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  • Writer's pictureDebbie DeMarais

Design Inspiration Everywhere: My Visit to the Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Showroom

One of my favorite quotes comes from Yvon Chouinard, creator of the outdoor gear company Patagonia. He said, “the secret to happiness is to be working at your passion.” Since becoming an interior designer and home stager, I feel like I’m able to work at my passion nearly everyday. Working with color and form, shape and scale. Finding ways to make people feel comfortable and welcome. I love my work.

But even though I’m working at my passion, on occasion I feel like I’m depleting my resources. The need to always be creative means I’m always looking for inspiration. Anyone who knows me knows that my number one resource for inspiration is nature. Taking a walk, whether it’s on one of our beautiful trails in and around Santa Fe, or just wandering through town and noticing the trees, the acequias, the flowers, the clouds, that never fails to “recharge” my senses and creativity.

On occasion, I’ll look through design or home décor magazines (when I actually have the time!) but one way I love getting inspired is visiting a design showroom. There’s one brand in particular that always delivers a dose of design originality: Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams showrooms. They have “signature stores” across the country and when I’m traveling near one of them, I make a point of stopping in.

Recently, I was in Scottsdale and took a tour through their showroom in Fashion Square. They have a variety of vignettes set up, each one offering a different perspective, a new idea, and creative inspiration for that next project. I definitely left Scottsdale feeling refreshed and creatively recharged. Here are a few of the highlights from my MG+BW visit.

Lighting As Art

Homes need light. And homes need art. This lit sculptural piece is beautiful and serves both purposes. This is actually four units creatively designed to provide a focal point for the sofa. And while I might not have thought of pairing the dark gray sofa with a deep rust wall, I have to say I think it works!

Metal Meets Shag

I don’t get to think about window treatments very often. Living and designing in Santa Fe, there isn’t much call for drapery, as we tend to prefer the stunning views of the New Mexican landscape instead. But here’s an idea I love. This hip contemporary pattern is used on the sofa and in the window treatment against the gray wall. No artwork is needed here as the drapery is art in its own right. I also liked seeing the shag rug combined with the metallic tables and shelves. A layer of softness against the harder lines of the furniture. Great combination of textures.

Now for Something Unexpected

One of the things I love about Santa Fe is the abundance of historic and traditional homes. But I also love playing with ideas of old and new. This vignette is clean, fresh, and cool. How great would it be to install this silvered curved sofa and ultra modern credenza in a traditional Adobe Santa Fe home? Completely unexpected.

I also really like the look of those framed natural stones above the credenza. The simplicity of the grouping is really nice and made me want to keep this idea in mind for future projects.

Taking a Moment to Reconsider

I have to admit, recliners are not my favorite piece of furniture. So often they are bulky and unshapely. But then I saw this one. When you see it upright, it’s almost hard to believe you’re looking at a recliner. When reclined, it spans about 60 inches but still manages to look sleek and contemporary. Of course, I had to sit in it to see if something that looked this great would still be comfortable. The answer is yes. I may need to change my mind about recliners!

Very Happy Hour

When I’m dealing with smaller homes, I have to take the desires of the client and the limits of the space into consideration. So I’ll absolutely keep this in mind the next time someone needs a place to entertain, but doesn’t have a lot of room to spare. This cabinet when closed hides all the makings of the bar. Open it up and you not only get a classy display of spirits and supplies, the mirror draws in the room.

Also, who would think a chartreuse wall could look so cool! It’s just one more thing you have to see for yourself.


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