It might be six months to a year of work from start to finish on a dwelling. During the planning stages I might be working from an entire set of architectural drawings to map it all out, or even from small ideas scratched out on a napkin. This stage of working with a client allows for a gracious space for creative interactions. I think it is the most exciting part of the process. After having done this for many years I have heard from a variety of clients that they want simplify their lives. The interior of their homes are in chaos and they just want someone to come in and bring creative, organized beauty on a platter and leave! This might take a few hours or a few months, but the plea has become an anthem of many clients.
After initial stages are begun we land on style and color scheme. I have learned that everyone has a saturation point. It is often a point of no compromise. It can be as simple as how loudly music or television is played. It also can be the difference between someone loving big, bold, bright color with a lot of pattern, who often lives with one who likes a muted palette and very little pattern. It takes skill to help a family find their middle ground where all requests are heard and compromises engaged.
Herein lies the vote for monochromatic. It is not everyone's wish. Some families would never settle for simplicity. They live with color and pattern an throw it happily around the room with great passion. Oh those are homes full of happiness and chaos! They hardly ever ask for an interior designer to darken their door, they have found their sweet spot and will not lay down their sword in the fight for calm and quiet. I am not saying that life should be without things strewn about, but it is the job of a good designer to help a client be able to have ready places where things can be scooped up and tossed into when emotional rest is needed. When the clatter of the day becomes too much, it's great to have the ability to turn on the quieter music, put away the projects and breathe as the clock ticks moments in a calmer home.
Hence the vote for monochromatic. As nature points out, it is soft layers of similar tones that draw our selves to rest. Think foreground, mid ground and back layers of mountain ranges. Think trees spanning a distance foreground of grasses and earth. So tones in a home that go from room to room can calm us, invite us and entertain our pleasure centers and help us find some semblance of rest. My vote these days? A home I can come home to, a place to plop, play and reaquaint myself with the people who matter most.