Monthly Archives: October 2011

TRAINING THE EYE TO BE OPEN TO ALL THAT YOU SEE

I am made up of everything I have seen.
      Henri Matisse

Like the pianist who doesn’t read music but whose natural talent allows her to play by ear, my mother possessed the instinct for recognizing by eye the principles of design without the help of a text book.  I am blessed to have inherited her miraculous instrument as the sculptor Alberto Giacometti referred to the eye.  For my self-taught mother New York City was her school.  Her teachers were men like interior decorator, William Pahlman, whose brilliant designs decorated the model rooms and dressed the windows at Lord & Taylor, and movie art directors, especially Cedric Gibbons, who created the captivating room settings for the MGM films of the 30s and 40s.

When I look back upon those halcyon days touring Manhattan I realize that in pointing out the details in a store window or a movie set, or in a museum, or at a Broadway show, or in a restaurant, was Mother’s way of familiarizing me with the principles of design…line, form, balance, scale, harmony, color, etc.  She was teaching me the importance of training the eye to be open to all that it can see.  Matisse said, “To see is itself a creative operation, requiring an effort.”

Mother’s tutorials prepared me for design school and design school provided me with a profession, but that was only the beginning of my education.  For over forty years I have never stopped looking, observing, and training my eye to take in the details of the world around me.  As Director of Design for Decorating Den Interiors one of the things I enjoy most is talking to a graduating class of new DDI franchise owners.  This is my chance to open their eyes to product designers, interior decorators, legendary architects, artists, and sculptors, and those tastemakers who not only had a major affect on me, but whose contributions have made an enduring impact on the world and continue to enhance our lives.  

I appreciate the way DDI’s interior decorators continue these traditions by creating lasting decors that enhance the lives of their clients.

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