Category Archives: Interior Design

HOW MOOD AND COLOR INFLUENCE DESIGN

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How moody are you? What is your color story? One might ask these questions when approaching an interior design project. The presence, or absence of color is in our daily lives — from the moment the sun rises, casting its tone and mood on the day, to the clothes we wear, to the spaces we live in. Light and color are synonymous. Looking inward to the space we live in, specific hues can provoke different emotions, associations, and responses that affect how one’s home is perceived. In fact, some research has shown that color can increase mood up to 80%.

Let Color Choices Dictate Design Plans. Color choices can make or break a design. Fortunately, we are far from the times when our color choices were limited to a small batch of natural pigments. Synthetic pigments and the screen have made our lives increasingly easier, while also making decisions infinitely more complex.

Full spectrum paint creates a dynamic, luminous effect

Full spectrum paint creates a dynamic, luminous effect

Faced with such an overwhelming amount of color options in today’s markets, many homeowners profess to be afraid of color, for fear of making mistakes.  Consulting with an interior designer when selecting a color palette for a design project is an integral part of the process.

How Mood and Color Create Your Story.  When telling a client’s color story, I always start with getting to know their personality and lifestyle. A color story should reflect various elements of a personality to avoid looking like a theme, so it has always been important to me to add a mixture of light and dark.

Each room tells a story

Each room tells a story

A rich color story should also be offer flexibility and adaptation – I decorate for all seasons and moods. Purely as a personal preference, the complexity of moods is what I am drawn to, love and relate to. I probably wouldn’t be happy in a totally light, airy home; my nature and personality requires a moody house so much so that a light and cheery environment, for me, would feel as if it was missing some depth, richness and contrast.

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Darker colors create a sense of richness and depth

While I typically have a mix of light and dark all in one room, I also find it creatively interesting to experience various moods as I wander through the house. The “moodiness” of a room doesn’t have to come only from colored or dark walls, of course, it can also be achieved through layers, darker floors, a mix of richer furniture, antiques, fabrics, or painted cabinets—all combined to reflect a mood and tell a story.

A color story should reflect various elements of a personality to avoid looking like a theme.

At times, the actual space also dictates the setting of a mood. Moody rooms might feel more appropriate with certain styles or even locations and settings of a house. Case in point, when a space has a lot of natural light at the back of a house, dark wall colors would feel washed out, so a lighter color and tone and mood works best in those rooms.

Play off the natural light

Play off the natural light

For me, I feel best when the mood of a home feels inspired by and incorporates aspects of the mood of the natural habitat we live in. I tend to feel more comfortable with colors that have slightly warmer or gray undertones. Selecting colors that reflect and arouse a sense of cohesiveness inside and out feels more settling and comforting to me. So, don’t be afraid of being moody. Use it to tell your personal color story.


About Designer, David Chenault

David Chenault

David Anthony Chenault

These words have been used by clients and peers to describe the designer who is David Anthony Chenault. Born in Denver, Colorado and raised in Missouri, David Anthony Chenault had a creative eye and a penchant for making things beautiful since early childhood. He was simply born and destined to be a designer. He went on to graduate with a degree in Architecture with an emphasis in Interior Design from Southwest Missouri State University.

Over the course of 28 years, David has since transformed many homes in the tri-state area, as well as designed memorable residential and commercial projects across the country. As the principal interior designer for David Anthony Chenault Interior Design, David creates fresh, timeless spaces that are beautiful, elegant, and unforgettable. The design is a collaboration of his own vision and that of identifying the dream that is within the client’s desires. The style of his work is traditional with a modern approach. “We want our homes to reflect the client’s lifestyle, not a fancy trend,” he says. “Homes should emanate personality and warmth, and be comfortable and livable while retaining a certain formality.” David’s work has been published in Christie’s Great Estates, Home & Design, Washingtonian, Northern Virginia, Architectural Digest and 417. Regularly featured in Houzz.com, currently, Home and Design “PORTFOLIO” has also added David as one of the Tri states’ Top 100 Designers.

Contact David at http://www.davidanthonychenault.com

 

 

 

 

 

 



Perfect 10 with Interior Designer Barry Dixon

Interior Designer Barry Dixon

Interior Designer & Visionary Barry Dixon

Virginia-based interior designer and quintessential Southern Gentleman, Barry Dixon, talks about his personal and professional inspirations and the trends he sees for the upcoming year.

1. When did you first recognize your love for design?
As a child in the second grade realizing that I was unreasonably upset when my mother made appointments with her interior designer, Miss Pate, while I was a way at school. I felt I needed to be at those meetings!

2. Where do you currently find your design inspiration?
Via the pantheon of design successes in the history of aesthetics…and in the ever-inspiring natural world around me.

3. How would you describe your personal design aesthetic?
A complex layering of favorite things. In the best instances, timeless.
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4. Your designs are so thoughtful, with a real focus on the details. How can the DIY designer bring that professional aesthetic into their home? 
By using details to avoid sameness in design. Our homes should reflect us, and not look like everyone else’s!

5. Each homeowner has a different style; how do you make sure that you capture their personality?
Listening. And watching! what lights up their eyes? What colors make them glow? Every designer needs to understand the psychology of color, and how this applies to each individual. We’re all different in the end.

6. What trends are you seeing this year?
PATTERN WISE – Larger scale prints and patterns.
COLOR WISE – Bold or muted, fewer “in-between” tones.
FINISH WISE – Lots more lacquer. People are loving a “high gloss” shine.

7. There are so many details to manage in large design projects. Do you set aside a specific time to dedicate to the creative process? What does that process look like? 
It hits when it hits…often when you’re not distracted by myriad interruptions. For me, usually late at night or early in the morning. Or in the shower! Or on a long drive or flight.

8. In what environment do you feel most creative?
At home in my creative “lair” – my atelier in the attic levels of Elway Hall.

9. Aside from design, what else inspires you?
Well, nature, of course, and film, especially old, silver screen classics with delicious, stylish sets. Books. Art. And fashion! A retrospective such as the Met’s  “Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty” or “China: Through the Looking Glass” can stay with me for years!

10. Describe someone outside your field of interest who inspires you and why?
Mahatma Gandhi, Kahlil Gibran – they make us think.
Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Cary Grant – they make us laugh.
Alexander McQueen, Mark Rothko, Walt Disney – they make us dream.

11. You are a seasoned traveler. Where have you not been that you would like to visit?
The farthest cliffs of Nepal.

12. Who would play you in your feature film biopic?
If I could go back in time, I’d choose Gregory Peck. Or Gary Cooper!

13. If you were given the opportunity to create a reality-type design TV show, what would it look like?
One where the designer would help people find their own, completely unique design style. A more soulful approach to design.



Behind the Scenes with an Architectural Color Specialist

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I am an Architectural Color Specialist. I do not follow trends.

Color is communication. My first step when meeting clients is an interview. What do you wish to express in terms of style and mood? How do you want to feel? How do you want others to feel? How is this space used and navigated? What flaws are to be hidden and what treasures to be illuminated? Once we establish these, it is my responsibility to create the most beautiful (and I would say, original) iteration of said goal(s) by picking just the right colors that satisfy both you and the space. I want my color work to be beautiful, surprising, innovative, and in complete collaboration with the user.  I attempt to extract the kernel of what is desired and germinate it. I do assert myself: I have strong views about what will be successful yet these are always in service to the design goal, which is yours. Aesthetic beauty is important but this cannot be the only consideration. The effect of colors, or what they communicate, is a function of our humanity (biological and otherwise), culture, and individual subjectivity. Radiant Orchid is not right for everyone everywhere. Nor is Acme Beige.
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I let you paint your bedroom red.

What we find beautiful and crucially for residential color, liveable, reflects our interior state. Humans (like much else) seek homeostasis: we make constant systemic adjustments in response to external stimuli so that we remain stable. For example, an introvert, someone who gets  stimulation from his or her interior world, will favor subtler and softer colors and color relationships; an extrovert, who gets juice from the external world, the reverse. And every degree along the spectrum (pun intended). Equilibrium between me and my environment creates that perfect balance of both alive and peaceful. This is neurological excitation without enervation.

The other variable in this equation is time. The areas where you spend the most time should best reflect that baseline. Wall color, because it usually covers the most surface area in a space, drives your systemic response. On a recent full interior job, the mother was excited but slightly trepidatious about our choice for her daughter, Lucia’s, room. Lucia is eight years old and loves India: the sights, sounds, and colorful hubbub. She is a very energetic child, willful and artistic. We chose five colors for the room: four pinks of various kinds for the walls and a shocking green for the closet doors. Her mother was concerned that the vivacity of her environment would make Lucia even more energetic (i.e. extroverted). As I explained, because Lucia spends a great deal of time in that room, the more it mirrors her interior world, the calmer she will feel. This exemplifies the tonic effect of color.

My bedroom, on the other hand, where I spend very little time is white with a pale chartreuse ceiling. I enter. My nervous system immediately plunges into quietude. I fall fast asleep.

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I do not have a “go to” white.

I have an obligation to your building. I want it to be as beautiful as possible and this means that your design goal, what you want to express with your colors, must be tempered by the architectural space itself. This is the key to a successful design that you, the client, will appreciate and adore. Surface material, line, form, and proportion strongly determine the choices I make. Different latitudes reflect different colored light. What is outside your window reflects onto the interior. The color you love on your neighbor’s house will not look the same on yours. The couch in your living room effects your perception of the wall behind it, the pillow upon it, and the trim work around it. This is relative perception. Color is always relative.

If the same colors look different everywhere then why do I rail against “go to” colors? For similar reasons to why I disfavor trends in architectural color: they are two sides of the same coin. Trends serve only aesthetics (and mercantilism) in complete disregard for the effects of color. So do “go to” colors, because they are used without thought. Such stock colors might look different and decent in a lot of places but their effect will also change: does this color achieve what I want in this specific environment? And just as important, is it the most beautiful choice I could make? Creativity by definition cannot be rote. Mimicry of oneself or others is unartistic and mindless repetition is unnatural. Every daisy in the chain is unique, if you look close enough to see.

Learn more about Nan on her blog: http://www.nankornfeld.com/blog.html