When we think of the East End, we think of its seascapes and gently rolling landscapes, as captured by artists and photographers paintings and photographs. City dwellers escape their enclosed environments to take pleasure in the inspiring views.
Mother Nature brings her unique vision together by combining colors, textures, and shapes in a creative and timeless way. As we take in the beauty of her designs, we are reminded of the reason we visit the East End time and time again. It brings out our true spirit.
We experience it through the peaceful, serene, and calm scenes that surround us. In all her creations the recurring theme is harmony.
As an interior designer, I understand the necessity of bringing harmony into interiors. It contributes to our wellbeing. When we spend most of our lives a given space, it’s important to create the right interior environment. A harmonious environment is synonymous with heaven at home. Through years of designing, I learned that harmony is central in any design scheme.
One of the key components in creating a harmonious environment is flow. As we enter a room, the furnishings and accessories should not be screaming out for our immediate attention. Allow certain elements to recede into the background and others to come to the foreground.
A simple method such as setting up points of focus creates a flow. These are cues to move you into and through a room. Colors, patterns and shapes are tools to accomplish this.
Before choosing one or more of the tools to use, you need to determine the direction of the room. There are questions to explore. For instance, how do you want to observe the space? Do you want to view the room, starting from the left and end at the right? Or view from the right and end at the left? Another direction would be from ceiling to floor or from floor to ceiling. There are many possibilities.
In the case of the dining room of the 1891 Sag Harbor house shown, owner Diane Schiavoni chooses two viewpoints. In addition to seeing the space from top to bottom, another direction starts from right, crosses to the left and ends at the bottom center of the room. The first is inspired by the height of the windows and the latter by the octagonal shape of the room. Within both of the situations, Schiavoni decides on the architectural moldings as the elements to direct the flow. To bring them into focus, she chooses to paint the crown and window moldings in a white hue. Doing so, the architectural details of the moldings are bought to the foreground while the walls and the furnishings recede into the background. The white gives the illusion of expansiveness and succeeds in drawing our attention into and through the space.
Think of the process as if you are telling a story of your own space. First, establish a direction, which is laying the groundwork for the outline of the narrative. Second, select the main characters. They are your choice of furnishings and decorations that will support the storyline. Lastly, assign the type of voices for each of the characters. These are the colors, textures and shapes that will move the story in the direction of your choice.
For a fast and easy start to the process, you may want to use accessories, such as mirrors, artwork or throw pillows. Sylvester & Co. at Home in Amagansett has a collection of smart and appealing mirrors. The Zoe Mirror made of hand-cut bone scallops and the Rio Starburst Mirror fabricated out of natural mango wood with silver foil tips are rich in pattern and texture. An accessory with personality is a great way to begin the direction of the room. When choosing the rest of the articles, keep in mind that consistency is important. Select pieces that coordinate with the style and scale of your room. With a little imagination and fun, you can create harmony in your home.