Clients often approach us concerned that they don’t know what their style is, overwhelmed with the juxtaposition between their current interiors and with what they see and like on social media, in magazines, and in their friend Henrietta's holiday cottage in Bermuda, for example. . They like a little bit of this and a lot of that. The possibilities are seemingly endless and often intermixed yet vague at the same time: traditional, transitional, eclectic, maximalist, minimalist, country, formal, informal. The list goes on. Over time and with the introduction of such immersive amounts of imagery that is part of our world today, the lines have become blurred.
Not one to follow trends, I also find it to be counterproductive to put a label on your ‘style’. What eclectic means to one means something else entirely to another. Using labels and adjectives to convey what you like is a useful tool, but one must look much deeper before ascribing that they want a home designed in a particular fashion. We’re all influenced and inspired by so many factors. It’s much more impactful to take a deep dive into your past and present while looking to the future and evaluate honestly what you love and how you like to live, and why. Looking at what you don’t like can also point you in the direction of what you do. It’s a process, but one well worth getting right.
Mandy Cuss + Co.’s top objective is to design homes that feel good to those who live in them. We believe that good design is a feeling. Being a native New Englander, my first priority is to approach any project from a practical and functional standpoint. I don’t care for design for design’s sake. Things have to work to look and feel good. Secondly, I encourage open, ongoing discussions with each client, inspiring them to envision their home as their favourite place on earth. Your home should feel like you, nurture and inspire you, reflect your history and your lifestyle. A key element is in incorporating and intermixing intricate layers that mean something, that have an associated funny story, a treasured history, or a soothing colour, for example.
All in all, when you’re thinking about your ‘style’, assess what you like, how you want to live, and how you want to feel. Much of our expertise lies in listening carefully to guide you not to define, but to open your mind and free yourself from labels. It’s about you! No crowd-sourcing necessary. We love working with clients to transform their houses into homes with soul, creating a physical environment as an emotional response. This, in combination with function, proportion, scale, light, and thoughtful planning, merge through the design process to result in grounded, characterful interiors that can evolve and grow with you over time.
On a personal note, my tastes vary wildly and, although I don't make rules (I despise rules, in fact!), I like things to be quite linear and slightly masculine with large-scale organic elements. Some of my favourite accounts for inspiration and general design include Clements Design for really grounded, strong interiors, Kelly Wearstler for a bit of over-the-top glam, and Kate Marker for comfortable, natural family-focussed designs.