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Publication Date: 2014-08-13


9 Decorating Cues to Take From Your Closet

For fashion-loving interior designer Daun Curry, a project starts with a client's clothes.

NYC-based interior designer Duan Curry, of the firm Modern Declaration, is equally passionate about clothing and decor. Whether it's selecting a new sofa or new shoes, she recommends tapping into the same thought process. "Most of us can wrap our head around putting an outfit together, while decorating a home can be daunting for even the bravest fashion-lover,'" Curry explains flipping through her apartment's walk-in closet. "However, I've found there are clues in everyone’s wardrobe that can help define their own personal decorating styles." Don’t overcomplicate it. What works in your closet can work in your home.” Curry admits that a personal closest assessment justifies her diverse taste in decor. "It’s a good exercise to get those creative muscles working," she says. "If anything, it’s a jumping off point that anyone can do." The style concepts that Curry sees as applicable to both fashion and decorating:

1. Personal Style: Comb through your closet and choose some of your very favorite things. Shoes, dresses, socks, ties—even jewelry. Group them together and take it all in: what materials, colors, textures and patterns course through what you love to wear? Note the tailoring: Do you gravitate more towards streamlined, geometric shapes or loose-and-whimsy pieces? Maybe a combination of both? This is a fun exercise in building a material and color palette for your interior space.

2. Layering: Both great interiors and outfits should be an artful blend of textures and materials. Be sure to incorporate mixed metals, organic elements like wood and stone and varied textiles such as silk, velvet, linen, and leather—real leather has a lot more attitude, but it's always better vintage. Instead of wasting time and energy trying to match, let go and don’t be afraid to contrast. It's liberating and modern.

3. Vintage: Vintage pieces tell a story, have a soul and add depth of character. Using vintage is one way to break through the monotony of mass production.

4. Travel Tokens: I always pick up clothing, furniture, art and accessories when I travel. These objects tell the greatest stories of our lives: the places we've been, the food we've tasted, all of the romance along the way. Always surround yourself with these things.

5. Quality: Less is more. Never buy under pressure—an quality interior and wardrobe are built over time. If you only choose quality pieces that you love, your home and closet will always be timeless.

6. Prints: Balance is key. Treat your interior like an outfit--all graphic elements have to be placed in just the right spot to create a sense of harmony. Highlight a ceiling with a bit of patterned wallpaper. Upholster a side chair in a print that pops.

7. Color: What colors are the most prevalent in your closet? Remember the room you are decorating for, because color evokes emotion. Most likely, you'll want your bedroom to be filled with colors that soothe, while your office hues may be more vibrant and energizing. If you tend to dress primarily in black, white or neutrals, keep your focus on sheen and texture.

8. Function: I'm a total slave to fashion, but most nights I end up in my faded sweatpants and my husband's old tee-shirts. Depending on your personal 'stilettos-to-sweatpants' ratio, you may be more inclined to take risks on furniture that sacrifices physical comfort for daring aesthetic, like a sculptural chrome side chair. It's all about how you feel, but that isn't limited to how cushy your couch is.

9. Customization: Borrow fashion details from your wardrobe to create custom touches around your home. A pleated skirt could inspire a decorative pillow or window treatment, the architectural lines of a shoe could become the foot of an ottoman, a patent leather handbag—a lacquered wall.

Text by Sarah Bray


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