You know what they say… “When the cat is away, the mice will play…” Well, this week, our “cat”, a.k.a our boss, Kimberly, is away at the High Point Furniture Market! Knowing that she would not have the time to do her usual blogging, I, one of her more mischievous employees, decided to take it upon myself to hijack the “It’s So Fabulous!” blog for a day! So, before she figures out who wrote this post (it will not take her long!) and forever revokes my password privileges, I would like to share a few Kimplistic insights that I have learned through the observation of my employer in action! I have chosen a couple of her “famous” quotes and anecdotes that I thought you might enjoy, and I also hope to impart you with a few basic interior design truths that she has taught me along the way. And away we go, readers…
QUOTE #1: “…And here is where the vision becomes cloudy….”
When designing a new space, Kimberly will generally take a long look around the shop; scratch down a list of inventory she thinks will work in a room; begin tearing through shelves of samples and fabric swatches (leaving a giant pile of “stuff” in her wake!); peruse the websites of her suppliers; And finally, a day or two later, she emerges with a chicken-scratched list of items to be ordered for the room. Now, to someone watching this process, it might seem a bit haphazard or even (gasp!) a bit disorganized! And certainly, when the delivery truck opens up to reveal an overflowing display of boxes and half-packed accessories at the homes of her clients, one might question the nature of this “design process”. However, the truth is that Kimberly always, always, always starts with a specific plan in mind for every project. Nonetheless, as is the nature of interior design, not every project comes off without a hitch. When I have heard Kimberly use the above-mentioned quote, it has generally arrived as comic relief at a critical juncture in a project where something has gone seriously awry, and it is being left to her to find a QUICK and FABULOUS solution.
The first time I heard Kimberly use the quote was in the presence of no less than ten employees and workers, after it had just been announced that a manufacturer had delivered our main sofa to the wrong state! To make matters worse, the homeowners were hosting a party in their home that evening…. in about five hours from then! And there we all stood, frozen… aghast with mouths hanging open… until finally, one brave soul piped up and quietly asked, “Um, Kimberly, what do we do now?”. With her most controlled voice, she simply replied, “…And here is where the vision becomes cloudy…” One giggle slowly turned into outright laughter, and suddenly, we all knew everything was going to be okay. Kimberly wasted no time kicking into high-speed action, calling out new lists of items for everyone to pick up from the shop, while also pointing the direction of the new furniture and accessory placement. With thirty minutes to spare, Kimberly rearranged the entire space to accommodate an alternate sofa of different scale and color, and the room turned out as fabulous as anyone ever could have imagined!
So, knowing that we are not all designers like Kimberly, what was the great truth that I learned from that experience? Flexibility! It’s true that interior design should start with a plan in order to be successful. However, when something does not turn out as planned, or you cannot obtain the perfect accessory or chair that you set your heart on, adjust. When your “vision becomes cloudy”, keep moving, and don’t give up… And by all means, have fun with it! Always remember that there is usually more than one fabulous outcome for any design project. Who knows!? Your new plan may turn out better than your original!
QUOTE #2: “Just move it over here and call it art”
I am certain that if Kimberly had a penny for every time someone asked her, “What are you going to do with THIS?”, she would be able to buy world peace by now. Watching her design in action is quite an entertaining process, and she never seems to lose her wit about her, even when a doubting client (or new employee!) asks her that question. Usually, when the question is posed, she will take a quick, unconcerned glance at the accessory and simply reply, “Oh, that? I think I will just move it over here and call it art”. From there, she will typically place the object it in some random location, from where it will be moved twenty more times that day, only to arrive in its final destination at the last moment, looking completely perfect! And sometimes, that accessory will even find SEVERAL fabulous locations throughout the project, any one of which would have worked brilliantly!
The truth that I learned from this Kimplistic quote is that design is a creative process, and selecting an accessory for a room is sometimes only the beginning. In fact, the best part is often choosing where you would like that piece to reside and how you would like for it to be used. I have witnessed Kimberly moving furniture and accessories around the shop hundreds of times, and it is interesting to see the ways in which the same piece can be used for different purposes. A dresser may work for a bedroom vignette one week but find itself functioning as a dining room buffet the next. There is not a definite purpose or place for any one piece, and finding creative ways to “recycle” things within your home will keep your design juices flowing and your perspective fresh. So, why not try switching things around in a new and creative way… just “call it art”!
QUOTE #3: “Being the piggle wiggle that I am…”
Now, I must confess that I am definitely versed in the language of Southern ladies… and I thought I had certainly heard every imaginable expression! However, this one was even new to me! When I read that Kimberly had called herself a “piggle wiggle” in an email she sent out to our staff, I could NOT stop giggling… I mean, what in the world did that MEAN?! I immediately took it upon myself to look up the meaning of the term in Wikipedia, and here is what was written in the first line: “The Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle [book] series stars a small lady who lives in an ‘upside-down’ house in a lively neighborhood inhabited mainly by children who have bad habits”. Well, regardless of what she actually meant, I could not help but draw the conclusion that Kimberly is indeed the “small lady” living in the “upside-down house” – our fun and energetic Knotting Hill Interiors! – With her “children” (employees!) with “bad habits”! HA! Yes, I would have to agree that we are a spirited bunch, and perhaps this sneaky blog is yet another example of our ornery habits! So, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, you better get back home before your “children” completely take over your upside-down house! WE MISS YOU! HURRY HOME!
And as Kimberly would say…. NOW, GO HAVE AN “It’s So Fabulous!” Day!