changing styles

my daughter commented on this photo-- of a kitchen i designed in 2000-- 'your style is different. it is the same, but it is different'.


over time the styles that we like change-- hair styles, clothing styles, music styles-- and what we want/need in our homes also changes. what our personal needs are change, what we want changes, and what is being sold to us changes.

our personal needs change over time-- a couple with young children needs different things from their home than a widow with grown children. a young single woman needs different things than a retired couple. and a couple who move in together need to re-evaluate all of their stuff and see what needs to stay and what needs to go. storage, furniture, number of rooms, bathrooms-- all of these present different challenges for people in different stages of life.

and what we want changes-- as our inner lives develop, as our exterior circumstances change, we often need our personal surroundings to reflect those changes-- we break up with a boyfriend and paint the bedroom; we get a higher powered job and feel that it is time to replace the college sofa; we have an amazing vacation at the ocean and we want to have seashells in our space to remind us of that time.

at the same time we are constantly being sold the latest products, styles, and colors by the enormous home decorating industry. everyone from the paint store to the hardware store, from hgtv to your favorite television series, from the catalogs that come in the mail to bed bath and beyond-- there are thousands of people selling you on the idea that your home should look a certain way. and in order for the industry to continue to make billions of dollars every year, they need you to be constantly updating your style so that they can keep making more money.

i try, in my work and in my home, to design fluid space-- to help couples with young children to remember that in a short time they will not need storage for toys in the living room; to help people to choose furniture and furnishings that are of really good design so that they will be able to withstand the changes that life is going to present; and i encourage people to look inside themselves to know what they really want-- choose things for your home that YOU really love in color, in design-- and things that have meaning for you-- rather than being sold on what is the current trend.

if you truly love your things, they can be re-arranged and re-ordered and you will keep them for a very, very long time. then fine-- paint the bedroom, buy the nicer couch when it is appropriate, but don't feel the constant pressure to change everything to keep up with the trends. keep your space truly your own-- so that it is different, over time, but the same.

better for everyone.

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