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Editorial Highlights, Editorial Interior Design, and Real Life

Photo by Joan Villalon

I'm highlighting my hair differently these days, and my stylist tells me I'm not alone. Let's call it the new normal.

Women who color their hair, like me, were knocked out their hairstyle ruts when COVID-19 shut down salons. We could no longer count on touching up our hair color every six weeks. Then came Zoom meetings, lots of Zoom meetings. When salons reopened, we asked for highlights that would be visible on camera - editorial highlights my stylist calls them.

My visit to the salon got me thinking. I look different in real life than I do on a camera or in a photograph. The same is true of my home and yours.

We all want to present our best selves to colleagues, friends, and family, but we should prioritize real life. Does it matter how good my hair looks on camera it doesn't work for me every day? Does it matter how good your kitchen looks on social media - how good its editorial interior design is - if it frustrates you to cook there?

So, we come to Louis Sullivan's maxim, "Form follows function." (More on that here.) The idea is that the way a thing looks is shaped by the way it is used. The things we design, especially rooms, have multiple uses. Think of them as roles.

One role a well-designed room plays is making you happy, and that's connected to how it looks. Nothing wrong with that. Another is to facilitate activities. So, a kitchen is designed for cooking, cleaning dishes, and storing food. A bathroom is designed for keeping you clean and healthy, storing toiletries, and grooming.

When you design a new room, move beyond, "How do I want it to look?" by asking yourself these two questions:

  • How do I want it to feel?
  • What do I need to do there?

That way, you get it all, a room that looks good on Pinterest, feels just right every time you walk into it, and works perfectly.


Jackie Lopey, Certified Interior Designer and Founder of Venue and Wide Canvas

She didn't know it, but Jackie Lopey's days as an advertising executive were numbered when she bought and renovated a 1950's bungalow. She soon went back to school and started her own design studio. Jackie is an award-winning, certified interior designer and the founder of Wide Canvas.

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