Wednesday, May 1, 2013

I Am a Rule Follower

I'm fond of paint because the creative use of it gives the most bang for the buck in decorating.  In my 25 years experience in the field of interior design, there has been only one design rule that I have considered the "golden rule."  I do everything within my power to follow this rule.  Despite my strong advice, every once in while a client will decide to break the rule and the result is like nails on a chalkboard for me.

So what is the golden rule that I abide by at all costs?  Never change paint colors on an outside corner.  Never.  Let me show you what I mean.

                         Modern Living Room by San Francisco Architect John Lum Architecture, Inc. AIAI

In the above photo, the golden rule is followed.  Painting a wall that is the focal wall helps call attention and draw your eye immediately to the view.  The use of the contrasting paint color on the focal wall is a perfect frame for the stunning view.  However, in the photo below, there is an infraction of the rule.  Do you see where it is?


If you haven't spotted it, let me point out that on the right side of this photo, note the opening that leads down the hall.  The darker gray paint in the hall stops on the outside corner of the kitchen.  According to the golden rule, the darker gray should turn the corner into the kitchen and go all the way down the wall until it can end on an inside corner.  Do you see how stopping the paint on the outside corner of this wall makes the hall abruptly break off instead of flowing easily into the kitchen?


Honestly, I had a difficulty finding examples of breaking the golden rule, but the photo above has a suble infraction. The drama created with the contrasting colors is stunning.  The violation of the rule occurs when the plum paint is wrapped around and stops on the outside corners.  If done correctly the white paint should wrap around into the corner instead.  This might seem like a small detail, however, beautiful spaces are born when attention is paid to detail.

Now that you are getting the hang of this golden rule principle, I think you will notice immediately the exact point of violation in the below photo.  For me, the corner stands out like a sore thumb!  Yikes!


I'd like to finish my post today with a tribute to the "rule maker," Jerry Twetten.  I had the pleasure of working for Jerry, a very well-known and respected designer.  I gleaned every bit of information that I could under his tutilage.  He shared his ideas and mentored me for a total of four years.  I consider that education equivalent to a Doctorate in Design and credit him for helping me become the designer I am today.  Thank you, Jerry!

Until next week, my design friends!  Yours, Joanie

Jerry Twetten

Jerry Twetten    

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