Defining Simple Elegance

It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing,  doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah…….

Simple is a word that doesn’t sound extremely sexy or fun but it can be both.  Why do I say that, because I’ve learned that keeping things simple and doing things simply (being understated) is actually very elegant and sexy?  You don’t have to shout in people’s faces for them to see beauty.  Beauty is shown because it just is.  So when I use the word “simple” for me it’s about showing beauty in it’s rawest and rarest form.

Saks Fifth Avenue, 1940

How does one go about doing that?  By sticking close to nature and the things that naturally resonate with each other.  Because things are never what they appear to be and because keeping things down to it’s bare minimum helps you to see their reality. I believe simple is actually profound, fun and sexy. The truth sometimes appears ugly at first glance, but once you have a long hard look, it becomes inviting and needed.  In a world where again, things are not always what they appear to be, “Simple Elegance,” becomes a refreshing welcome and treat.

Saks Fifth Avenue Entry, 1940

It is not always easy to determine exactly what is simple or plain boring.  For me, I like to lay down a simple foundation and then add a pop of color or “magic” pattern to it.  I call it magic because, without simplification, a pattern can become ostentatious and overdone.  I also like to look at other’s work who have kept things simple but elegant like architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, etc.  Now don’t get confused, I love lovely things and so I also believe you can do Elegant and simple with class, like black Architect, Paul Williams.  His work to me personifies that the beauty is in the details; more is not necessarily best and less can be gorgeous if the right things are added in the right places. Here his work represents a simple but lovely Interior of Saks Fifth Avenue in 1940.

Frank Lloyd Wright Art Glass

The chairs are simple stripes and most of the decor is white but the details on the chairs, the foliage he brought in, the architectural elements, etc. all make for beautiful simplicity.  He wows you without overwhelming you.

Frank Lloyd Wright Falling Waters, 1936-39
Carson Pirie Scott design by Sullivan in 1897

Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture is another example of simple beauty.  Wright stayed away from ostentatiousness of any kind.  Mainly I think because he worked with Louis Sullivan, who in his day and time used a lot of ornate figures and symbols for his imposing buildings in Chicago.  Frank stayed true to nature and brought a lot of that into his spaces.  Clean, crisp lines, elements of nature, lots of natural stones, planters, simple glass decorative windows which he referred to as “art glass,” was a slap in the face to the more ornate stained glass used during the Victorian Era.

My design work: funky, fun, functional and friendly.
“Simple Elegance”
A mix of African and American Fabrics

I’m by no means am an Architect, but I love structures and for some structures, their unassuming beauty.  My goal is to bring that same idea and concept to children’s accessories, clothing, and rooms through my designs.  I’ve included some school work designs I did.  The idea is to bring pops of color to enhance the feeling of the space sorta like Feng shui but only my take on it.  My goal is to mix the African aesthetic with American flair….two opposing designs but both can come together beautifully.


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