The Power of Having a Design Point of View

A Conversation with Eric Cohler

Learn about Eric Cohler's personal design process, and the importance of having a strong POV.

Read What Eric Cohler Has to Say:

From his studio in NYC, the principal of Eric Cohler Design discusses how important it is to have a point of view and the role of tension in successful design.

The first step in the Cohler’s design process involves assessing his clients’ lifestyle. “I do an intake session with all clients in the very beginning. I ask them their favorite colors, their least favorite colors, what times they get up, or go to bed. I talk to them about their preferences, and then I try to present them with what I feel is a solution to help enhance their lifestyle.”

Cohler delves into a formula he created to help shape the design outlook. “Point of View Squared means Power of Vision to the second power. If you have a strong point of view, you can then carry that through and convey it to others through the power of your vision. You can basically convince anyone of anything if you have a proper point of view and the power within you to convey that vision to whomever your audience is. This is my algorithm. This is my formula for success.”

Tension in Interior Design

“I'm a classicist with the veneer of modernity, meaning that I'm classically trained,” says Cohler. “I'm proud to say that I do understand the rules and different orders of architecture. You need to have certain order in able to have chaos. I don't mean chaos in the way that chaos is bad. But you need to have chaos to have something that's creative. Something that has life, something that has energy, because without that, there's no frisson–a French term meaning tension.” Tension is vital to the process, according to Cohler. “Tension in the way a paint color interacts with a fabric.”

“I find that rules actually help me be more creative–if I have to work within a certain confine, a certain envelope, I will do that,” says Cohler. “I'll struggle like heck to tweak that box a little bit to fight to make sure that something is curved or undulated within the box so that I can express my own vision. And I think that if I can't do that, I also might as well just hang up my shingle and be done with it.”

A vase of flowers sits on a small, square bedside table next to an open window framed by a gauzy white curtain and a light blue wall.

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Eric Cohler

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"Color adds depth to a room."

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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