Theodore Roosevelt is quoted as saying “Comparison is the thief of Joy”. What can be worse than being robbed of joy? With today’s obsession with Social Media, I believe that this can be applied to many aspects of our lives. And I wondered if it can also be applied to Interior Design. Many times we talk about trends and a certain look when it comes to interiors. “This look is in” or “That color palette is hot right now”. But does comparing colors and trends rob us of the joy of being happy and grateful with our own individual spaces? I think that it does. Design has evolved from a very personal platform, to one that has become homogenized. When I began my career, people who could afford Interior Designers hired us because they knew that each piece we selected would be custom made for them. They relished the wait for a hand-carved chair in a custom finish because they knew no one else would have that exact chair. They were proud of the fact that it took nine months to weave a custom rug, because it was unique and beautiful and their best friend wouldn’t have the same one. But in today’s world of instant gratification, the “art” of design has been replaced with a world where many no longer value individuality and do not care if their neighbor has the same production-made sofa. This thought process is evident in the same “looks” that we constantly see repeated in post after post, magazine after magazine. We have begun to devolve from custom to common. Thus, the “joy” of individually designed spaces has been “stolen” by the need to fit in with the masses. I say, embrace your individuality and don’t fall victim to this “thief”.
“A thing of beauty is a joy forever.” – John Keats
As a creative being, my draw to interior design was always to create beautiful spaces in which people can create beautiful lives. I have always felt that what constitutes beauty is subjective, and great design can come in many styles and forms. One person’s heart may skip a beat when she sees the perfect chintz, while another is most comfortable in a room devoid of color. Both are correct because an interior should be a reflection of the people who live there, achieved through the collaboration of designer and client. The home should be a sanctuary, a place where families gather, where milestones are celebrated, where one comes to recharge and to be at peace. The joy that is created through interior design will last forever when those spaces are imagined to reflect the sprit of those who inhabit them.
“When you walk to the edge of all the light you have and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown, you must believe that one of two things will happen. There will be something solid for you to stand upon or you will be taught to fly.” – Patrick Overton
In this unprecedented time that we find ourselves presently, we all are facing the darkness of the unknown. What will happen next? Will I or a member of my family get sick? When will this end? None of us knows the answers. But how we approach the current situation can determine whether we find solid ground when the light shines again or better yet, we learn to fly. We can commiserate with our friends, complain about being sheltered inside or lounge around watching TV all day. Or we can look at this time for what it is – an opportunity to reset. I know for myself that this is the first time since I graduated from college that I have had this much time unencumbered by the stress of my daily work schedule. For the first time in my adult life, everyone has had to stop. All at the same time. Barring some worse catastrophe, which is hard to imagine, an event like this will most likely never happen again in our lifetime. Don’t look back and regret that you did not use this time wisely. Reconnect with family and friends. Start that hobby you always put off. Study a new language. Take walks. Read. Come up with a plan for your next step. Because when the light shines again, and it will, take that first step onto the solid ground, but be ready to spread your wings and fly.
From Joe’s Travel Journal: Paris 2020
The City of Lights was packed with designers from near and far for Paris Design Week. Since I spent several days at Salone del Mobile in Milan to see all of the exciting furniture ready to hit the United States market, I opted to focus on fabric and wall coverings at Déco Off and finally visit one of the world-famous flea markets during this trip to Paris. And I enjoyed every minute of it! From Pierre Frey to Cowtan and Tout to Arte, Dedar and so many others; the fabrics, wall coverings and trims were fabulous. Texture and color were noteworthy trends. Jewel tones were also big and I was happy to see so many fabrics and wall coverings in varying shades of green — my favorite being emerald.
Trims are back in a monumental way and the new collections from Samuel and Sons and Holland and Sherry were amazing. I loved the wide tapes that they both introduced — perfect for the hem of a sofa or statement pillow.
I had always wanted to go to a Paris Flea market so that dream came true on one of the last days of my stay in Paris. The selection at the Paul Bert Serpette Antique Market was remarkable, and I felt like I was able to partake in a true Parisian experience. I was able to find inspiration from every direction — from furniture to art, to decorative items.
I was also able to bring a few things home for myself! I found a stunning pair of brass and Murano Glass lamps, in emerald green, and I also picked up two vintage Hermès scarves in the process.
I loved every minute of my design adventure in Paris, and I look forward to returning in the springtime.
“Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.” Dalai Lama
Many of us only think of travel as going to a far-off destination, halfway around the world. I know I always dream of going to some exotic place or another — the more remote the better. Recently, I was talking to a friend of mine who lives in Europe. He was planning a trip to the US to see Mount Rushmore. Upon hearing this, I thought it odd that he would fly all this way to see a monument. After further reflection, I began thinking about all the places in my own backyard that I had never seen: Mount Rushmore, the Grand Canyon, Washington State. The list kept growing. So with the help of a friend, I decided to make it my goal to see every state by making a trip at least once a year to a place I had never been. It doesn’t matter which state I visit or what I do there, the only caveat was that I had to spend at least one night and it couldn’t be on a layover. While I still have many more states to see, I have been to some amazing places right here in the good ole USA. I have seen the Eye in Seattle, Washington and the Gateway Arch Park in St. Louis, Missouri. I have eaten donuts at Voodoo Donuts in Portland, Oregon. And yes, I have sat outside on a warm summer’s night to see Mount Rushmore lit up in all its glory. It doesn’t matter where you go, just go. See the world, but also see what’s in your own backyard. Be curious. Each new place we visit expands our view of the world and our own relationship to it.
“In case there is a loss in cabin pressure, yellow oxygen masks will deploy from the ceiling compartment located above you. Please secure your own mask before assisting others around you”.
Each time I travel, I hear this directive or some variation of this and I’ve always wondered what kind of parent would put their mask on first before their kids? My Mom would be scrambling to secure her 6 kids first. She would be the first one passed out. Kaboom!
But as I have gotten older and particularly since I have owned my own business, I have realized the importance of taking care of yourself first. Because you can’t care for others if you are a train wreck.
So, this has led me to take specific steps to ensure my well-being, so that I am still able to take care of others.
- Exercise is key. I usually do this with a trainer or by taking a class. That said, how you are getting it done isn’t as important as actually doing it – however you choose to get active.
- Eat well. I look to how my grandparents enjoyed food, and they lived long healthy lives. They ate pasta with just about everything, used lots of olive oil and they ate meat and a ton of fresh fruits and vegetables. They drank in moderation and enjoyed bread with most meals. There was no magic involved, just really fresh home cooked meals
- Treat yourself. We all know we have to save for retirement, but what about living in the present? I don’t want to have to work when I’m 80, but I also don’t want to miss out on life when I am young enough to enjoy it. Take the trip, buy the shoes, have a spa day. Each day could be our last, so fill your cup up and savor it.
“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” – Pablo Picasso
I was fortunate to find my gift in interior design in 1996. While I have always had a passion for interiors for as long as I can remember, 1996 was the year I returned to school to attain a degree in interior design. This was the first time that I was studying a topic that I was actually excited about. I knew I had found my calling. Over the years, I have designed for millionaires and some billionaires, but my work with KidSanctuary (Link) and St. Vincent’s (link) has proven to be my most impactful. Many of us struggle, at one point in our lives or another, to find meaning and purpose. I was looking for a way to combine my passion for design with my quest to leave my mark on humanity. Designing spaces for at risk children proved to be the perfect way to accomplish this. Changing one’s environment is a sure way to change one’s life. Showing children that someone cares enough to design a safe place for them to heal is the best way I know how to make positive change in the lives of others. I have found that by utilizing my gift to help others is my greatest triumph.
From Brickell Magazine
Design On A Dime hosted a show-stopping interior design fair curated by South Florida’s top designers with proceeds supporting a national end to AIDS.
Fava Design Group was featured on Houzz!