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Is your design Juxapo-licious?

February 6, 2017

I love being part of the creative process contributing and collaborating with the hand selection of the right stone mantel piece that loving designers like Barry Dixon, John Saladino or Kathy Ireland mix within their seasonal design soup creating juxtaposition in the rooms that they designoptimized-016-copy

like how they hand patina a French rococo mirror flanked by a couple of artisan coper and zinc Montecito sconces, an original  Tibetan hunting horn turned into a side lamp blending perfectly together with 3 different fabrics from Mexico, Morocco and Shiraz.library

As many of my amazing designer artists friends have known for decades (do force my hand into revealing my real age here), the juxtaposition of old and new can create a moving environment, respecting the old while allowing the new, the eclectic, the indigenous to speak for itself and o coexist in an alien non-native environment that it suddenly finds itself in.untitled-8-2-copyLiving Roomlibrary

Being an avid antiques lover and since I’ve been doing this for a while now I can with some degree of confidence take about this subject in a puritan way I suppose. I view the key to a successful or ‘mature’ juxtaposition lays in understanding its contextual design.

Knowing the history and culture of a place, house or villa being design, the time period it is supposed to represent or be inspired by, and using that information to inform the next front doorroche-bobois-italique-canape-amb-zoom-copy

Many top artisan architects and interior designers (even photographers) think about the composition of space first and foremost. Rather than the two dimensional placement of objects within a frame, they think about each piece of the composition in relation to an entire building.richard-shapiro-april-2011-issue-copy

With a huge existing building like many of the old estate homes back east or in Santa Barbara a given existing furniture and accessory stock is part of the design ‘baggage’ that designers find themselves having to contend with. One growing challenge is introducing new elements into existing buildings and vice versa, especially since many impactful furniture pieces were originally built to a distinct time periods fashions and culture. lacoste-art-940x491-copy

Looking at specific furniture or architectural pieces, the juxtaposition of one time period with another provides the same drama and conversation catalyst. An antique bed and chase in a stark, concrete box of a room provide floral patterns set against a matte gray backdrop.3196989132_4035056b48_b

Conversely, modern tables and chairs with clean lines and simple pallets of materials within an old brick warehouse highlights texture and the rere building material utilized in the traditional construction.exterior patio

I always notice several factors being taken into account when designing with contrast in mind.

While the two styles work best when distinctly unique, complementing color palettes and textures always help this transition take place smoothly.kitchens-01-copy

Color theory becomes even more important when two styles are inherently different. The three dimensionality of special design allows you to compose an entire set of objects so that no matter what angle you view the space from, the building and furniture work together.hotel-de-tourrel-reception-1-copy

On the other hand many interior designer friends feel very strong against being cavalier with juxtaposition not helping but to feel that in some way they are betraying the core of the style they’ve envisioned of the house.deknock_00016_3-copy

The controversy and debate created by contrasts such as these encourage renewed discussions about each time period’s design trends, original influences, which may allow those designers to branch out instead of hybridizing their designs grow organically by understanding more about the commonality of each design element that can be employed.juxta-belgium-copy

Can it still tell a new chapter in that same story without throwing off the reader? Can its progression naturally blossom into a tasteful design fruit that will satiate all taste buds?architectural-digest-cover-mediterranean-carving-studiob-copy

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