So it becomes very apparent – design is contextual. Whether with architectural style and the context in which it occurs, or geographical context against which it is presented, I always stress that. And it is no more apparent than when traveling between different temperature zones. I do this often – visiting warmer climes in the colder months…but that too is a relative thing…
So MY norm is the enchanting 4-season temperate zone of Albuquerque, New Mexico. It is from there that I base my perceptions…until I leave. Yes, we have four distinct seasons….we actually HAVE to have different wardrobes – unlike some areas that force a change in clothing just to create that difference, just to buy those cool seasonal togs and accessories…OR the truly freezing locales that demand warm layers for mere survival from the cold.
However, in Albuquerque, at a mile and more high, we experience those Rocky Mountain elements – high altitude temperature extremes and otherwise lovely moderate temperatures all summer long. No humidity to speak of and no bugs – unless of course you board horses down in the valley by the Rio Grande!!
I digress…back to design…it is always contextual. Whether to boldly design against context, or embrace it for the natural order of things, the fact is that context is the “it” of design.
As I posted on our facebook from Albuquerque in the last couple of weeks, where we were experiencing true bursts of spring…”bring in the branches” – which are now in full bloom on their very own trees – bulbs are bursting from the warmed earth – daffodils, hyacinth and the phlox are lovely!! Bring in the branches to force the beauty of spring into your homes to expedite the glory that is the birth of a new season of growth and wonder!
Ok – I get carried away. However, the sobering experience of being enveloped in one of the largest snowstorms in the “whatever” amount of time – a long time – is awesome. A word often over-used…but apt for this tremendously magnificent late winter expression (its technically spring now) of the chilly, fluffy white precipitation of well over a foot that we have experienced in Innsbrook, Missouri today.
My design direction in this environment is to grab a warm snuggly throw, start the fire, pour a toddy, surround yourself with warm colors, soft textures, and for “hope,” have a brilliantly blooming bouquet to remind you that spring is only temporarily delayed, it is right around the corner and next week’s higher temperatures are sure to get you chomping at the bit to be outside, unveil the patio furniture, grill a few steaks, and start planting!!!