I chose to use the word “restraint” here deliberately. Restraint as in “child restraints” or “self restraint.” The concept of restraint is something I sermonise about every day. Good design requires a lot of restraint. There are a tremendous number of wonderful products out there for interiors, from flooring to ceiling light fixtures. But you don’t need to use them all, just because they’re so cool you can’t resist. You must resist. The principles of good design demand it.
I found an interior design studio today that understands restraint. The firm is Curated. They seem to understand restraint in two different ways. They clearly understand restraint in choosing elements to combine in a space. I see a dedication to relevance and appropriateness in their portfolio that is uncommon. They also understand restraint in terms of the designer’s duty to restrain the client when necessary. Good design is not saying “yes” to every whim and watching the total spend spiral skyward (with a smug smile).
Good design involves advising, educating and even restraining clients. Only designers with brains and taste can do this successfully. Curated appear to have the brains and taste. Take their carefully chosen name, which I love. “Curated” comes from the word “curator,” which originated in Middle English, and denotes an ecclesiastical pastor, or the guardian of a child. A pastor shepherds his flock, tends them, and guards over them lest they stray and come to harm. A guardian minds the child, and restrains it from behaviour that is not beneficial to its wellbeing. Do designers do this with their clients? Good ones do.
Image of a residential project by Curated. from curated.com