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Date published: November 11 2017

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The true talent is how a designer creates balance amidst glorious diversity

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve been drawn to pretty things, and opposingly strange, creative and artful things not typically considered pretty. I cherish the visual delights the world reveals when you let your eye wander, through the lens of nature, art, dance, fashion, travel, food, whatever really. Personal experiences are the most influential, but even the passive ride of surfing the internet unlocks a world of joy. Openness is the key.

Perhaps it’s not surprising that there is not a single style I feel is right or mine or ownable. That said, I believe there is one key element essential to the creation of a successful interior, object or fashion statement. And that is balance. Visual balance is really the mantra that’s guided me through all my creative explorations and style incarnations.

Fashion, interiors and product design are all part of my creative life. I’ve experienced many different style phases and cherish them all. I’ve had passionate affairs with pattern on pattern, white on white, and rustic chic and bohemian luxe. I’ve been smitten with Parisian passementerie, Chinoiserie princess, and even Greco-Roman austerity. I love them all deeply – and still do.

Striking the right balance and layering elements in an almost symphonic rhythm has the power to transform a room or a design. Achieving balance can be elusive. I think it’s an innate talent for most visual artists, and also one that can be perfected and honed as we each work out the kinks in our personal creative processes. ‘Let’s add something here and take away something there.’ And so it goes. This sense of balance is an instinctual feeling and is what I work toward, no matter what the interior or style.

I am currently in a rather soothing Greco-Roman phase, loving all things inspired by the strong masculine lines, pediments, entablatures, and Klismos curvatures of the period. The infusion of a little classicism is always seamless, no matter what the interior or client. This is because the Greeks and Romans were the masters of balance.

I am never working on one type of home or product design, nor would I want to. I love to see how many incarnations I can give a certain piece of furniture, lighting, rug or even fabric to make it entirely new in different settings. The possibilities are endless. The true talent is in how a designer creates visual balance amidst glorious diversity, as the eye moves engagingly from place to place, without being true to only one look, period or style.

I have a heightened sense of curiosity. I love the unknown. I would never want to extinguish the creative spark by calling one style my style exclusively. As much as I hate rules, I’ll rely on my sense of balance as my guide.

Author: Mary McDonald

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