Who is Your Muse?

When embarking on a "building" project it is important to ask yourself, "who is my muse?...What is my inspiration?" Too often we get caught up in the practical and financial aspects of the project when the first place to look is much more esoteric. I love when a client references a place they traveled to or a building or space that touched them. It is not always possible or necessarily even appropriate to recreate in Bucks County the great Tuscan villa one visited in the spring. But it is absolutely critical to try and capture the feelings engendered by the place. And your architect should help facilitate the effort. Strip away the trappings of vacation-ness and focus on the architectural building blocks, light, color, texture, scale, volume, proportion, and try to identify which mattered and which didn't. For example, if the overriding feeling was a sense of coziness as opposed to a sense of expansion, then one can focus on scale as a primary factor in making a space sing. Once we have identified this factor, we want to find a way to exploit it in the appropriate parallel place in the project. We explore it, manipulate it, massage it, refine it and ultimately polish it so that when we live in it we hear the song again.