9.19.2006

I could have been Rachel Ashwell

Here’s something you don’t know about me. I used to want to be an interior designer. When I was a kid one of my favorite things to do was to go through the Sears catalog and decorate my future dream house. I know, Sears, can you imagine? Think what I could have done with the West Elm or Pottery Barn catalogs!

I even went to college for interior design—for just one semester. Then I talked myself out of it. Could I design something for someone if it wasn’t my personal style? How practical was it as a career choice—could I actually find a job? I wasn't sure and there was no one I could turn to for advice. So, I transferred schools and switched to graphic design. The ironic thing is that I ended up designing things that weren’t my personal style for clients that thought they knew all about good design but didn't. What they don’t tell you in art school is that design is more about helping others to implement their style and and less about your own style.

Knowing what I know now, would I have stayed with interior design? Probably. I still have a very strong interest in it. I read design magazines, or shelter magazines as they’re called in the business. And probably half of the blogs that I read every day are design-oriented ones. Here are some current favorites;

Atelier455
Bohemian Modern Style by a San Francisco Girl
decor8
Design*Sponge
Modish
Poppy

My personal design style has changed a lot over the years. When I lived in apartments I made do with hand-me-down furniture and inexpensive accessories. When I had extra cash I bought things from funky shops that sold ethnic textiles and artwork. Since buying a house in the country my style has gone in a more country direction. Not chickens and ditzy fabric country but what I like to call modern country. Comfortable. Kind of funky. Bright clear colors on the walls, a clean stripped down look with antiques and flea market finds showcased as art objects. At least, that's what I aspire to. We have too much clutter and I'm constantly trying to edit our possessions and simplify.

And I went too safe with my paint color choices downstairs and want to make a brightening-up change. Thanks to all the new design magazines (like Domino) and blogs for expanding my options and opening my mind to possibilities. I'm afraid Sears just doesn't cut it anymore :)

2 comments:

atelier455 said...

As a kid I used to obsessively collect all of the Dulux paint colour cards whenever we went to a DIY centre - I loved the names of the paints.

I too get a lot of inspiration from reading other design blogs - it's amazing to be able to tap into design ideas of bloggers from across the world. And I'm glad you like mine! :)

cathy F said...

Janet, You do much nicer work than the shabby chic gal - Her stuff is cutish, but is a bit too plain. Your pillows are much more lively and interesting.