Design Schmuck

Design Schmuck
Design Schmuck Kim in Eastern Europe

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Design Schmuck in Eastern Europe: The Why

I've been thinking about how my trip through Eastern Europe impacted why I design.  Sadly, I had some grim moments on my tour that caused me to really evaluate this.  I've actually avoided blogging today because I didn't want to return to the feelings I have surrounding my experience.  I'm also seriously concerned that my writing will trivialize what I'm trying to relate.  I'll start with the positive.

Ah, Vienna!  This picture is from the AMAZING winter home of the Hapsburgs.  Luckily, my husband Jeff is a photographer and these images are from his portfolio, Jeffrey Sheppard Images.  To me, this chandelier perfectly represents what Vienna is about, opulence!  The music, the pastries, the architecture, and the fashion.  The Royal House of Hapsburg may have had this kind of opulence but the average citizen of Vienna lived in very close quarters.  Most citizens frequented the Viennese coffee houses and lingered for hours as a substitute for having a living or sitting room.  What a large side-step away from our homes in Canada.

My clients want to recreate service establishments in their home.  They seem to want to escape the outside world of chaos by creating a sanctuary in their home.  The absolute opposite of Vienna.  I'm designing restaurant style kitchens, bistro bars, home theatres, spa-like ensuite bathrooms and hotel chic master bedrooms.  It was such an oxymoron to me.

From Vienna, we toured through many other European cities, ending the cruise portion of our tour in Budapest.  Yet another architecturally beautiful city ravaged by war.  

There were so many pictures from Budapest to choose from.  I really loved our time there.  I also love little spaces, thus the pic of me in the phone booth on the 'Buda' or hill side of Budapest.  

Back to the why I design.  After Budapest we flew to Krakow, Poland to visit the concentration camp Auschwitz.  I experienced complete horror and all-consuming outrage at what I saw.  I don't think I need to elaborate on why.  There were many displays of personal items that prisoners had brought with them to the camp.  There was a common thread through all of the items.  To me, that thread was the comforts of home.  That idea still jars me a year later and I think always will.  The prisoners just wanted to be home, surrounded by the people and things that made them feel safe.

As I sit in my warm home on a rainy Thursday in October, I realize exactly why I design:  to create safe havens for my clients.  I truly get teary-eyed when I walk through a client's front door and see them with their loved ones, embracing their new living space.  When my client's are comfortable, my mission is complete.




  1. Oh I LOVE Budapest!!! It's my most favorite city ever visited thus far. I spent over 7 days there over Christmas and felt like I had barely even scratched the surface. So glad it touched you too.

  2. I did too, Lisa! I really want to go back and explore it more, especially relating to design. Thanks for reading!

  3. Interesting to hear how your travels have influenced your designs. I collect artwork when I travel, so my home is filled with unique items, that have special importance to me and bring back memories every time I look at them. That makes me happy and is my idea of "home".