Collecting and editing in home décor

Once known for its hedonism and glitzy excess, Marbella, Spain, is back with welcome restraint and a stylish new beachfront hotel.

Passion is confidence in your own choices. Passion for me is interior design and decoration. I love hunting down uniquely beautiful objects and artwork to decorate my client’s homes with. Combining beautiful objects along with color and patterns creates homes that are deeply personal.

Current trends are changing and I believe the pendulum is swinging back to uniquely curated homes that are not like everyone else’s. Clients are looking to bring beautiful pieces into their homes, many of which are hand-inspired. By hand-inspired, I mean unusual pieces that are created by small boutique artists and artisans. 

In a constant quest for economy and speed, we have created many bland, neutral, mass-produced home furnishings that at first looked refreshing and clean. Over time everyone began purchasing the same thing, diluting the look. Although these pieces can be purchased quickly and cheaply, they don’t stand up to the rigors of our daily lifestyles. Younger generations may not want their grandmother’s china, but they are interested in sophisticated, well-made pieces. Trends are leaning toward smaller homes and city living, but that doesn’t mean that luxury is outdated. Luxury is actually being elevated. If your space is small, having well-made beautiful pieces with attention to detail is important because you will need fewer things. 

Splurge-worthy: When purchasing home furnishings for my clients, I love to search out some pieces that are showstoppers. Depending on the budget, I try to allow for at least a couple of splurge pieces. A uniquely custom-designed and created light fixture, for example, in an entry or in a dining room will be a pleasure to own for many years. Maybe comfort in seating is the client’s passion. There are custom-made sofas and chairs that can be fabricated to be specific to a client’s comfort level. Although the cost is high, the quality and comfort will give you many years of enjoyment. Recovering the pieces again over time will truly help you appreciate the quality of your purchase. Similarly, a beautifully edged window treatment shows the care and attention to detail that your home has been given.

I always ask clients, “What are the things that you are passionate about”? and try to work that into the design framework. Is it an antique carpet or piece of artwork or a color? Some of the things don’t necessarily have to be expensive to be treasured, just well thought of. For example, I have a small beautiful painting created by my husband’s aunt. I found it when we were cleaning out his mom’s apartment and wanted it because it was both beautiful to me and held many memories for my husband. After getting it cleaned, repaired and reframed, it now hangs in our dining room. It’s a small treasure of a sailboat on an exotic locale with magentas, blues and yellows. Every time I look at it, I am brought to a wonderfully magical space, while for my husband, it triggers memories of his childhood and favorite aunt. It doesn’t matter if it is in fashion or not. It stands on its own. Passionate design always stands on its own, whether or not someone else likes it. Passionate design is deeply personal and timeless.

Many people are passionate about their collections. Usually a collection begins by falling for an object, purchasing it and learning about it. The more collectors learn about something they are passionate about, the more it leads to wanting another and another and another. Each object is slightly different than the other but the same. I have seen many wonderful collections that my friends and clients have created, ranging from French watercolors to perfume bottles, stamps, posters, paperweights and porcelains. Sometimes the collections can get out of hand and we need to do some serious editing. I encourage clients to display the most important or the most beautiful of their pieces. Or we can group a collection together. For example, a collection of framed watercolors can be grouped together on one wall. The effect of a wall of paintings gives the room interest and a uniqueness that can leave a lasting impression. These rooms become magical and timeless in our collective memories.

I always encourage clients to let their decorative passions become part of their interior design. Don’t be afraid to hire a designer to help you create your unique home. A professional can help you edit and display your pieces in an interesting way. We can objectively cut through the passionate obsessions and create beautiful spaces.

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