The Lived-In Approach to Interior Design

A Conversation with Danielle Colding

Lived-in interiors: Discover how Danielle Colding creates perfectly imperfect spaces.

Read What Danielle Colding Has to Say:

During a visit to the Pierre Frey Showroom at the Decoration & Design (D&D) Building in New York City, Danielle Colding, principal of Danielle Colding Design, discusses lived-in home interiors, and the art of imperfect design.

“As designers, we are always striving for that perfect room, that perfect mix, that perfect color palette,” explains Colding. “So, you may be surprised to hear that I think design is always better when there's a little bit of imperfection. When you strive to make a room or space too perfect, it doesn't feel good. You have to have a little something off in every space to give it a little bit of the human touch. Is it mixing in an old piece of furniture that may not be perfect? Having a pillow or a curtain fabric that's slightly off from the main palette?”

“Whether it comes to color, scale, pattern, or even mixing old and new, it's important to have a real mix of different elements,” continues Colding. “And what I learned, especially in terms of color, is that it's always important to have a color that's a little bit off.”

Adding the Imperfect & Personal into Interior Design

Colding says that clients usually have some form of personal object they’d like to bring to a space. Sometimes that object is the source of inspiration for the whole palette, but sometimes it may take the design in a different direction. This can get difficult when Colding wants to take their ideas of the ‘perfect’ design and give it an eclectic twist.

“When I'm working with clients, this is one of the challenging aspects; how to explain to them that I want to take their perfect masterpiece and mess with it a little bit. Make it a little bit imperfect. It's to say, ‘We need this little zip of color or something that's a little bit off.’”

“And usually when I explain it or show them, they get it and they really want that. And I think that's the amazing part about design. When I first started as a designer, I was seeking perfection. For clients, they do understand now especially, that they really want spaces that reflect themselves. That means we need to embrace imperfection. We need to embrace our humanness. So it's all those really interesting little accessories or old furniture or a mix of old and new or whatever it is…colors being off can take a space to the next level.”

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Danielle Colding

Danielle Colding

"There's nothing like color for transforming a space."

A sun-dappled home exterior painted in a creamy beige with deep sage green-painted doors and trim with an alfresco seating area.

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