“A great piece of art is composed not just of what
is in the final piece, but equally what is not. It is the
discipline to discard what does not fit – to cut out what
might have already cost days or even years of effort –
that distinguishes the truly exceptional artists and
marks the ideal piece of work, be it a symphony, a
novel, a painting, a company, or most important
of all, a Life”.
I would be remiss if I did not add a Home to the list here. For me, a Well Composed Home is by its very nature Elegant. I also believe that you can not have a Well Composed Home without possessing a Well Composed Life. The two go hand in hand. And Yes, you will probably find me posting comments and interests surrounding the Well composed Life on this site in the very near future as well.
One of the really cool things about my current role where I am employed is that I get to assist the clients with the development of their project. In doing so, I get the privilege of viewing a lot of Homes. Some are truly exquisite to go through. Everything is connected. Each room is tied together with the next and the owner’s true personality is reflected through and through. For most of the homes though…Not so much. They rarely possess a continuity of style. Multiple themes are played out and the home lacks identity. The spaces tend to be cluttered, confusing and completely lacking of any connection with its owner.
I think the true nemesis here is not the individual occupant but rather a system or “checklist” that we created so that we could easily compare one house to another. We have fallen for the lie that in order to protect our investment and to make sure we get the maximum return, we must build our home with everything that our neighbor’s has. You should not express your own personality at all because the future buyer may not approve. So, we adhere to the 5 bedroom, 4 1/2 bath, bonus room, keeping room, media room, office, 3 car identical model as every other house in the cul-de-sac.
You would think that this drama would not be nearly as prevalent in the remodeling realm, yet somehow, this doctrine still governs a lot of the design decisions out there. What’s worse, in attempting to make the home appealing to everyone, it will inevitably have a tendency to miss the mark all together. Two projects immediately come to mind. Both homes having been built in the ’60s, 3 bedroom / 2 bath. Both well maintained. One magnificently composed. Each room feeds off of the ambiance of the adjoining one. The architecture, furniture, artwork, accessories…they all speak to the personality of the owners. Everything is in its place and yet it is not sterile in any way. In fact, it is very comfortable. Regardless of ones personal taste, I would think that anyone could see themselves living in such a space. The other home, is somewhat “typical”. Nothing wrong with it, it just seems to blend in. In working through the design process, a lot of concern has been placed on how this option or that one would play out in a re-sale environment. We have struggled with making the home function properly in order to obtain the “most desired” mixture of elements. Hopefully we can steer it in such a way as to bring everything into cohesion once it’s complete. I have faith in these owners.
Creating a Well Composed Home, as in any form of art, takes a lot of skill. It requires a well-trained eye. It demands a solid understanding of the owners true self. And, it takes a lot of courage to allow the Home to assume its authentic identity. I believe that it is safe to regard the owners of the first home as true Artists. They knew not only what to include, but, more importantly, what to leave out. Absolutely Elegant.