Since I graduated and began to work as an interior designer, I have agreed that our environment and the way we live has a huge impact on us and our well-being. I don’t believe in a design that only looks good; in my opinion, it plays a much more important role and is supposed to be stimulating, inspiring, motivating, relaxing or slowing down. It has to be customised and meet our needs and expectations relating to a given space. Interior design is a closed circle, in which we create our surroundings, and when it’s finally finished, and we begin to function in it, our space limits us, determines our movements and feelings. The better it is designed, the more conventional and intuitive our life will be. If every object in the kitchen has its own easily accessible place, they won’t be piling up on the counter. That’s why interior design involves so much psychology and sociology.
When apart from a thousand of other classes, I also got the psychology of colour, I thought it was a waste of time; I would keep on believing it had it not been for my personal experience with a red bedroom. I can only say it was a disaster and a mistake which I will never make again. Luckily, experienced at first hand.
Every interior designer asks their client a billion questions, including how many shoes they’ve got and how they shave their legs. And it’s not because we’re so nosy in nature and we want to know everything about our clients, but because that’s the only way we can make a good design. Good communication and expressing your needs directly is the key to creating a space where you can feel at home.
That’s right, at home.
Recently, when I visited my parents’ comfortable house, I thought about the apartments I grew up in. I thought about a two-bedroom apartment, where one room was mine, and the other was the living room and my parents’ bedroom. Those days, it seemed perfectly normal; actually, in comparison with other families with more children, it was even comfortable. But when I think about it today, especially from the point of view of my profession, I only have one thought – we had almost no privacy. When someone says it used to be so great because we were living ‘all together’, I can feel myself getting goose pimples all over. I don’t think it was cool at all. Quite the opposite, I’m wondering how it affected us? How it must have irritated us not to be able to shut ourselves away in our own room and catch a breath. Or perhaps that’s why many people didn’t learn to relax? They didn’t learn to find places where they could be themselves?
Coming back to the theory of our apartments’ impact on our actions and well-being, I think we live in a world, or perhaps even a country, where we don’t appreciate this influence, also in public space. It is no surprise we are constantly surrounded by chaos, noise, hustle and bustle, and stress. Exhausted in crowded means of public transport, stuck in traffic jams at crossroads, how often we need to simply run away. What our modern cities can offer us in such a situation? Speaking of breakaways, I wanted to write about the Storm King Art Center. When I thought about the place, I got angry that such pearls aren’t common or even mandatory everywhere.
The Storm King Art Center is located near Cornwall, about an hour’s drive from Manhattan. In short, it’s an open air museum, covering 200 hectares and boasting one of the biggest collections of modern sculptures displayed outdoors, which attracts about 200 000 visitors a year. The artworks displayed in the museum include the works of our Magdalena Abakanowicz. The museum was set up in 1960, and its objective is ‘to cultivate human relationship with art and nature and to create a place of unlimited exploration.’ Well, I can’t imagine a nobler objective, which could better refer to our humanism. The place is truly amazing – you can walk around the grass all day, surrounded by majestic sculptures, rent a bike and cycle through designated paths, and even have a picnic. You can also do nothing, sit down and look around, and be.
Some say that music has charms to soothe the savage breast, film is a universal language, and we are what we eat – well, I’m not so sure about the latter… I believe in life in harmony with nature. I believe that when we wake up, we want to see a colour that will put us in a good mood; I believe in a bench surrounded by greenery; in architecture, which motivates to act; in space, which gives good energy; in a kitchen and a table your guests don’t want to leave. I believe we should look for ‘our Storm King’ literally and figuratively and when we find it, we should get there as often as possible, because our relationship with art and nature and unlimited exploration are our greatest privilege.