The Art of Furniture

Charleston Forge has a long history of hand-building beautiful, high quality, steel, wood, and leather furniture. We have an extensive catalog of products and do a large amount of custom work and have built product for retailers such as Room & Board, Restoration Hardware, Crate & Barrel and Bloomingdales, just to name a few.

Anna Lehman, The Psychology of Design

Charleston Forge - Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Anna Lehman, MA, LPA of Anna Lehman Interior Design, Inc. agreed to talk with us regarding current design trends.  We met her at her home for an interview, and while there, she showed us around.   As you would expect, her home is stunning but equally comfortable, warm and inviting. There is a wonderfully interesting explanation her decision to design and decorate her home this way. Although she wanted a home that was reflective of the environment and community in which she lives, she was careful to make design and decorating choices which reflect her family's lifestyle above all else. One of the driving forces behind Anna's design decisions comes from her unique background of having both undergraduate and master's degrees in the field of psychology.  This makes her a unique design professional as she is the only designer we know of who has a helping professions background as well as a design/decorating business.   In Anna's own words she explains, "As I am talking with my clients I am careful to find out exactly how they imagine living in the space before we ever even get to discussing design details.  I have a background which requires me to have strong interviewing skills and more importantly the ability to really listen to what people are telling me.  In the field of psychology this is known as active listening.   Not everyone hast his focus, because they are not trained to.  Really being able to listen to what your client has to say means to discover what is important to them in the design and decoration of their home and how they plan to use it on a daily bases".  Anna is careful to ask the right questions and then hear what the client wants during our initial interview. And through their budget and her resources, she can help them obtain exactly that.   This has been one of her best tools with her successful design business. "9/11 shifted the psyche of many people.  People want peace at home, whether it is a condo, and house or a mansion."  Anna feels that we are all yearning for that sense of peace, and many want to find it in the space where they live.  "Home is a refuge from the outside world and the stress we experience once we walk out the front door. That desire for a peaceful refuge  feeds down what paint colors or the fabrics they choose.  When people feel good in a space they want to be there more often."  The theme then should be carried out throughout the entire home, for a good design should make sense from the front door to the back door and from top to bottom.

For Anna's home, she was careful to stick with a theme of bringing the outside, inside.  Using materials that reflect the mountains and depict rustic elegance.

With so many design shows on the television, it isn't uncommon for people to watch HGTV and get just enough expertise to be dangerous.  It helps to have good, and professional planning up front so expensive and time consuming mistakes don't happen.

Anna has very discerning taste as evidence by the expensive art displayed on her walls, and even more invaluable art, covering her refrigerator doors.



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