Designer Picks : Tegan’s ‘Design With A Smile’

MHD_designer picks_tegan_design with a smile


Years ago while studying psychology in University I learned that the simple act of smiling can lift your spirits no matter what your mood. I embraced that bit of knowledge, using it whenever my mood was greyer than I cared it to be. After design school I realized that my psychology degree could be incorporated into my design practises.

I call it, ‘Design with a smile’!

This can mean all sorts of things when decorating.
It can mean placing a treasured piece of grandma’s furniture, one that brings a smile to your lips every time you look at it, in a location in your living space where you see it often.
It can mean collecting fun art objects while traveling. When you display this art in your home you are reminded of all your wonderful adventures.
It can mean buying a little container that has chicken feet or a bird with extra-long legs because they’re so ridiculous you can’t help but smile at them.
Every object in your house should be meaningful to you. Things that when you look at them they make you feel shiny and happy. When you furnish your home, buy what you love rather than ponder what the home featured in the latest upscale design magazine was showing.

A chic home is not one that is filled with uncomfortable but highly glamorous furniture. Sitting on uncomfortable furniture does not make me smile. No, your home should be filled with uber comfortable squishy funky fun and yummy chairs and sofas that when you sit yourself down a big huge comfy smile touches your lips.

Designing with a smile can mean incorporating colour that makes you happy. For me this means using browns and blues and greens cause they are the colours of nature, and nature makes me smile. I’m obsessed with the colour brown. It goes with everything. Brown and grey blue… sky and earth. Brown and green… lush forest. Brown and orange… Hermes. Brown and pink… so fun.

I am here to tell you that good home decorating can be the equivalent to years of therapy. So let good home decorating make you happy!

One of my favourite pallets is Benjamin Moore Nimbus Gray 2131-50, Mink 2112-10 and Dune White 968. Nimbus Gray is as dense as the cloud for which it’s named; it’s a cool mid-tone blue-grey that evokes memories of an early winter walk on a wind-swept beach.  Add a strong brown like Mink which is rich but not too red and a little white, like Dune White, for drama and contrast. Beautiful!


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