Planning the visual design of a space happens at the drawing board amid numerous notes, swatches, sketches, samples and photographs. When I share my finished work with my clients for the first time, I’m noting their reactions to all of the preparation of the visual design and hoping to see the tell-tale signs that they’re connecting to the space through the non-visual cues of light, movement and scent that I’ve layered into the space. I realize that when we walk into any space and experience it as a whole, we’re meeting it for the first time in its full character and the impact it has on us is not just captured through our eyes, but by other senses as well. To ignore any one of them as a designer could result in a less than harmonious experience.
Before a client’s arrival, every detail is arranged just so, from the fringe on the carpets to the line and fold of the draperies. The lighting is adjusted to add some dimension of life into the room. Light, shade and reflection are the essential components of any well-designed space. Without it, I know that the impact of all the other well thought-out details -- sumptuous furnishings, opulent flooring, luxurious wallcoverings – will be lost. Light is important, but without shadow and movement the elements of variation, texture and atmosphere are hard to achieve. I might introduce movement with the slow turning of fan blades, perhaps an open window or door for a soft breeze. And yet there’s still more to experiencing a space.
As I take my client through, I hope to see them have the urge to reach out and touch things. I love it when I see them breathe deeply and actually take in the scent of the room too. Just as no two places have the same quality of light, nor do they have the same blend of aromas. I found myself searching for fragrances that paired perfectly with the pieces I had chosen for my visual designs. I wanted fragrances that created a balance of sophistication, surprise, and luxury. This search is what led me to develop and launch my Oliver Henry candle line. The simple act of lighting a candle adds a layer of flickering life to a space. I knew I wanted a neutral, yet luxe design for the clear glass votive that reflected back the light and shadow in the room without competing with the unique aesthetic of the space. The clear glass jar with the Oliver Henry giraffe stamped in 24k gold, with hand poured soft white wax is always complementary to any space.
- Stacey Jordan