A weekly blog series exploring different creatives' views on color and its use in interiors, art and design. We will dive deep into their obsessions with color. How and why they use color. You will get to know their stories and you may even gather some tips for using color in your own home. What is better than learning from the experts!
Designer Spotlight: Michele Alfano
Susan Jamieson: What one color represents your design style?
Michele Alfano: Throughout my career, I have always been interested in the human experience... how we behave and connect to our living spaces. I believe that we are all animals and need connection to our living systems so I have always been drawn to the color green. I try to ground my spaces with natural, crafted elements. In my bathroom design for DXV below, all the senses are touched in this space with the use of nature, water, and fire. The moss-window wall brings nature into the bathroom... imagine someone sitting on the floating concrete bench sipping a cup of coffee, immersed in nature and gazing at the water beyond.
SJ: Do you use color as a dominant role in your designs or as an accent?
MA: I typically use color as an accent. In my farmhouse modern kitchen design, the island is celebrated with a blue slate color so my client becomes center stage as she cooks and bakes.
SJ: How do you feel about matching colors in a room?
MA: Honestly matchy matchy makes me cringe... My childhood bestie always liked to match her shirt to her socks .. ughh. Have a little fun, mix and match whether its fashion or design.
SJ: What color represents your personality?
MA: Well, black.. even though it is not considered a color but absorbs all the colors of the visible spectrum. I tend to be a bit mysterious to some and think about things very deeply. I also like to bring in a pop of black in my spaces like my bathroom design below which has a touch of black in the faucet and the vanity.
"PEOPLE AND THEIR CONNECTION TO SPACE HAS ALWAYS BEEN THE FOREFRONT OF MY WORK"
- MICHELE ALFANO
SJ: What color comes to mind when you talk about:
Your favorite City ....... While in architecture school, I studied abroad for a semester in Barcelona. I fell in love with the city, especially with the work of Antoni Gaudi. Especially on the facade of Casa Batllo, made of broken ceramic tiles that start in shades of golden orange moving into greenish blues.
The House You Grew Up In ......... When I think about the house I grew up in, I think about our living room's rusted orange couches.
Last Fabulous Dinner You Had ........ I love concoctions and this tofu and mixed vegetable Asian fusion dish was everything... from the taste to the colors.
Your favorite Flower ....... I love the texture and color of Grape Hyacinths. They really pop against my customized tub tray and white concrete tiles.
Your favorite season ...... Fall, love the change of colors.
Your Favorite Art ...... The Oaks, by Hogan. My husband and I met in New Orleans while he was planting in his garden. He invited us into his studio and I ended up falling in love with his work and purchased this piece.
Your Favorite Room in Your Home ..... My favorite room in my house is my Zen modern space. I sliced the foundation wall down in order to bring in natural light and bring the outside in.
Your Favorite Article of Clothing ...... My favorite article of clothing is my black leather jacket.
SJ: If you could pick a name for a color what would it be?
MA: Kookamonga .... it's a word my husband made up which describes my kids when they get cuckoo.
SJ: Do you have a pet? What color reminds you of him/her? Do you have a nickname for this pet?
MA: I have a Soft Coated Wheaton terrier named Einstein or E boy. His hair reminds me of the color of champagne. Oh that face!
SJ: What is the Now Neutral?
MA: Concrete is the new Neutral. In my bathroom design for DXV, a concrete looking finish was used for the shower walls and the floating bench.
SJ: What is your prediction for the next big color trend?
MA: I saw this vanity at the 2018 Kips Bay Showhouse by Drake Anderson. I thought this combination of celadon and black was very cool. I think we may be seeing more of this combination, like celadon walls and either black or chocolate trim.
SJ: What are the best color combinations?
MA: I love the combination green with black.
SJ: Best advice when it comes to picking paint colors?
MA: Don't be afraid of saturated dark colored walls. There is a misconception that dark walls make a small room seem smaller. I think just the opposite happens. Dark colors recede the corners of the room away and make a small room feel larger.
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