From the moment we are able to comprehend, our natural environment plays an integral part in influencing our personal taste. Our foundational likes and dislikes in decor are established at a fairly young age, but transform and mature as we do.

As our experiences expand so does our personal pallet. For instance, as a youngster you may have been asked a very simple question. “What is your favorite color?”  Your answer was equal to your influence – simple answer based on your own experience. “Purple”.  At the time it was a quaint and adorable answer but outlined just how basic your point of reference was at the time.

It’s your involvement in life that expands that collection. For me my early beginnings with the family’s penchant for sewing and then onward to Manhatten for formal education and hands-on cultivation.

Outside Influences

While these beginnings began to shape my design, it was a combination of the day-to-day insights along with experiences one may call once in a lifetime, that helped me identify my purpose and true design talent. The routine or regular being a wonderful window dressing in New York city or in a pattern or texture someone may be wearing on the subway.

Here again, my trip to Africa provided me with a host of new influences and potential design ideas. Although these fabulous works of art are created mostly by hand, one cannot be indifferent to the beauty and delicateness of each created piece.


There was plenty of time to really sit and experience the artisans in Africa. While at the market, the local craftsmen while waiting for their next potential customer, are busy creating the next piece. Whether they are working with shells as beading or feathers to embellish a primitive object d’art, their utilization and clever genius makes each piece not only magnificent but extraordinary.

As a designer, I always seek to include items that make the space both magnificent and extraordinary. This is accomplished by pressing myself to be deliberately in new and exciting situations.

Africa in and of itself was an incredible adventure but the take aways or influences are now a part of my personal design repertoire. This adventure provided me with a refreshed sense of my design self and a plethora of ideas that will affect the way I approach design.  I hope you’ve enjoyed the journal of my latest exploit as much as I did sharing it with you. ~Char