14 October 2011

Do You Run Hot or Cold?

Being four weeks into my coursework now has made one thing abundantly clear: the material we cover each week in class is helpful, useful and truly "back to basics".  Initially I thought I had a relatively decent handle on this whole design thing.  I have a long history with shelter magazines, online resources and home redecoration and renovation, not to mention what comes naturally: a deep-seated and long-standing interest in the subject matter.  Given what I considered to be a fairly substantial foundation, I expected my coursework would just support and build on what I already knew, because I was already a considerable way along the road to decorator success, right?
W. R. O. N. G.

Let me clarify that all these things I just mentioned have their place, and are very functional in and of themselves.  And they DO give me a terrific foundation ... to understand the fundamentals of the program.  The course work, which really is "back to basics," at least in these early days, is giving me the building blocks to concretely understand all the elements of design that I instrinsically appreciated and replicated until now.  It is, in a word, awesome.  I can't get enough of it.

For example, one of our recent assignments in Colour Theory is to trip through some shelter mags and identify two examples each of warm rooms and cool rooms.  Which started me thinking: what sorts of rooms do I personally respond to?  Am I more responsive to warm tones; do I like being stimulated and excited by my surroundings?  Or am I a rest-and-relaxation sort of girl who prefers cooler, more soothing palettes?  Huh.

Well, I can honestly say I'm not sure, but as always the internet was a fabulous source of inspiration.  Here are a few that caught my fancy:

Bedouin living room | Living Rooms | PHOTO GALLERY | Livingetc
image via here
I pretty much love everything Tommy Smythe does, and his kitchen is no exception - image via here
image via here
image via here
image via here
image via here

Interesting exercise.  Here's what I learned:
  1. I like white rooms.  I mean, I knew this already: most of my house is white.  But I didn't realize I was quite so obsessed until I looked back at the photos.  With the exception of the grey bedroom, everything is white.  So apparently I not only like white, I love it.  It might actually be a bona fide sickness.
  2. I prefer a bohemian sort of look, except when I don't.  I thought I was much more mid-century modern, but evidently this is either a) untrue or b) my design repertoire is expanding.  Or contracting??
  3. Interior design is the only area in my life in which I appear to be "middle of the road."  Generally I'm a one-side-of-the-spectrum-or-the-other kind of girl, but looking back on my selections - those that made the cut to this posting and those that didn't, but were in the running - I seem to go for a sort of temperature-neutral.  White is an inherently cool colour: if you want to lower the temperature of a colour, you add white.  But I tend to pair white with warm accents: reds and yellows, wood and other natural materials, touchable textures; the combination of these elements make the rooms neutral overall.  Yep, that's right, I'm tepid ... lukewarm ... room temperature, if you will.  Some might say balanced or composed, but really, it all boils down to the same thing, right? 
So what about you: where do you fall on the temperature scale?  Are you a warm and cozy sort of person, or do you prefer your spaces to be cooler and more refreshing?  Am I the only one whose tastes (and rooms, apparently) run to room temperature?