When I was growing up in the south, I would often accompany my Mother to remote barns, warehouses or to an obscure back room tucked away in search of a furniture find that even she didn’t know she was looking for. It was the hunt that she enjoyed and hearing the stories from the caretakers of these places gave it even more meaning. I guess I was paying attention because having pursued a career in interior design, ‘the hunt” has taken on meaning and has allowed me to look for the treasures outside of the box.
I can remember her saying to me to “Always look up, that’s where the good stuff is”. She may have meant that literally, but as I grew up I interpreted it as a good rule of thumb. My take on it was that you have more success if you look up and beyond instead of focusing on just what is in front of you. Now, if you had known my mother, you would agree that she did walk that walk, and she was right about finding the good stuff as well as a whole lot more!
With that said, there have been times where “looking up” provided great design opportunities. One such experience was when I recently worked with clients whose concern for the extreme ceiling height when redesigning their kitchen was a daunting challenge. The proposed solution provided us with the opportunity to collaborate with our experienced contractor and talented metal artist to create a multi-dimensional ‘drop ceiling’ of metal and stained glass that allowed both the recessed lighting and pendant fixtures to peak through the grid for function and aesthetics.
Another example was a powder room which was in need of a finishing touch to tie the Moroccan trunk vanity, glass vessel sink and leather mirror together. Again the ceiling was high with a tiny skylight. Our faux finisher created a cracked leather wall texture and a Balinese inspired hand stenciled ceiling treatment which was then aged as it wrapped seamlessly into the skylight. What an unexpected treat for the senses! I think Mother would have liked it!