In art, fashion, literature, or interior design, some lead and others follow. Who would have dared to paint the human form from two angles at once or, worse, paint the skin a shocking tone? Picasso did. In the 1980s, I was obsessed with Issey Miyake and his wondrous pleats. And although they were subjects of much dread in high school, James Joyce and William Faulkner shed new light on writing—and reading.
In my own career, I have toured some incredible interiors created by the country's top interior designers: Albert Hadley, Mark Hampton, John Saladino, Jamie Drake and Diamond Baratta, just to name a few. I've learned that when it comes to interior design, you can divide the world into those who proceed with caution and those who blaze ahead.
It was the latter that would describe my father. He was always ready for a project around the house; none was too tough (creating an office and library for my mother in the attic) or too silly (wallpapering my bedroom with oversized yellow flowers—I loved them at the time but cringe at the idea now!).
While the projects of my youth were more practical than extravagant, they shared something with those created by the titans in interior design. They were beautiful, but more importantly, they were based on fundamentals of good design. Good designers, my dad included, always have a clear vision of what a space needs; they go about creating it with the precision of a surgeon.
Over the years, I've seen countless finished projects—which is, of course, the ultimate satisfaction. But knowing where it started is ever more intriguing. The original condition of the room, the never-large-enough budget, the crazy time constraints and, let's be honest, the client's sometimes unreasonable demands are never obstacles to these masters. More importantly, their trained eye, unerring vision and complete self-confidence combine to create masterpieces that few can even dream of.
In interior design and elsewhere, those in the top tier share one trait: fearlessness. So, be not afraid: start that project around the house and never, ever, look back.
Editor in Chief
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