Musings on Design

Interior Design and Decorating Services In Guelph and Surrounding Areas

Copyright Ocean Bottega

Ocean Bottega Interiors

Thought for Food

A great way to get a feel for where your sweet spot is, is to play on a small scale. Practice setting up vignettes { a small ornamental design filling a space in a small area such as an armchair, bed, sofa, or wall } around your house or apartment. For example for the chair think chair, light, pillow, throw and side table. Remember to do the tablescape too { or not! }. Try different ideas using different amounts of stuff. Take pictures of each set up. Which one do you like best?

One reason I have come to love art and art making so much is because it’s the embodiment of infinity to me. There is a myriad of ideas and possiblities. Even in a room full of artists painting the same object, you’ll find no two paintings alike. Each artist sees from their own perspective and life experience. They have their own methods, array of materials and an individual sense of line, form and colour. They bring their unique thoughts about what’s important and what they want to say to the canvas. When painting they may have a specific agenda or they may just play and experiment. And that’s just scratching the surface.

The same is true with decorating interiors. The possiblities are endless. When exploring concepts and ideas with clients I like to say there are no wrong answers because it’s really about what you want.  With so many possibilities though, where do you begin and how do you know when to stop?

I once read a book on Millionaire thinking called The Millionaire Mind, by Thomas J. Stanely. Who doesn’t want to know what goes on in those minds?! I was intrigued to read that millionaires inform themselves as much as they can about about whatever it is they are planning to do. At a reasonable point they jump in to their project and correct as they go along. Many a time people have said to me, ‘You know how to do so many things!’. The truth is I’ve learned that sometimes you can’t really figure something out until you give it a go.

If there is something you really want to do, I will always encourage you to give it try. The secret is to know it may not {read probably won’t} go perfectly, mistakes are wonderful things and try, try again! As you go along you’ll figure out what you like and don’t like. The don’t like generally happens before the liking part. You’ll come to have an opinion and a voice. And your skill level will improve, hallelujah!

Once you get into action and ideas are tumbling forth and you are lovin’ it!, it can be hard to know when to stop. It’s not uncommon to keep looking at all the different options only to become paralized by endless possibilities. Or you may not be sure how perfect is perfect enough so you just keep sanding and sanding… You might keep layering in your accessories only to feel stifled and overwhelmed by what you’ve created. Been there, done it all.

I’m reminded of Andy Warhol’s quote, “Everybody will be world famous for 15 minutes.” When you work with one object or one idea or concept, you put the object or idea in the lime light. It becomes very noticeable, or famous, I like to say. If you use layer upon layer of design features and accessories or try to work with too many ideas, there is the danger of creating a "can’t see the forest for the trees" situation or worse, a general chaos that leads to headaches from feeling unfocused and over stimulated.


I will say it gets easier to know where that sweet spot lies between not enough and too much with experience. It won’t be the same for every person. Even though I love clean, minimal interiors, I’m forever picking up little trinkets from walking in the woods, mooching around the shops, and experimenting so my tolerance for stuff is higher than what is expressed  in those interiorscapes. On the other hand I can’t stand it when there is so much stuff I can’t do or find the things I want. As I said that spot will be different for each of you.

A friend of mine and I were checking out the local shops. We were having a conversation about lifestyles and smoking. We were wondering if you could get addicted to nicorettes and what that would be like when we stumbled upon this drawing of the cat. We couldn’t help but laugh! I think he’s enjoying his 15 minutes of fame. So whether your space is about the fame or you prefer to cosy up in lots of layers {or a little of both} it’s all about getting in the game and knowing when to go home.




If Art = Infinity, How do you know when to begin and where to stop?

Layered interiors, colourful style, relaxed living, fun attitude, timeless life

paula clarke

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