We have all experienced the happiness, and often the sense of intense relief, when we find that “just right” fit, whether it’s a suit, a pair of shoes or a home. When all of our expectations and hopes and requirements come together, it can feel nothing short of miraculous. And then, as it seems to go, that buoyant moment leads to the next challenge: What next?
With that they-were-made-for-me pair of shoes, the question becomes, What are the perfect pairings … the right dress, socks, or bag? The same questions (although obviously in slightly different form) are true when finding the absolute right home or space. How do I make it more perfectly mine? Yes, the bones and façade may be the thing of dreams, but where can you curl up on a rainy Saturday to read and play with the future? Or perhaps the natural light spilling into a space creates a feeling of energy and an optimal environment in which to thrive, but the heat gain or glare must be addressed in just the right, striking way.
Beautiful, handwoven Hartmann & Forbes window shades filter the light to help create a serene reading spot and a place to dream. Courtesy Hartmann & Forbes
A host of options and solutions for these and the hundreds of other nitty-gritty issues and decisions concerning our designed spaces confront us at every turn. The challenge is sorting through them. What’s the right decision for you? The corner that you had dismissed could be the perfect space for quiet solitude when designed with creature comforts at the forefront. And the window shade that ticks all the boxes while at the same time providing layering texture and a complimentary hue might be one you didn’t even know existed.
This is the work of the interior designer: suggesting what will work best, and why. Taking the top-level needs (emotional, physical comfort and security) and addressing them in a way that simultaneously elevates the senses, creates a feeling of contentment, and, yes, a flood of relief that comes from realizing, as one clients once said, “You just get me!” What a relief it is to be “gotten,” whether by a spouse, a friend or even an interior designer.
Professional interior designers are educated and trained to delve into the layers of human interaction within spaces and to squeeze all the potential out of a space while meeting both the expressed and the derived demands of the client. The results are layers of design that express elements both tangible (furnishings, finishes, lighting, art) and intangible (the chemistry of form, line, textures, tones, shadows), which together create a magical symphony of form and function.
Some designers — and we count ourselves among them — take it even further, tapping into the essential design ingredients unique to each client: the most specific yearnings, the most meaningful belongings or references, and the most viscerally evocative triggers to get to the core of how a space will serve and affect each client in the most meaningful and gratifying way.
The joy and relief expressed time and time again by clients who entrust their investments, families, businesses and well-being to us is one of the things that gives our work purpose and a sense of accomplishment.
Heather Van Luchene, ASID, and Steffany Hollingsworth, ASID, are partners in HVL Interiors, LLC, an interior-design firm offering professional residential and hospitality design services. Both are New Mexico-licensed interior designers. They can be reached at 505-983-3601 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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