I have this weird habit. I like to leave the house with something looking a little off. For instance, a black on black outfit with a navy jacket. Maybe crazy print socks peeking through. Or that one accessory that just seems to push the edge a little.
The women in New York walk the streets of SoHo with impeccable style and totally undone bed-head hair. Fur coats and sneakers. That's intentional. Maybe that's why I will always choose New York to L.A.. I just can't do the professional salon blow-out thing. And manicured nails and all that?
There's nothing more interesting to me than when you think from far away, "Oh, how pretty," and then up close, "Hmmmm...is that intentional? What is that about?" It's bold. It's off. It's perfectly imperfect.
And when I walk into a home and see matching furniture sets, perfectly coordinated wall colors, accessories staged just so....it makes me a little uncomfortable. It's the "paint by numbers" deal. Everything beige, maybe a little brown. Safe, safe, safe.
A lot of times when I'm talking to people about their home, I hear that they feel paralyzed because they don't know the rules. They don't know what's supposed to go where or what color goes with what. Here's the thing. Once you've worked out a few of the basics, like a floor plan that works and a basic design scheme, the rules are whatever speaks to you. The rules are evaluate how you live, what you do every day and create a space that fulfills those needs, even if it means mixing genres or breaking the rules a little. These offbeat expressions are what makes things interesting and perfectly imperfect.
But what about resale? This is the thing. If you are a family with young children and your home is designed around that need, your home will appeal to a mother with young children. In fact, she will appreciate your design decisions to accommodate this lifestyle. And in my opinion, we should worry less about resale value or "getting our money back" when doing home renovations and more about creating the most beautiful nest that we enjoy living in. Isn't this far more valuable?
I recently saw in a design magazine a home with a swimming pool in the kitchen that opened to the outside with a garage style door. In Michigan. Now that's bold. And if you ask me, highly useful. I'd love to take a dip after my chai tea in the morning. We never know what the economy will do. Our home values can go up or down with each passing year. So design a home not to just pass the years in, but to truly live in and love.