| Interior Transformations |
By Ann Grafton and Caroline Clifton-Mogg
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Transforming an interior is immensely rewarding, and the effects are far-reaching. A home that is comfortable and relaxing, and that caters to all our needs, contributes much to our quality of life.
For me, the challenge of developing a new fabric is always to make sure it will enhance the lives of our customers. In addition to being esthetically pleasing, it must also be suitable for its intended purpose. I believe this same principle applies to creating a home the design must always relate to the way we live. When designing interiors of my own, I have tried each time to make sure they give me and my family pleasure while satisfying the diverse and often conflicting demands that we place on them. Our home in Cornwall, which was recently remodeled and redecorated, is a case in point. Working to a set budget and a tight schedule, my aim was to transform an unprepossessing modern house, whose main attraction was its stunning coastal views, into a welcoming, comfortable family retreat. This exercise provided a focus for the book, and the results can be seen in several of the photographs.
I find that inspiration for a fabric design can come from anywhere a wonderful scrap of antique textile, an Indian miniature painting, a piece of American folk art, or a woodland walk in the fall. Likewise the inspiration for an interior. Everything around us can be a source of ideas, from a color in nature to a decorative chest brought back from our travels. Translating the inspiration into reality means making informed and considered decisions about colors, shapes, textures, and patterns.
Every aspect of a home, from the paint on the walls and the type of floor, to the way a curtain is hung or an object is placed, will contribute to its overall style and atmosphere. Care must also be taken with decisions that relate to practicality and comfort. The durability of a sofa fabric, the efficiency of task lighting in a kitchen, the softness of a mattress will all have a bearing on the success of a home.
My aim in writing this book was to guide readers through the process of transforming an interior by explaining key design principles and by sharing some of my decorating techniques. The book works in a variety of ways. Not only does it give advice on completely transforming every area of the home, it also offers simple ideas for revitalizing an existing scheme. These include subtle changes that can be made to reflect the seasons, and the use of accent colors and decorative details to improve the look of a room. To help with decision- making, the book features a range of interior styles, color palettes, and fabric combinations.
The advice and solutions I have given are based on my personal experience and the insights I have acquired in my professional life. I hope you will be inspired to adapt the ideas, experiment with the styles and palettes, break the rules occasionally, and find the solutions that work best for you. The character of a home evolves gradually as you add layers of your own personality. What is important is that each decision you make should be an informed decision. Every home should be a considered home.
Excerpted from Interior Transformations , by Ann Grafton and Caroline Clifton-Mogg . Copyright (c) 2001 by Jacqui Small, an imprint of Aurum Press, LTD. Reprinted by permission of Little, Brown and Company, New York, NY. All rights reserved.Back to top