As Betty Lou Phillips adroitly points out in her latest oeuvre, Interiors by Design*:
Her current adventure charters new territory and, I must admit, I’m completely enthralled by her latest foray. In another stroke of genius on her part, she has created a hands-on interactive how-to guide (I hesitate to use that expression because what she has accomplished is so much more) in the form of a glossy full-color binder.
|A space of one’s own. . . it need not be sumptuous or large. A space of one’s own can be carved out of a small corner in a kitchen, a bedroom, or any little nook or cranny that can be found in a home.|
Apart from the fact her wise counsel will help us avoid those dreaded pitfalls she mentions, like “rugs that sprawl hazardously into the traffic lane, a sofa that sits much too low, chairs impossible to get out of, lamps that top at different heights,” she also has divided her binder into concise, logical chapters with advice on everything we potential interior designers have wanted to know but didn’t know who to ask.
Plus, it’s all so much fun. Because the format is a binder, one can add one’s own ideas as well as pages torn from magazines, then, with the advice from Phillips dreams become reality.
Her chapters include:
|Every design project needs a Grand Plan.|
A Grand Plan
Power of Color and Texture
Area Rugs and Carpets
The Fine Art of Exhibiting Art
A Space of One’s Own
Bed, Bath and More
Let There Be Light
Details, Details, Details
You see what I mean? Irresistible.
|What fun to play with the pieces. By photocopying this page one can decorate, arrange, re-arrange and arrange again an infinite number of design configurations.|
In her chapter on fabrics Phillips notes: “In our material world, fabrics, furniture, floor coverings and finds of artistic merit from faraway places vie with one another for the pleasure of introducing color to a room. But, it is most often compelling fabrics that set the mood in a space by layering comfort, warmth and style.”
Sheemphasises the importance of personal spaces and how and where to create them, even when it seems there is no space. “Behavioral psychologists say we each need a personal space to do what we love or what needs to be done,” she tells us.
|A primer on color and later in the book, choosing light to enhance color, textures and more.|
Lighting is a complex challenge and she leads us through thelabyrinth of options to consider — rough surfaces, shiny surfaces, brushed or burnished, the reflective or absorbing features of colors and textures — before choosing the most beautifully appropriate light sources. She explains ambient light, task lighting, accent lighting and atmospheric lighting.
|It’s always, all about the details n‘est-ce pas?|
Her chapter on details is one of my favorites because it is here, in decorating as in dressing, that one expresses personal style in bold or subtle statements. As Betty Lou Phillips says: “. . . attention to minutiae has the potential of making the ordinary extraordinary.”
|In her final words, Phillips tells us how to choose contractors and suppliers and even the best way to pay.|
* Gibbs Smith $35.