One of the shards given to me by The Sweet Couple as an example of the demolished wall-stencils from their house just off the Piazza Civico in Codiponte. Pretty, no? If you study the two blues in the Fleur de lis design, the darker of the two is nearly on the same street as Our Blue-blue in La Casa Grande. Gads.
What I have learned in designing…
I was a footwear designer for several years. When I began, My Design Method was to make a base drawing of a particular shoe form. Then, I’d overlay pieces of paper on top and carefully draw-out ideas, options, developments. I thought this would save time. I needed to arrive at a shoe factory with a set of clear & accurate final designs. I was working like a robot and found the process to be dry, lifeless, though many of the designs were made into very commercial shoes. After a couple of seasons, as my confidence grew, I abandoned this process for free-hand drawing. I had a natural flair, once I trusted my hand. The creations were visually more exciting, the ideas more original, creative. The shoe designs simply grew from the pencil sliding across the paper. I could feel them out. And, I discovered I could save time and still present readable, do-able designs. Happily, the results were vastly more fashionable & successful.
Creating the interiors of il Poggiolo involved the same process… feeling, inventing, improvising, finding serendipity along the way. Perhaps, 5 % was sitting & thinking or sitting & drawing/planning. For example, in La Casetta, You & I knew we did not want white on the walls. We talked & talked about other options… beige, light grey, even shades of blue later used for the Appartamento Azzurro, etc. I would go with a fan deck, buy liter cans of a few colors, paint them on boards and place them in the spaces of La Casetta to see how each looked. One color, a light grey which, in the store appeared to be a light warm grey, took on a subtle Sage color in the apartment. We liked it but felt the color needed to be a bit more solidly Sage. And later, from leafing through art books to walking through palazzi with Sage… or, Salvia… on the walls, we were confirmed that oranges, blues, gold & silver… & black even!!!… practically anything looked good against it. We returned to picking various samples of a Sage… more neutral, a bit of yellow, more blue… to find what turned out to be the ideal Sage for La Casetta. The process just needed a bit of patience, time & trust to allow for those happy accidents… or, what I call Serendipity. And, the bigger surprise is the journey is a lot more fun. Gads?
Putting M’s S Episode well behind, allow me to turn to a more informative topic… a lecture, perhaps… on how You & I pulled off il Poggiolo Project. Sounds so American. Its interiors, then. So many of Our Genoese Guests at il Poggiolo Party 2012, who had ONLY heard brief communiques of Our Three-year Shebang , asked to know of Our Design Philosophy. Philosophy, yes. Design, no. I HATE the word.
In today’s world of interiors, the obsession of evidencing design has created only boredom… to me & You. So dull it’s akin to the worried question… Have folk forgotten how to read? Certainly numbed in how to look, with so much thanks to the dictatorship of the photo. But, I digress.
The other day, I bought You a copy of ELLE DECOR, the Italian Minimalist’s Bible. I must confess… I too can oooo & awww over slabs of rough-textured concrete interrupted by some nearly obscene piece of dripping abstract art. I can drool too. Conformity is a dreadful drug. Attached was a sort of catalogue of the latest in design from the big Milan Furniture Fair of last spring. Because I look at magazines from the back to front, I arrived first at a block-buster packed round-up of the Top In Kitchens. Lord! They all looked the same. The only differences from one to the other were material changes, strictly optioned. Pages of sharp, severely volumed cabinets & counters overlaying enormous empty spaces below. Yes, perfect for a 25,000 square foot loft with 1/4 dedicated to a kitchen. Everyone lives in one, don’t you know? By the way, You HATES to see kitchens. Prefers to have them hidden away in some corner of the house, as if to isolate the Guests from My Screams of Torture while I’m cooking up another dinner for six.
I don’t want to have design yelled at me, without any escape. I like to look & feel & smell other things. Off-beat color choices, funky furniture fashions, an unexpected array of accessories & artwork. If I must succumbe to design, then, let it be to decide where & what size door ought to go between one part of the house and the other, the arrangements of the bathroom fixtures so there isn’t a LA expressway lay-out below the terra-cotta tiles and/or to have a reasonable answer to The Question… Can we get two 200 x 100 cm sofas in there? After that, I want design to disappear. You does too. Is one party to the drawings underneath, a Michelangelo fresco? CERTAINLY NOT!!! Ditto for interiors. Design is for figuring out the practicalities of structures, assemblages, arrangements. Then… Bow out, please. Let’s move on to the Fun Stuff.
I found the word Our Philosophy in the Apple Dictionary… serendipity. Yep. That captures it for You & me. But more on that in another blog. You weren’t thinking I was going to divulge all in one shot, were you? Silly notion. Gads.