Design Therapy

In Clinton Downing, Home and Entertaining, Lola Shreveport by Lola Magazine

WRITTEN BY CLINTON WHITNEY DOWNING

Maybe you are considering a renovation of your home or just moving into a new home. Perhaps your home became the target of a home trend that faded quicker than its wall colors. Evidently you need assistance in rescuing your living situation. You many have a list of questions and indecisive ideas longer than you care to tackle. Cost, style, and retaining your personality in your home are some of your major concerns.

First there is a difference in a decorator and a designer. Licensed interior designers have received a degree in interior design and are versed in building codes and structural requirements, as well as knowledge of home furnishings. Interior decorators do not specifically have a design degree and are often than most self-taught.

I will be the first to tell you that I am a decorator. My creative talents are God given and come naturally. I have learned over the years from the school of trial and error. When it comes to design, my creative vision goes beyond any boundaries. I prefer to think outside of the box and go against the grain. I like rooms to make a statement. I believe a room is best pulled together by infusing various elements of design in the most unexpected ways. Unique concepts or looks are key to defining a room. This can be achieved by balancing, scale, proportion, form, texture and color.

I like an interior to come alive to reflect its occupant’s personalities while leaving my creative signature. Affecting this in a seemingly effortless package, getting to know clients and intuiting what will serve them and their homes best is what excites me. Their space should feel natural beaconing and providing comfort visually, physically, and transcending fashion.

Even the most minimal space can capture this essence. Incorporating color and texture with the right mediums and design elements can make quite a statement. Adaptation and adjustment are key tools in conveying the ideas that I perceive for the room. Escapism is one of the fundamental design challenges that I gladly accept. I like for my concepts to tell a story and take you on a journey. From the fabrics to the art, each room should reflect a sense of history while retaining the present.

I find my inspiration in the most unlikely places and unusual ways. I like to take an idea and let it evolve. This style evolution is never duplication. It varies to the greatest extremes. From the eclectic soul to the eccentric spirit, capturing the personality of each individual that inhabits the dwelling becomes the heartbeat of the design of the space.

Most designers insist on beginning with an open space or a blank canvas in order to visually focus on the creative challenge at hand. That is not always an option that can fit with the financial means of the client. This is where I come into play. I tap into my creative vessels of talents and create a revival of the room. I bring it back to life and resuscitate the energy that encompasses the room. I consider it a rebirth.

It is from God that I possess the ability to transform the old into something new again. I pay great attention to detail and find that some of the least obvious imperfections add character and define the essential style conceptualization of each project.

My personal taste is very eclectic and provides a broad spectrum of various design technique, elements and strategies to make the finished space unique and comfortable. From the clean sleek lines of modern and mid-century to the intricate designs in architectural elements and late 1800’s antiques, the desire to infuse the best of both worlds is a reoccurring storyline in my design anthology.

A lifeless space leaves a home with the blues. A room should emote joy and happiness while giving solitude and comfort. The time in that room should create an experience that leaves a memory of bliss. A room should be therapeutic. While there are decorators and designers, I prefer the title of design therapist.

As in my art and floral designs, I like the concept on reinvention. I am never one to be complacent with the normal methods used by most people. I strive to challenge that by applying new creative methods of life experiences into the design project. The key is to keep everyone guessing. Once the wheels in this brain are in motion, the envelope is pushed beyond the norm and reality merges with fantasy.

Taking the natural and transforming it into something unique plays a great part in my design philosophy. Nature provides an abundance of its four elements- water, fire, air and earth. The mixed mediums of these elements can create the simplest to the most complex designs of intrigue. They provide a variety of inspirations. Bringing these components indoors allows God’s beautiful creations to be enjoyed in a manmade creation that evolved as a combination of these very elements. Everything is from the earth and all its splendor.

In true design form, there are no rules. If the rules do apply, I look forward to the opportunity to break them. A space is just a space, but with the right design implicated it becomes a home.