Interior Design

I just finished reading an article that contained the age-old question: Is the glass half-empty or half-full? The article wondered if pessimism and optimism were the only deciding factors in the way people perceive the glass. Or is there more to it than that?

Take the example of two people deciding how to decorate the same room. One person sees all the things that have to be done to redo the room, all the work and expense involved in creating a setting that they would like, which can become overwhelming, scary and seem cost-prohibitive. The other person visualizes living in the room with all the newly chosen things he or she loves; the styles, colors, textures and accessories they have been dreaming of. To the first person, it is a heavy burden to begin this project. To the other, it’s an exciting adventure.

In this scenario, it doesn’t matter if the person is a pessimist or an optimist. The important factor is where the person focuses his or her attention. It requires openness to the possibilities that can be created by not fearing the outcome and not worrying if the end result will work. Both people are able to get the look and feel they’re after within the parameters of what they need and want. The only difference is that one is fearlessly looking toward the goal of what can be done, while the other is concerned about the outcome not fulfilling his or her wishes.

It all depends on the direction one is looking. By focusing your sights, goals and actions on a successful completion of the project, you will stay focused on your goals. It is important to understand what you want to achieve and to be realistic about the budget. There are many choices, and you can change those choices to accommodate prices.

It is soul-satisfying to stay with the choices you like, but don’t be afraid to explore different ways to achieve the look and feel that you want. Design is an art, not a science, and you can be your own artist in making selections. Do not let doubt in. Remember, if it feels right, it is right!

Then there are times when things go wrong. I love the challenge of discovering that something I had planned on isn’t available any longer, or it won’t fit or just doesn’t look like I had intended. This is when rethinking and creativity can come into play. Jump at the chance of making a unique statement with your ideas to solve the problem. This could mean reselecting, redesigning or eliminating a part of the project. Be open to another way or thought. Don’t get stuck in having to follow through with the original idea. Flexibility is key in any design project. Chances are that whatever the solution, it will work out better because you made a signature difference.

Most of you may know that my philosophy — “Rooms have no feelings, you do” — is my life’s work, and that I believe you can live in an environment that gives you peace, tranquility, satisfaction and beauty. With this in mind, look within for your decorating answers. Always know that you deserve to live the way you want. You are capable of making it happen.JN

Barbara Kaplan, IFDA and Allied ASID, is a Phoenix-based interior designer and the CEO of Barbara’s Picks, an online resource for interior design. Visit for more information.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.