“Lots of women buy just as many wigs and makeup things as I do…. They just don’t wear them all at the same time.”

Dolly Parton in MS. Magazine, June 1979

I love that quote!  (And I adore Dolly Parton too.)  Once again, I’m using fashion as a reference for interior design.  We’ve all heard the adage, ‘less is more’, and I’m generally in agreement with it but at the end of the day it comes down to what individuals are comfortable with, what reflects their passions and priorities and personalities.  I have clients that love color: “more, more, more!” some tell me, and then, “no white, please!”.  I also work with clients who love knick knacks, small treasured items that sit on tables, mantels, window sills, everywhere!   Or the client that can’t imagine a bare wall.    So I work hard with these clients to help them achieve a look that reflects them, that uses favorite colors and treasured items.

I gently guide them through the editing process and coach them to make their interiors work harder and be even more beautiful than they expect. I am a firm believer in editing and although some clutter (color-clutter, knick-knack-clutter kitchen-and-bath-counter-clutter) can be comforting, it must not overpower or define a space.  I’ve quoted Dolly Parton a few times when talking about the need to edit certain rooms.  I’m sure she edits too!

The Missoni spring 2010 advertising campaign.  A riot of color just as we expect from the brand.

A perfectly edited ensemble for someone who also loves color.

I’ve recently used these two fashion images to help a client see how a design I recommended reflected a love of color — I presented a pared down color palette with a backdrop of grey throughout.  Grey is the perfect muse for other colors and I try to use it whenever I can as it always makes everything on top of or around it pop.   It’s not necessary to put color on the walls, color on the furniture, color on the windows, color in the art!  Too much and the eye doesn’t know where to rest, and each color struggles to compete with the others.   I’m thinking just now that Dolly and I might simply disagree.