The elements of style ... and taste

  • Article by: KATY READ , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 12, 2012 - 4:47 PM
hide

Laura Bischoff, owner of Minneapolis-based Metropolis Design Group, provides interior design and project management for residential and commercial clients. Specialties include kitchen and bath, custom cabinetry, color consultations, and furniture and accessory acquisition.

You've probably had the experience of walking into a room -- maybe even one in your own home! -- and instantly feeling relaxed and cozy. In other rooms, you've noticed feeling restless and on edge. Annoyed. Bored. Overwhelmed.

Sometimes it's hard to put a finger on exactly what causes a particular reaction to an indoor space. Is it the paint color? The style of furniture? That beautiful (or hideous) painting over the sofa?

Maybe. Often, though, more subtle factors underlie a room's appearance, almost subliminally influencing the way the space feels. Though among the most important elements of interior design, these are qualities the average person doesn't always think much about or even notice. The light that casts a soft glow on architectural features ... or harsh shadows under facial features. The colors that play off each other ... or leave the space feeling vaguely chopped up. The arrangement that lets traffic and conversation flow ... or sets up awkward stumbling blocks. The accessories so distinctive they tell their own little story about the person who lives there ... or so minimalist the place could be a hotel room.

We sought expert advice from four designers and design teams, asking each to provide some of the secrets behind these elements of style. They suggested general principles for effective handling of light, color, functionality and personality in interior design, and provided quick tips for maximizing the impact of each. You can draw on their wisdom to design -- or tweak -- a room of your own (and remember, many designers are willing to provide consultations on small projects, such as choosing paint colors), or just to figure out why one person's home makes you want to settle in for a while, and another makes you perch stiffly on the edge of your chair and keep your coat handy.

Katy Read • 612-673-4583

  • related content

  • Jen Ziemer and Andrea Dixon, partners at Fiddlehead

  • Architect Ryan Thuftedal of Minnetonka works on residential and small commercial projects, specializing in a “crisp, clean, classic look.”

  • RT Design interiors director Nicole Thuftedal, is an expert in interior design, planning, textiles, furniture and home accents.

  • Christine Frisk’s InUnison Design team is involved in every stage of the design process, including project management, materials selection and construction administration.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close