimation, the defining qualities of residential beauty must always be subjectively determined from the viewpoint of those who reside within—even when at odds with formal rules of style or, heaven forbid, “fashion.”

By contrast, the first impression of a luxury hotel room is meant to dazzle everyone who enters. These are carefully curated spaces of homogenized appearance in which individualistic “personality” must, by necessity, be edited out, so that the ‘presentation landscape’ will be as inoffensive as it is expensive. The designed home, on the other hand, can embrace a foundation of overall aesthetic unity that still cooperates with the “charming mess” that often characterizes real people engaged in their real lives.

A luxurious hotel room can provide a beautiful “escape,” precisely because of its impersonal allure. In literary terms, it is akin to professionally charming, but secretly crafty, courtesans from numerous stories of old. Whereas a personalized home offers promise of a happy, long-term relationship that will gradually, almost imperceptibly grow, deepen, and evolve over time.


Human | Nature : Biophilics

It is no secret, although in these times it is frequently overlooked, that human beings experience life with an elevated sense of their ‘connection to earth’ when in proximity to cues from the natural environment.

Although most of our species now reside within cities, we are, without question, the products of nature, and all of us still depend upon it, fundamentally, for every aspect of our existence. As such, the innate longing for it, like a child for a parent, is no less present within those who have been reared entirely in an urban context although, never having had it, they may not be able to name it as the missing factor.

Design can mitigate modern atmospheric deficits through the strategic application of ‘approximation & substitution.’ This is our own terminology that is meant to indicate incorporation of elements into built spaces that allude to more pastoral settings and mimic their salubrious effects.


Light, Color, Texture

Interior design takes heed of decoration and décor but soon reaches a significant point of divergence from concerns that are purely visual. As sensate beings, we also experience our environment via aural input, respiration, tactility, utility, and more.

It is the goal of this practice, to conform space to its end-user(s) instead of shoe-horning anticipated occupants into the shape of one professional ego. On the other hand, there is a give-and-take process between client and designer, that that has, to varying extent, a conscious aim of “molding” resultant behavior toward better lifestyle outcomes, by encouraging their better selves and neglecting their demons. Effectively, it is up to each individual client to indicate what that means to them in setting the end-goals of their project program.


Access, Selection & Acquisition

As elucidated by the several categories discussed above, design involves multi-dimensional awareness to articulate the key points of a project.  It is centered on adding practical meaning around the client’s identifiable objectives through a process of exploration and evolution. There is an added bonus in the fact that those who select this area by which to make a living, tend to do so because they are drawn to the unique, the inventive, the delightful, the well-ordered and the useful.

A designer who is recognized professionally, can transitively grant entrée to a wealth of options for endless personalization and customization. This is considerably more attention than most people would have time for, though also not able to access trade-only resources. The  role of the professional, therefore, includes judiciously pairing the realm of infinite options down to a set of comprehensible choices of unified purpose.

It should not be forgotten that translating a coherent concept into an actionable plan also entails formal procedures related to details such as correct specification, accurate purchasing and payments, safe shipping, proper installation, accurate documentation, and provision of basic care instructions.

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