What do you think?

luckygalFebruary 14, 2013

"Cohesion comes with confidence. I don't worry whether things will go. If I love them, then they will." - Milly de Cabrol

This was a recent quote from the daily Interior Design emails I receive.

Do you agree?

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To a degree I believe that but it takes time to narrow down what it is that you REALLY love and not just a temporary attraction. Kind of like when you meet people.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 2:25PM
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I do, but I think it's pretty much all relative.

She coming from a sophisticated taste/style viewpoint--if you only buy what you love from say Pottery Barn...you will acquire cohesion by default.
Much like kids dressed in Garanimals.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 6:24PM
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I agree to some extent, but it also requires what is recognized as good taste. de Cabrol confidently combines things that some people would not consider particularly cohesive, but does it with a certain amount of aplomb, so...fine.

But I know people who confidently choose strange colors, or wear unflattering clothes, and they are confident that it's all good--so I am not sure *just confidence is enough.

I also think that some people who lack confidence have essentially good, cohesive taste, but it may not be very complex, high concept or full of interest--but it's still nice.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 6:49PM
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I would agree since your taste will lead you in the direction your 'specific' taste will take you. I don't look at contemporary since my home isn't contemporary. I don't look at elements that are silver metallic since I only use gold/bronze metallic or black wrought iron. Same with colors~why look at anything red when I don't use it in my home? I won't even glance at furniture that's a light wood, and prefer medium to dark woods or painted wood.

Show me two different items and i'll know which one i'll choose in a heartbeat. I know what I love and what I dislike, and don't waver too far from what I *know* will work in my home~I don't return. And I don't like matchy matchy anything, except for a pair of lamps.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 6:57PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Loving something, even carefully discerning what exactly that is, still doesn't mean it will all work together. Pretty much what Patty said-many things I don't even look at.
Like the clothes in my closet, I love my motorcycle boots but they don't go with everything nor do the evening shoes....

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 7:25PM
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Some people have a good eye for cohesiveness, some don't : I have a friend who has horrible taste for accessories, she has to be stopped by those around her.

Some people never take chances or think outside the box, their decor is safe but boring; de Cabrol probably has exquisite taste and is able to visualize a decor and
"make things work" . few people have that talent, imo.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 10:57AM
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But then there are those who wildly step outside the box in decor and/or fashion, and for them, it works. Maybe it all comes down to having a certain je ne sais quoi -- an inherent manner of radiating, a strong sense of self -- that makes something that for most other people would be dreadful ... somehow attractive.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 11:03AM
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Thanks for all the opinions and insight. I've long pondered this statement because many years ago someone I knew used silver, gold/brass, and copper in the same room and said something similar. In her home it did work altho I now recognize that her other choices were very good and relatively neutral. I also use quite a mix and it works for me but I know I'm not a purist nor as critical as some would be.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 1:28PM
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Here is de Cabrol's work as represented on her website.

It's idiosyncratic, so "what will go" is rather subjective.

From the tenor of many Gardenweb threads, I am not sure that this is a satisfactory look for many people. I think it's fine, but they are not conventional palettes.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 7:13PM
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Bumping because this adds the visual aspect to de Cabrol's philosophy behind her statement.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 10:22PM
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Interesting, because there isn't really a signature "style" you can discern from the collection of pictures, which I guess supports the original statement. Some of the rooms I like more than others. There is something about the bottom left that I find especially intriguing, but I can't quite put my finger one it.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 10:38PM
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I don't agree, and Bumblebeez expressed my reservations. Regardless of whether someone has great confidence in his/her taste...some things just don't work together and the creator's confidence won't make it so,

I suspect what the designer in the OP is trying to express is that she isn't tied to conventional combinations or ideas. Which, frankly, always sounds like that joke about "I'm unique...just like everyone else."

On this forum I can't remember one discussion, and there have been many, on the 'do you follow conventional wisdom' in which the vast majority of responders do not proudly proclaim that no, uh-uh, no way, never. Everyone does it My Way.

Not saying it isn't true, but proclamations about how special someone's vision is and the fearlessness with which the person implements it are, well, pretty common :).


    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 10:21AM
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Some people have the knack for self editing their "loves" before introducing something "non cohesive" into a room. And it works, because they have an internal guide that perceives the "match" even if the conscious mind does not. They are the people who understand that there are a lot of right choices in the eclectic room as long as the scale, color, and detail balance are right. It could be a kids red tricycle hung from the ceiling or a bird cage spray painted orange, or a .turquoise ceiling fan that could "make" the room. They just manage to fall in love with the right guy because all they date are the right guy. I'm sure you have at least one girlfriend like this. She never has a rotten boyfriend that she gripes about and always ends up with someone really sweet and good looking.

And some people just gather things together like they were in the grocery store shopping from a list. Sofa in beige. Check. Chair in beige print. Check. Drapes in darker beige. Check. And even though they check off the list of everything that they've copied from an inspiration room, it never works because they don't understand color theory and undertones, or spatial relationships, or scale. They do not have the knack of even combining specific sought after pieces, much less of the moment impulse buys. These are the people who marry someone "perfect" that they don't love, and end up basically happy, but maybe read romance novels for a bit of spice. And that's why they have a disco ball on a bookshelf. They aren't brave enough to risk actually hanging it somewhere.

Most people are somewhere in between. They see a look that they like, and they are fairly successful at copying it, and even putting some of their own personality stamp into the creation. And those are the people who understand that it isn't right for the room when they buy the glass coffee table with an elephant base . They sense the dissonance, even if they can't quite put their finger on exactly what would be right. They just know it's wrong. They may date a bad boy or two because it's exciting, but they fall in love with the guy who holds a steady job and wants to be a father and still makes their heart go pitter patter. Their home may not be perfectly put together, but the fact that it's a home is more important to them than having the "perfect" decor.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 10:44AM
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I'll start out by saying that if I had the ability to hire a high caliber designer, it would not be de Cabrol. While there is nothing particularly wrong, or in poor taste in her work, I don't find it particularly satisfying. Her work is Not particularly Cohesive, so I am not sure why she uses that particular word. It's highly eclectic, it's colorful, it's never boring, but I think almost anyone with a large budget and good overall taste could pull it off themselves...there is not a lot of "discernment", if that's the right word, in it.

To me it looks like she assembles some of her rooms by going to ABC Carpet and Home, starting on the top floor and working her way down: "I'll take That...and That...and That! Done! It all works because I Love it All!" In and Out in 45 minutes. "Here's your bill for $50,000."

But I wonder if I said "Milly, I want you to do a super tight palette for me", if she actually could. But she never has to, so we will never know.

Such confidence, becomes --in my mind--the Emperor's New Clothes.

But in this society we value confidence nearly over and above ability. And such confidence can skate very close to arrogance.

In my technically based day job, I work in the office of a woman who is very confident in her technical abilities. But her confidence outweighs her skill. And she is financially successful because of her confidence, but not her skill. And I see this when I teach. There are always students who quietly treat their patients who are Much better than the hotshots. I've heard students say that other students are very skilled, and often they only think that because the other student TELLS everyone they are skilled.

This post was edited by palimpsest on Sun, Feb 17, 13 at 11:10

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 11:04AM
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It is interesting how a lot of people automatically react to confidence in that way. (Maybe they are followers?) And if someone is quiet or does not appear to be confident, or is more realistic, or stops to think, then vice versa.

I like the saying, the more I know, the more I realize how much I don't know. I've seen it called the Circle of Known but can't find a picture of it. The idea behind the diagram (a circle within a circle) is that as the smaller internal circle (representing what you know) grows, the more points on its circumference (ie questions) touch the area of the larger "circle of unknown".

Nothing wrong with a good measure of confidence, but being detail oriented, I'm always wary of people who think they know everything! Worse is when they can't admit they don't know something (seemingly in fear that they will lose their high position of knowing everything). I guess if people react that way to confidence, then it does make sense for survival. -- and this is what they know! Another kind of smart but sometimes risky.

This post was edited by snookums2 on Sun, Feb 17, 13 at 14:14

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 1:13PM
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What I had intended to post was about the designer's room examples. I think what pulls her rooms together is her simple and bold use of color. Color is the overriding force that speaks to us first. What she does with it looks simple and unifying to me. Now this is from only what we can see of the rooms anyway, maybe it's just the photographer making sense of it. I've never heard of her.

In the first picture everything is blue, blue, blue. The third is red. red, red. The fourth, all is sort of the same dark palette sweeping from the floor to wall art but then she splashes some red in to liven it up. In the fifth, two very large blocks of complementary color appears to dominate, basically reading red and green. Last one, again, lots of red and hot simple expanses of color with the analgous red, orange, yellow against a plain white backdrop. Very simple deployment of color (and its proportions), imo.

This post was edited by snookums2 on Mon, Feb 18, 13 at 13:16

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 2:06PM
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"Cohesion comes with confidence. I don't worry whether things will go. If I love them, then they will." - Milly de Cabrol

I think maybe it can come or be unconsciously ingrained with experience, rather than education. No, I don't think most people can simply buy things they love and it will somehow all magically work well, from a "good design" perspective. Now, they might not notice or care that much if they're comfortable and enjoy looking at their individual selections.

When buying things randomly, the individual elements might blend nicely because there is something consistent in what a person likes that unifies them, but unless you have an innate ability for things like scale, proportion and balance, it could still not look right overall. I'm not sure the average person thinks in those terms but rather might come to learn about it as an aspect that helps to make things work overall.

There are a lot of people here who are very interested in decor and what makes it work or not. But I don't think, on average, most people think about it much until they are doing something with the house. Most people I've known are not very comfortable in their abilities to decorate and make these large investments, more less have confidence in some elusive personal vision.

This post was edited by snookums2 on Sun, Feb 17, 13 at 16:39

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 3:02PM
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Thanks Pal for posting photos.

Of course we all have differing opinions, and especially different tolerances, of what goes together.

I found her style and use of color a nice change from the frequently used pure traditional and monochromatic scheme one sees so often from many high-end designers. I don't find the rooms she shows boring in the least which I cannot say for many other "well-done" rooms. However I'm sure her style does not appeal to many simply because it is colorful and eclectic. I would expect this is a designer who uses a lot of items her clients already have so the rooms are more personal than those of designers who start with a clean slate.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 3:28PM
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