Mushrooms- the Extraordinary Ordinary…

Why this talk of Mushrooms? Well, I love to take something ‘ordinary’ and make it extraordinary. It’s a fun way to write, design and add that extra special something. Here- mushrooms use my 9 Principles of Design. Texture and Mood, two of my favorite design principles. Mushrooms, lichen and moss see to add something mysterious and magical to a woodland walk. They add something special to a warm bowl of soup or a rustic tart.

And oh yes, there’s a natural artistic expression of the ‘ordinary’ mushroom. The underside folds or gills look at once ancient and modern, even when recreated in fabric stitchery definitely add that whimsical mood. The stuff that adds an extra dimension, especially this time of year.

Whether the mushrooms are a singular find on a damp forest floor or a basketful, we are enchanted by mushrooms. And when you consider that for a mushroom to grow, it requires almost perfect conditions. If you see mushrooms growing, that’s a sign of good rich soil. It’s incredible to me that mushrooms grow in dim light without any fanfare and yet are so unique.

Texture? Yes. Mood? Oh yes, we also love moody light and we must not forget to add Whimsy which is the subtle ‘mood lifter’ which is always welcome especially as the holidays draw near and ordinary day grow dimmer. I don’t know about you, yet I want a bit of the extraordinary ordinary. Mushrooms, anyone?

Love y’all, Brenda

Abundance…

As much as I admire simple, curated space – there’s a case to be made for abundance. Let me ask a question first- which organ of the body uses the most energy, the Heart or the Brain? The brain uses a full 20% of the human body’s energy. Sight, sound, scent and taste – these senses originate in the brain, That’s why visual images are so important in design.

The same brain that loves order also enjoys abundance. Half full or mostly empty are generally unattractive. In any type of brand or campaign for products- balance is key. A product page needs to be simple and curated. A special display benefits from negative space. Your physical store, the cover of a catalog, a travelogue or business blog even newsletter are the perfect places for abundance. And don’t get me started on our homes and gardens.

Abundance -without looking cluttered, stuffy or just plain messy- which is universally unappealing. Where to use it? Abundance is a design principle and when selectively, the human eye finds it appealing. Abundance is that satisfying sensation we feel when we see a good harvest, a basketful in fact!

Set an abundant bowl of fruit on a simple table and it immediately becomes more attractive. Common food displayed in rustic basket or a bundle of garlic on burlap speaks abundance to the eye. A well stocked store is far more appealing than empty shelves.

In the landscape, abundance is what we enjoy seeing. An ornate bench is a type of abundance. Used in just the right setting or proportion is beautiful. Generous bouquets are always a welcome sight and tends to warm a simple space up. Green plants generously added to even the most curated space, have a calm, cooling effect in an overly sunny space. Fresh flowers and plants always add to the experience of a home or an event.

I’m convinced one reason grazing boards are so popular is we like a generous spread and selection of food.

Coco Chanel loved her many ropes ..and ropes of pearls- her simple designs were often set off with generous strands of pearls.

And isn’t that what we really want? Generosity? Without saying a word- abundance is generous, satisfying and ‘no worries there’s enough to go around’.

Yes, abundance as a design principle is amazing. You can do this! I know you can- finding the right balance is key -with a bit of practice you’ll find other folks will appreciate it too!

Love y’all, Brenda