When L. Frank Baume wrote, “There’s no place like home,” he had no idea how that single line would become one of the most iconic movie lines of all time. Today, science backs Dorothy’s proclamation with proof that the spaces we occupy influence our mood, our sense of freedom, and our level of optimism. In fact, everything from color and texture to furniture placement and ceiling heights has an impact on how we feel. When it comes to designing a space that reflects who we are and what we want, what space could be more important than the one we call home?
Designing your home according to your own hopes and dreams, the way you live, and the impression you want to make—on yourself and others—is a uniquely individual process. And it’s one that should be guided by an experienced professional who has your best interests at heart.
Davinder Chawla, an award-winning designer and co-founder of La Maison Interiors in Scottsdale, says nothing could be truer. “Every client is so different, and they have different desires for the feel of their home. It’s exciting that every project is a new adventure, and the most important thing is simply listening,” she says. “I can’t put my stamp on it; it’s their home, and it’s important for me to understand the lifestyle they want to live and how they want to socialize with family and friends,” Chawla adds.
It’s interesting to note that the decisions you make about the look and feel of your home have a documented effect on your emotions and perceptions, and color is a big part of that. Modern color psychology originated in the early 19th century when Johann Wolfgang von Goethe published his book, Theory of Colours. Today, that theory about the feelings colors create seems to hold up for researchers and interior designers.
REPRESENTS POWER AND PASSION
BRINGS A JOLT OF ENERGY AND INNOVATION
STIMULATES HAPPINESS, CREATION, AND CREATIVITY
SOOTHES THE SOUL AND INTRODUCES NATURE
CREATES A FEELING OF SERENITY, CALM, AND TRUST
REPRESENTS ROYALTY AND LUXURY
GIVES A SENSE OF RELAXATION AND SERENITY
REPRESENTS WISDOM, AND TOO MUCH CAN BE OVERWHELMING
BRINGS A SENSE OF PURITY AND CLEANLINESS
Using bold color and creating color combinations can be made easier with the counsel of a professional. Chawla says it all starts with creating a roadmap; putting together a master plan first. “When they walk into our showroom they have an idea of what they want, but they can’t visualize it and it’s hard to figure out scale… how it will all fit in the room. Not everyone can do that. That’s why we are here,” says Chawla, who has countless repeat clients who count on her to listen to what they want to create, and loves it when clients visit the showroom looking to interview a designer.
La Maison Interiors is a full-service interior design firm based in Scottsdale, with expert and experienced consultation for discerning clients across the country and around the world. The 25,000-square-foot lifestyle showroom serves to display a curated collection of high-end furnishings, many unique to La Maison Interiors.
Alan Reinken, co-founder of La Maison Interiors, says the showroom is designed to give clients the opportunity to test-drive their purchases before they are delivered to their home—a rare opportunity today in a world where most firms order furnishings, and clients sit on them for the first time after they arrive in their home.
People are surprised that we’ll work with existing furniture, but that is how you know that we put our clients’ visions first.
“We are committed to the idea that you have to see, feel, and touch it before you buy it,” says Reinken who, when he tours you through his showroom, seems like the chair whisperer, with one chair and sofa more comfortable than the next, by design of the collections he’s chosen to carry.
When you enter, you may see a furniture gallery. However, within moments, you will be greeted by a designer who is there to support you every step of the way, and that includes choosing paint for your room, working with your builder, even re-covering much-loved furniture in need of an update.
“People are surprised that we’ll work with existing furniture, but that is how you know that we put our clients’ visions first. We work with clients looking to purchase a single piece of furniture all the way to clients looking for a designer to create an interiors plan for the whole home… and everything in between. Clients interested in engaging at a higher level can work with one of the five designers at La Maison Interiors on an hourly basis or a project basis, with some of that investment applied back to the purchase of furnishings.
“Sometimes it’s just finishing their home. It’s those finishing touches that create the ‘wow!’,” says Reinken, who says his team is not about a single signature look. “That’s not who we are. When we started we used to say, ‘Discover your style!’ It’s a really true statement for us.”
Reinken says he’s most proud of his approachable team. “We’re going to listen, we’re going to educate, we’re going to talk about the process and create trust while overcoming fears,” he says. “All of the designers here have traveled the world and understand the luxury experience. They have a high taste level paired with experience and having a vision for a client; they’re seeing things differently and, more times than not, they’re seeing a better picture,” he says.
That picture becomes clearer as you decide how to fill the space. In his book, The System of Objects, sociologist Jean Baudrillard says that every piece helps to inform a room’s function. Beyond that, the combination of every piece, from the sofa to the artwork to the custom rug, serves as an expression of our personalities. Do the pieces function in the room? Is there a symbolic attachment? Does it convey status? The lesson learned is to make sure your room is creating the impression you want to make.
“What’s the light? What’s the flooring? What’s the budget? We all have one. Our goal is to create an impression with unique things that mostly fit into that casual lifestyle where comfort meets functionality,” says Reinken.
What are some of the design trends the designers say are making that great first impression today? Chawla says that people are more open to lighter fabrics and lighter colors than they were a decade ago. “They are more transitional with cleaner lines. We are re-doing homes we did 10 years ago and adding lighter touches to update darker Tuscan-style homes. We are also seeing a trend mirrored in fashion: pattern mixing. I absolutely love mixing, even traditional with modern,” she says.
As space goes, the design team is seeing more casual and relaxed styling. “Clients want interesting seating areas, and dining rooms are becoming less formal. Bedrooms are getting bigger, and we’re seeing more fabric than wood for headboards. Chair comfort is probably the biggest thing our clients are demanding,” says Reinken, who sums it all up with the word: livable.
Chawla says the secret to success for creating spaces with lasting impressions, that make you feel good and create livable experiences, is contained within the passion of the La Maison Interiors team. “We all love what we do, and that shows in our work,” she says.
#1 Interview to find a designer who listens to you.
#2 Find images to communicate the look and feel you want.
#3 Come to the interview with what you do NOT want.
#4 Bring tear sheets of designs that resonate with you.
#5 Work with a designer who gives you the opportunity to see, touch, and feel before you buy.
#6 Be ready to create a roadmap for your project.
#7 Establish a budget.
#8 Have fun!
Produced in partnership with our friends at La Maison Interiors. For more information about La Maison Interiors, click here.