Look for striking originality in your design elements

Red Deer designer says almost anything quirky will catch her attention

It has been a sad week for Canadian culture with the deaths of two icons in our music and entertainment industry. One was an acquaintance of mine whom I have shared meals and scrabble games and many laughs with and the other was a revered musician I was once in the presence of as he belted his heart out on stage while holding a banana.

Both men were treasures and talented beyond belief and it is a great loss to see these gentle souls say their last goodbyes and be taken from us too soon.

Both men were quirky, interesting and even eccentric in their own ways.

Many people who are creative geniuses and who live their lives for the entertainment of others are unique and special and often just a little off centre – which is what is most lovable about them.

When I am searching for a home or design accent, furniture, colour…. just about anything quirky will capture my attention. There are rows and rows of the same darn thing and blocks and blocks of the same type and style of house, especially in a neighbourhood with architectural controls.

If you have ever driven into a subdivision and had trouble finding your way out because every house looks the same, you know what I am referring to.

When looking for homes in Lacombe, we first settled on a bi-level as there was very little inventory to buy in 2005.

Within a few years I was eager to get my hands into a unique, character home.

I craved the unusual layouts and hidden corners that are classic in older homes.

When we walked into the one that would eventually be ours, all I had to do was discover the hidden staircase at the back of the house which led into the kitchen and I was hooked!

After all the bi-levels and bungalows and square boxes I had lived in, this home captured my imagination and it was love at first sight.

The fact that I fell down those stairs several times after moving in didn’t reduce my love, even though those narrow steep stairs did a number on my tailbone!

When you come across ‘the find’ in a store that you KNOW needs to come home with you, it is a reaction you can’t deny. When you walk into that house, it is a full on emotional reaction that completely sways you.

Sometimes it can be a feature, other times it can be a feel or a mood which strikes you and draws you further into the place. The quirky and eccentric musician who wears weird hats and graphic t-shirts is the embodiment of brilliance and a deep, poetic soul and the actor who plays a drunk and verbally abusive trailer park warden is a behind-the-scenes scholar and philosopher. The unusual, the strange and eccentric are all marks of brilliance.

The home with the extra character hints at an architect or builder with vision and love for a project and the perfect decorative find is probably the love child of an artisan who worked that piece by hand rather than it being cookie cutter punched in a factory.

To all of these things we should pay attention for their unequalled beauty and unique gifting.

Kim Wyse is a Central Alberta freelance designer. Find her on facebook at ‘Ask a Realtor/Ask a Designer’.

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