Design Maestro: Renew, refresh, and rearrange for Spring

As Spring foliage blooms around us, I am inspired by the spirit of renewal and rejuvenation. In this month’s edition of Design Maestro, I discuss how our living spaces should reflect not only personal style, but also personal growth. Focusing on the great outdoors, a fresh new color palette, and a photo-ready furniture arrangement, I share several playful ways to explore and embrace the seasonal changes.

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Architect by William Hefner | Photography by Laura Hull

Renewal: Embrace Springtime by focusing on the great outdoors

Though we work on the estates of the uber-wealthy, even those projects often look like the ”before shot” in the magazine before we get our hands on them. But there are a few things you can do, regardless of budgetary or size limitations to get a home magazine ready. It’s all in the approach to the design. When it comes to bringing the outdoors in, it is all about that view and if a home doesn’t naturally have a spectacular view, it can be created.

We create that “after shot” by first, screening out the surroundings to make the yard feel like a private retreat. We like to use plants such as Podocarpus to create a hedge like effect and make the nearest neighbors feel distant. For added visual drama, add a curved gravel path lined with tea-light candles. This can lead to an actual or imaginary hidden garden – paths to nowhere are fine, especially when they create great focal points. We like to add a simple water feature for an audible texture, and some up lights in the trees. In just one weekend, a yard can be transformed into a private sanctuary. Speaking of audible texture… 

Refresh: Create your own musical color key

Did you know our eyes see color similarly to how our ears hear music? I think of colors as musical chords. Pick three notes that sound harmonious together such as C, G and E and assign them corresponding color values. Let them be the melody that plays through your home. (You don’t have to be a musician either, here is a good online cheat-sheet). There is a level of subjectivity here, so feel free to create your own color key, but as a start: Lighter and brighter shades are going to be your major keys and the deeper hues will be your minor keys. 

Chromesthesia (n) or sound-to-color synesthesia is a type of synesthesia in which sound involuntarily evokes an experience of color, shape, and movement.”

Photo via Cleaver Literary Magazine

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For fun, find a room to try a chorus line in and blast all three notes. Does your musical score suit the space? If you’re adventurous, take a single room for a few dissident dark notes, such as a powder or playroom. I associate these tones with deep steely grays, royal blues and crimson reds. They can be fun to play with in these rooms. 

Rearrange: Photo-ready furniture flow

You spend your day negotiating with everyone from your family through your work life. The last thing you want to do after a long day, is to continue these negations throughout your home as you walk around less than perfectly situated furnishings. Here’s a tip: Imagine you’re a photographer arranging the perfect shot in a room. Grab your phone or camera, and look at the space through the lens. Start to arrange your composition, until it looks right. Use the camera as another set of eyes. It pulls you out of your own head and allows you to see the space through a new perspective.

Just like the seasons are short, I wish I had more time to discuss the endless possibilities. Please join us next month to discuss more ideas. Until then, seize the opportunity to renew, refresh, and rearrange for Spring.

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