Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Former Target home designer opens new studio
By the time Matt Murphy hung the shingle on his new design studio last year, he already had two decades of design experience under his belt - including heading up product development for home goods for Target for five years.
"This is something I've been thinking about for so long," he said of his Jackson Square studio in San Francisco, "a space where I can explore and do everything I love - interior design, selling 20th century design and art, and launching my own products." After 20 years in the industry, Murphy maintains that "doing what you love and creating something beautiful doesn't feel like work. It's very rewarding and fulfilling."
Murphy's Cheat Sheet>>>
"When it comes to design, the best work is done with feeling - with soul. One of my favorite fortune cookie messages read, "Buy on emotion and justify with fact." It resonated with me. When you consider a purchase for your home, first of all, you have to love it; it should move you. Then you have to ask yourself: Can I afford it? Do I need it? Do have a room for it? But if it doesn't make your knees knock, why bother?"
"A friend was house shopping a few years ago, and her mother told her: 'Honey, it always pays to buy up.' She was right. Buy the best you can afford, especially when it comes to art and furnishings. I'm a big proponent of buying vintage and antiques whenever possible. If you buy wisely and with passion, you're making a good investment. If you're not confident in what you're purchasing, consult a dealer or designer with a solid reputation."
From hotels to home:
"What is it about your favorite hotel that makes it so comfortable? Next time you stay, take note and apply some of these amenities when you return home. For me, the best hotel rooms are simple yet elegant, and not over-decorated. They're usually stripped down to the essentials, but the essentials are luxurious and beautifully detailed."
Black is back:
"I'm not one to hop on a trend, but I have been known to get hot on a color. Right now, I'm feeling black again for the home, but not in a severe, '80s way. Black can be classic, traditional and decidedly dramatic. In the master bedroom of the Showcase, I designed a dominantly black rug, and I'm using one of my own fabrics (a black screen print on raw silk) as drapery - contrasted with warm wood furniture, neutral fabrics and pops of color."
A good look:
"Several years ago, an older and wiser friend and I were walking down a street in New York. As people passed by, he noted that most people walk around with their eyes open but they don't see anything. It made me think, and also made me want to be more observant. I realized one has to make a conscious effort to stay present, to notice the details. It's made me a better designer."