Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Dark & Light: The Essential Mariette Himes Gomez

I have become obsessed with clean traditional rooms that feature an airy, pale background with a few striking dark elements. These rooms are by my interior design idol, Mariette Himes Gomez.
The furniture in these rooms is architectural, which adds to its beauty and impact. The dark furniture is a beautiful accent in these light-flooded rooms...

I used to think the lightest airiest rooms were full of white, but the lightness is highlighted best by the touches of darkness. It is high contrast that accentuates paleness best.
Mariette chooses important pieces and elevates them with her quiet, pared down, but carefully orchestrated interiors. She can do no wrong in my book. You have to be a master to achieve simplicity like this. This kind of simplicity is the ultimate sophistication (to misquote DaVinci!).
Her work is my inspiration as I slowly try to pare down, declutter, and distill my rooms to a purer form. I love antiques and I want to create classic rooms with beautiful things I never tire of. I am not a trend follower, but even a trend can be added to these timeless rooms without disturbing their quiet perfection.
It will be a long process for me (lacking time and this kind of budget...), but I intend to slowly create a home with just this feel...which I call pared down classic, with the interplay of light and dark.
Imagine living in quiet perfect rooms like these (her own Manhattan apartment):

Check out Mariette's website and her beautiful books: "Rooms", "Houses", and "Apartments". They are as wonderful to read as to look at...her philosophy on decorating resonates deeply with me. If I could do my life over again, I would study design at some great school and then in my fantasy world, beg Mariette to let me learn from her and her beautiful mind!



  1. Hi,

    I would be right there with you. My sentiments exactly. I LOVE LOVE Mariette Gomez-Himes and I have her 3 books as well. Purity of form, nobody does it better. Thanks for sharing.
    Take care
    Tasmania, Australia

  2. i adore her. she is pure perfection in my book. i think your home already embodies a lot of the qualities that she does so well.


  3. Wow - great observation - never really thought about the fact that some of the most beautiful rooms have that dark accent that makes the light pop. You would probably like the work of Kerry Joyce as well, it is that pared down classic look with light and dark interplay. He is out of Los Angeles, so I also think it has that great Californian feel to it as well.

  4. Hi Terri - Her work is beautiful and I'm on the same page as you regarding the pared down classic look. I especially like the photo of the bedroom with the wood floors, white walls, and iron bed, but don't get me started!

  5. Terri,
    I loved this post...and had been mulling one around myself on her for some time! She is probably my all-time favorite female designer!
    For all the reasons you stated!!!

  6. Dear Terri!
    How are you?
    I would love to send you my book that I made (Photo, design and layout)as apresent, maybe you know where I can sell it in US and Canada (then translated)

    send me your home adr to my email, top right on my blog.

    many many hugs

    We go Paris 15th of november and 4 days, It will be wonderful:-)

  7. I looove that golden bed...

    Oh my


  8. I love these rooms. I like that they aren't too cluttered and because they are pared down, they let the eyes rest, in a way.