I’m not much of a live-by-a-set-of-rules kind of designer.
Because, inevitably, the minute I pronounce a rule about design to a client -- a rule I believe at that moment is true for every situation, one to live by, design by -- I have a situation that proves me wrong.
And that’s the way real design is.
There are so many varied situations, likes and dislikes, rights and wrongs for each particular project, that you can easily paint yourself into a corner by setting hard and fast rules about too many things. It’s really a sign of not knowing what to do, having your set of rules with you at all times to apply to everything. It’s kind of cookie-cutter. Kind of uncreative. Kind of predictable. Kind of just-like-your-neighbor. Kind of one-size-fits-all. Kind of everything-looking-the-same.
And where's the fun in that?
Running around with all these rules and typical scenarios in your pocket where all the stars have to be aligned just right for things to be done “properly, ” and everything has to conform is just not real life. Or real houses. Or real people.
Or real design.
Most of the time there are far too many variables for a big, long list of rules to work.
It’s okay to have a few. Like my rule about fake greenery above the kitchen cabinets or my rule about side backsplashes or my rule about flooring in open plan houses. I’m pretty live-or-die about those.
But, for the most part, I try to have an open mind and take into consideration the likes and dislikes of my clients, the condition and quality of their existing materials and furnishings, and the desired outcome for the space. Then, and only then, can you make considerate, deliberate, creative choices that are tailor made for your situation.
One current trend that has everyone whipping out their paintbrushes is painted wood paneling.
I know. I get it. Most times, you’re right.
That glossy, polyurethaned, heavily-grained, medium-colored oak paneling that went into houses some 15-25 years ago, everywhere, has us all ready for a change. You know, back when having a paneled “den” was popular. I’m right there with you on that one.
However, there are times when the warmth and richness of quality, distinctive wood paneling is entirely appropriate and exquisitely beautiful.
So, the rules about painting the wood paneling in those situations are no good, and should not be heeded.
That is unless you’re just tired of it. And, in that case, perhaps you should just move :-)
Let’s see some examples of gorgeous wood paneling that bring character and life and richness to their interiors. It would be such a shame if these were painted, no matter what the trend.