I was chatting with some other designers the other day and an interesting topic was brought up. We were talking about how the latest generation of designers seem to concentrate on the individual parts of a design instead of the magic that happens when everything is put together. So, that's what I'll be discussing with you today: Magic.
Design is an art
The first, and possibly most important, thing to remember is that design is an art. I don't mean that in a purely abstract way, though. It is literally an art form. According to dictionary.com, art is "the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance." Therefore, interior design is just as much art as a painting, sculpture, a handmade quilt or a concerto.
So, let's break this down slightly. "Beautiful" and "appealing" are pretty obvious. No one really wants an ugly living room. The most important part of the definition I gave you is the "more than ordinary significance." That's where the magic happens.
What makes art art? It's more than just looking nice. Most people agree that art is meant to evoke an emotion. It is there to help you feel something. If there is no emotion, then it may be a technical masterpiece but will never truly touch someone.
But what does that have to do with your house? Well, what do you want your house to emote? Do you want to feel a certain way when you walk into it? Do you want to feel like you are home or just at a hotel. Hotels are beautiful but generally pretty generic. A good designer can take those same beautiful elements and create a room that feels warm and comfortable, one that feels like it's home. One of my friends said that "it's not only about finding a solution... it's about being able to solve a problem and triggering an emotion."
Where did the Magic go?
This brings me back to the original idea, that fewer and fewer people know how to create that
magic. But how would you teach them to create magic and where did it go in the first place?
Well, just like any other art, it takes a lot of practice before you are good at your craft. You have to be actively working at getting better. You also need to connect to your client as a person. If you can figure out what will trigger those emotions, and you can fulfill the needs they have at the same time, you are going to make the end result magical for them.
As for where the magic went, well... society has really programmed us to not seek it anymore. We chase trends, want what we see on TV, or just don't want any personality in our rooms. It seems a bit like we're trying to keep up with the Jones' instead of seeking a space that makes us truly feel at home. We also go after what is cheap and fast. McDonald's is fine once in a while, but it will never beat out a home cooked meal with quality ingredients and care taken in preparing it specifically for you.
But what does this magic involve?
Well, you're just going to have to read my next blog post to get a bit more information, won't you?
A special thanks to all the DGD ladies for inspiring this blog. I love the conversations that we have and can't wait to see what we talk about next!