Top Shelf Design

Fabric and Rug collection

Let’s face it, we all like to feel that we know something special — that thing that not everyone is privy to, but we are because we know the right person, or happen to be in the right place at the right time, or belong to a well-informed circle of friends. There is a certain sense of power and gratification in the knowing.

One of the ways that truly responsive and authentic design happens is through expanding the available means to tell your story. Anyone with whom you likely socialize has access to the same home-furnishings websites (you know the ones) as you do. But the ubiquitous brand/designer names and products sold through these sites can only go so far, in that you end up with a slightly different combination of the same stuff everybody else already has. Artfulness comes in the way these common furnishings are mixed with the world outside the websites that can catapult the expected to the enviable. One piece from an everywhere retailer, mixed with ethnographic textiles, vintage and custom designed pieces, and a personal collection of art not only shows savvy but a little bit of admirable nonchalance.

A good interior designer is a great mixologist — of ideas, inspirations, products, trends, and sources. The result will be a little different each time, specifically concocted to you. Firstly, good designers take into consideration requirements and restrictions and appetites for exploration.

The next step is knowing about, and having command of, available ingredients. This is where seasoned interior designers can really prove their worth. They know that antiquing a mirror for an inset, or a table top, is not only easily achieved, but we know who to enlist. They know what resources can be shipped in four weeks versus fourteen; what fabrics will stand up best to heavy use or need to be backed for longevity; or the best artisan to create the one-of-a-kind custom application to a fireplace or cabinet to complete the space. It is one thing to know that these things are achievable, and who can do them, and quite another to wade through infinite possibilities and get it all done on time, and in tandem with all the other moving parts of an interiors project.

If it is sold somewhere in the world, we can find it, and we’re obsessively looking for not only what’s new, but what’s powerful, what can transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. And while there’s the internet, conferences, conversations, and aunts who’ve just returned from around-the-world trips, interior “design centers” found in major cities can be equally compelling places. Typically only open to the trade, this are where designers shop and take their clients to test drive and view the latest in each product line. Combined with everything else out there in the world, and your personal vision for telling your own story, experiences like that can begin to make it all real.

We’re sure no one reading is interested in surroundings that are paint-by-number, nor interiors that appears as thoughtless and ad-hoc. Instead, we’re convinced — from what we’ve heard from you — that there is a keen interest in personal, composed spaces to live and work, and a realization that it takes more than a quick glance at a menu to figure out what’s going to truly quench your thirst.

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