Happy Tuesday! It’s time for the second post in my Design Eye Training series! Last month, this post and topic turned out to be wildly popular. I truly enjoy teaching, learning, and chatting about all things design (as do many of you), so it seemed fitting! My advice for those looking to improve their design skills has always been practice– or consider a mentorship or additional design courses, if you’re looking to practice on a professional level. Regardless, this series is a cool critique of sorts… it is fun and beneficial for both interior design lovers and experts, alike. Click through to admire, analyze, and talk about the second space in the series with me. This stunning bath is designed by one of my all-time favorite designers, the extremely talented Steven Gambrel.
This series is all about keeping it simple, making observations, and spotting intentional design moments. We’ll be analyzing the images throughout this post, I’ll ask some guided questions about what you’re noticing, and then I’ll share my own thoughts on the room. You’ll probably notice repeated design talking points throughout this series (the basics), and other items that are specific to a certain style or space. By discussing these rooms in greater detail, you’ll begin to train your design eye, build upon the design fundamentals, and begin to apply these to your own home. I also feel like this series can really help you hone in on your personal aesthetic, determining what you like and dislike. Ready? Let’s do it!
Give yourself two fast minutes to jot down or consider your answers to these questions (I like to set a timer because I could do this all day)… what are you observing in the images of this bathroom? Is there anything specific that stands out to you? What do you think works well? What would you change? Can you imagine how this room functions? Does it feel like a cohesive space? Why?
- High contrast & color // monochromatic neutrals, shades of lavender and plum, high contrast graphic elements (like windows, panel moulding, black toilet seat, and towels with piped edge)
- Organic materials // cotton bath towels, linen or cotton café curtains, linen roman shades, natural wood flooring, woven baskets, natural stone
- Depth // raised panels, dimensional millwork, tongue & groove linear ceiling treatment
- Mixed metals // wire mesh inner cabinet panels, polished nickel plumbing fixtures, aged bronze side table, antique bronze door hardware
- Textiles / plush cotton bath towels, natural window treatments
- Texture & Finishes / soft textures (wood, cotton, linen, flat paint) paired with glossy luxe surfaces (nickel, polished stone, subway tile, etc)
- Lighting / only noticed one overhead flush-mount light and perhaps a sconces above vanity area (lots of natural light)?
My list may be longer than yours, but remember- I’ve been doing this for awhile and notice lots of details. Whatever you can squeeze into your thoughts during those two minutes… analyze why you noticed those things first. Do you like this space? Why? I think it’s beautiful and simplistic in the best way… which is rare for Steven Gambrel. His spaces are usually over-the-top and skew more maximalist.
I’ve trained myself to observe scale & proportion, color, choice of finishes, materials, balance, texture, functionality, the overall aesthetic, and of course- the styling. If you can point out observations in the aforementioned design areas- you’re doing wonderful! Perhaps you already have a trained or honed design eye? These exercises help to refine it and stretch your creative muscle. I’m all for further education and learning. I actually try to learn something new every single day. I hope you were able to learn something about design here today! Is there anything I didn’t talk about that you noticed? If you’re serious about interiors, architecture, decorating, or styling… or maybe you’re just looking for a new hobby, it’s fun to keep a “Design Notes” journal and jot down things like this. It’s a good activity!
I’m excited to hear your thoughts and notes on this space! I think you’ll begin making more design discoveries, having had talked about these things. It’s funny what you begin to notice. Are you still enjoying this series? Does it feel helpful? I hope as a design professional, I can offer some solid advice, educational content, and tips within the series. I hope you’re all having a lovely week so far. We have house guests for one more day, then it is back to my regular routine. I’ve been enjoying sneaking off into nature for day hikes with our friends. We’ve been having the perfect fall weather over here. Have a great day!