Yesterday, I found myself in this alley of trees. It was a mixture of leaf forms, bark patterns, and hues of green creating a canopy with a tunnel opening that was beckoning at its end. It was a picture of inspiration that could be interpreted in so many ways. And I knew at once – this is a picture of what informs and influences my design aesthetic. The natural world. For, you only have to see the natural world to be trained by the master of it. Color, form, dimension, line, space – the elements of art – they are all there.
A few weeks back, I answered one of those interview questions that makes you pause, purse your lips, and wonder just how you will begin to craft an answer that could possibly explain what goes on in your head.
The question was: What influences and elements form your design style?
In answer, I replied:
My design style is informed by a serene palette and natural elements. I respond to things that are time-worn and story-bound. I’m drawn to the interplay between the rugged and the refined. I admire the timeless quality of good design and careful craftsmanship, and I don’t believe any of this has to cost a fortune. Constantly reading and learning, I am a perpetual student of design, gleaning from the greats who have laid down their talent in photos and words.
My alley moment yesterday reminded me of how much of an influence nature really has on me. The lush greens and wood tones reminded me of how much I appreciate having a bit of the same inside the house, in some way blurring the line between inside and out.
Yes, living green on both sides of the glass. A little wild, a lot lovely. source
On the other hand, what about clipped and tame? Yes, love that, too. source
Topiary hold an allure that I can’t quite ignore. So lovely. So classic. source
This little rosemary plant that I potted the other day will become a topiary just like that photos up above. Love that this little plant cost only $1.49 and the inspiration was totally free!
And what if you don’t have a living potted plant? Just bring the branches inside…
These branches on our dining table were covered in dainty white blooms. It was a massive array of green, branches, and blooms for sure, but sometimes massive is what you need for a few days in your life!
The display on this particular plant table gets me every time. So much interplay of hue and form in living green. Of course I was going to take something away from this one! source
I received this maidenhair fern as a mother’s day gift a year ago. Love, love this plant! Here in this shot taken a month or so ago, I had it on the end table in a grouping with a conch shell that was a gift from a friend who lives in the Bahamas, and a pair of vintage brass candlesticks with beeswax candles. This was good, yes, but I’m forever changing things so it was destined to be different soon.
Add in an ivy gone bonkers and the spikey form of an aloe vera – a recent gift from a friend – all massed together on an antique serving tray, now I’ve got that full living green look that I love so much!
There’s still enough room on the table to set a drink, and when you’re finished with your book in hand, just place it in the wooden bowl on the floor.
If you’re wondering about houseplant care, here is what I do:
- Use a quality potting soil
- Make sure the plant is in a large enough pot (my ivy grew by leaps and bounds after I transplanted it into something bigger), and
- Once a week, soak the soil with cool water until you see it seeping out the bottom of the pot. I often just set my plants into the kitchen sink and gently spray the whole thing with water. Don’t water any more often than that.
- Trim away dead leaves
- Filtered sunlight, instead of direct, is usually best
Wishing you the loveliest of weekends, friends!!