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Toadstools & Gnomes
Last week I gave a speech at Parsons The New School of Design about my 11-year journey as an interior designer in New York City. It was fun for me to share my story. It is a very "real" story and I like to tell it like it is. Which I think is helpful for students to hear. I was telling the students how I had learned a valuable lesson from every project I have embarked on and that it is fun to look at the journey. It is only in hindsight that I can see the lessons and my growth as a designer. I shared an upstate house that we designed for our wonderful clients and told them how happy I was that they let me do a gnome themed guest room. I love gnomes and toadstools for some reasons. My mother used to draw toadstools for me--the drawing was always the same, a toadstool with a little ladder leaning up against it and a gnome with a tall hat sitting on top of it. I was fascinated by this drawing which she drew for me over and over and over again at my frequent request. (My mother, who is very creative, but a horrible illustrator, loved the fact that I thought her drawings were so fantastic. She stuck with the same drawing for a while, milking it for as long as she could.) The aesthetics of this northern European folklore genre is for me something that touches me and delights me in a very childlike way. So when I told my clients about this gnome room idea and they responded with a smile I happily embarked on the design of the room. Checkered picnic fabric for the curtains, black ants in the bucket light fixtures, and funny gnome photos above the bed. It's all very tongue in cheek but I should add that this is an adult guest room. It is not for kids since the kid's guestroom in next door to it. Gnomes, woodlands, toadstools, and other fantasies are not just for the young, but for the young at heart, the dreamers, and the smilers in us all.
I came across these stools this week designed by GamFratesi and although they are inspired by the shape of the jellyfish, they remind me of toadstools.