The Enigma of Style
Written: 28th Apr 2004 | Last Updated: 7th May 2004
Lifestyle magazines and a swag of home shows on the box pitch what they call Ďstyleí at us like itís something material hanging on a rack in a store near you. They illuminate us excitedly about how to get it on the cheap or how to go for broke. Itís a game show - just key in your bank balance, then spin and win! Itís all about trend, objects and purchase, placement and feng shui, feature walls and outdoor rooms, DIY and product endorsement.
Bona fide style is neither a commercial nor an ethereal creature. You canít buy it on special this or any other week. It is a manner of expression, born out of oneís history, brain and soul.
When the creative efforts of a homeowner or a designer touch reference points that have meaning for those who inhabit a home, individual style begins to form. Itís not just about Swedish bergŤre chairs, Ming vases or a Jackson Pollock on the wall. Theyíre very nice indeed, but les objets are merely the chess pieces you move around the board. Itís the harmony, spirit and voice of a home that transport your mind, and stimulate and soothe all who live there.
Style is what happens when you build character and effectiveness into a room, when you marry pieces and/or ideas from the ownerís past with function and thought for the present and future. Style has an obvious grace and even a simplicity which infuse a sense of peace and thoughtfulness in a room or throughout a home.
It doesnít require a Swiss bank account to create it, either. In fact, having less money to work with can often make individual style easier to develop. By necessity, you keep things uncluttered, make every piece functional (if not multi-functional) and use plenty of big impact but inexpensive options like paint washes and textural flooring to create touchstones which echo from one space to another.
Defining style with objects can involve using a melange of antique and modern, perhaps only very sleek, post-modern pieces, Louis XIV exclusively or IKEA. Whatever. Period doesnít really matter. What matters is what you do with each piece - how you see each contributing to the whole.
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