Sunday, March 18, 2012

Bridget Beari Friends


                      Bridget Beari Friends: 

      I would like to introduce you to a design friend of mine, Vicki O'Neal and her company Form & Function. We have been in the same ASID group for years. Vicki has an interesting story and background. I asked her a few questions about her design philosophy and included a few gorgeous pictures. Enjoy! 

     I read that you started with an interest in fashion then moved to interiors and then added landscaping. How did all of this change come about? 

              I believe that good design is universal and most principles that apply to one discipline also apply to another. Creating is second nature to me, and I am fortunate that the spark that ignites is always bringing me fresh ideas.

                         Your company is called FORM & FUNCTION and you state that you see your job as equally focused on interior architecture as well as aesthetics. Does this mean that your focus is very architecturally oriented? How so? 

            When possible I enjoy thinking and designing from the perspective of the bigger picture, and strategically planning solutions to insure great functionality as well as beautiful results. Materials, color and decoration are always part of the design process and “icing on the cake.” My company name, FORM & FUNCTION, says it all.

  What is your most exciting project to date?  

           That’s a tough question, but I love an outdoor living project I did in Williamsburg, VA. It is a natural extension of the homes living space, and a very sculptural solution. Built-ins create a low profile design, and a two-level firepit is a bit of a fun, surprise feature. It is beautifully connected with the surrounding landscape.

   How do you see interiors and landscaping working together? 

             I see design as a continuum, especially as it applies to interiors and the landscape. They are inseparably interconnected, and are ideally designed to provide a harmonious flow. I initially approach most landscape designs from the inside-out so to speak, to locate features and focal points to capitalize on the views that are statistically seen most often.

                       Do you find when working in landscaping that the climate in Virginia prohibits more creative plantings? What is the most adventurous planting you've tackled? 

            Many variables affect success in the landscape including our central Virginia temperature extremes and frequent hot/ dry summers. Challenges make careful planning, plant selection and proper installation even more crucial. For me, challenges inspire creativity rather than inhibit it. One of my most fun plantings was a perennial garden in the design of a rainbow.  

What is your favorite style? Is it the same for interiors and landscaping? 

            I love quality design, no matter what the style or period. Good design is timeless, and can be appreciated whether it happens to be current chic or period finery. I believe that is one reason great styles seem to have immense staying power, or come back into vogue in waves.

 When planning a garden space how do you incorporate color? In groups? random? What makes the most impact? 

             The greatest visual impact when planning for color in the garden is to plant en masse. That being said, a mass planting can lead the eye to an area with a more random effect. I also love to use bold color in containers and place them at strategic locations.

 Do you often incorporate water features into your landscape designs?

             Being one of the four earthly elements, water (earth, air, fire) is a particularly soothing and grounding feature in the garden. I incorporate a water feature, large or small, into most of my designs. Incorporating the animation of koi and the beauty of aquatic plants creates an exotic, tropical feeling.

 What designers or landscapers have inspired your work? 

             Although a bit of a cliché, Frank Lloyd Wright is still one of my all time favorites. Much of his work is purity of design in the deepest sense. His employer, Louis Sullivan, popularized the phrase “form follows function,” and is the inspiration for my company name. In landscaping I draw insight from all historic styles, and particularly love the newest movement toward more naturalistic and environmentally sound design.

             Do you like to collaborate with other designers or landscapers or Do you prefer to have total control on a project? 

            I really enjoy the energy of collaboration with other designers and love the flow of ideas that brings. However, any design can be conceived and put to paper but execution and installation is crucial.  I prefer to be intimately involved in that process whenever possible.

                                                       Form and Function website

                                                            Form and Function Blog

                                                          Follow Vicki on   Twitter

          I hope that you enjoyed this small break from Bridget Beari Color Rule which will be back tomorrow. 


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