As a designer, I am always talking up how favorite movie homes have long-been an inspiration for me creatively. As I a kid I would draw the floor plans of the classic, black and white films I loved from the 1940s. When I grew up and started working in film and television - settings and environments continued to inspire me and catch my eye. Now, as a designer that produces and designs projects on television and in magazines - as well as in private homes - I always use homes from films as a favorite tool. To me, I'm always asking people that do not know what their home style is to think about what film home they have seen and have responded to.
Just mention the films "Somethings Gotta Give," "Father of The Bride" (Part 1 and 2), "Hanging Up," or "Baby Boom" and "The Family Stone" - people's faces light up and they start remembering those great homes in those films. It's a great way to get a creative conversation going about home and design. I talked about this at great length in my book No Place Like Home.
Now this brings me to a common link to these films - actress, creative businesswoman and mom - Diane Keaton.
I have been a fan of Diane Keaton as an actress - but also as a creative person that wears many hats. I respect and admire that. I also know that she loves design and architecture too - as she has renovated many homes over the years. So it is no wonder that the films mentioned above - that she starred in - all have great environments in them too.
There is bit of synergy to this whole feature today that I will take a moment to share with you...
I had heard that Diane Keaton had launched a line of home products with Bed, Bath and Beyond in 2011 called K by Keaton. At the same time, I was finishing up the gathering together of my own creative venture for my canvas art and photography collection which launched at the end of 2011.
The synergy came when I heard Diane talking about her concept for the her new home collection and the vision for what inspired her...
Those classic, weather-worn, American barns that are found across our country. Ironically, I too was inspired by those old barns that show so much character and a certain style. Barns are a big part of my art collection - because as I traveled doing photography - barns and our American landscape were a big influence for me personally. So I was very excited to see her collection of home products first hand - as they seemed to be in line with what I inspired me in my travels.
So the day came when the products arrived to my studio for an upcoming makeover project. The first two things out of the box were big bowls and big coffee mugs in a great ceramic off-white tone. Great texture and feel to them - so I was sold right off. I have a thing about big bowls for salads and soups. The collections of K by Keaton consist of "Eat" and "Dream" - tabletop and bedding. Of course, when I opened the box with the reclaimed barn wood style serving trays - I knew she had done it right. I love the patina of faded barn wood and the richness it can add to any space.
The pieces also all arrived when I was in the midst of reading Diane's new auto-biography THEN AGAIN which was given to me for Christmas. I like how she writes and thinks. Weaving her own personal history as a creative person - but also that of her mother's own life/creative journey. One family's journey in essence.
All-in-all - the timing was quite right as I planned my upcoming makeover shoot featuring her home collection (the images incorporated into my photo collages shown here are from the room makeovers that I designed and will showcase later this week). I think having her book in my mind as I was planning the design/shoot also made it all the more powerful for me - insight into what has brought to her where she is in life now.
As many of you know, as Designer Dad, I've been doing a series called Designer Dad At Home With...As a husband, dad of two boys and a homeowner - I know what home means to me and how our environments are the foundation of our everyday lives...So I am fascinated by what home means to other people. So it seemed only natural that the next chat about what home means should be with Diane Keaton.
So I present to you that conversation with Diane dissolved in amongst my collages from my shoot of her collection, some of my own art work of barns and landscapes from my collection - but overall a sampling of the inspired environments that were influenced by all things Diane Keaton and, I suppose, America too.
Actress, Designer and Mom.
Any special project you are focused on now?
Most excited about K by Keaton! The possibilities are endless.
What was the inspiration for the home collection?
The inspiration for K by Keaton comes from the heartland. I’m obsessed with barn structures and the textures and colors that surround them. It’s all about loft living these days and I think we’re going for traditional Americana design pieces that we can put a modern twist on.
I know you love photography and design, like I do – what is it about the classic American barn that you love so much?
The simple shapes, the warmth, the patina of the wood.
What do you love about American home styles?
We’ve now entered this new imaginative stage in American design. I really love the juxtaposition of clean lines of the new... with the textures and materials of the old... reclaimed, re-used materials...
As a creative person, what was one of the most satisfying projects you have been a part of?
To me, as a creative person, K by Keaton has been it. Because the atmosphere is productive and because we’re celebrating what’s great about something that exists... this idea of Americana. I love really looking at what is already around us and taking the time to appreciate it.
What do you surround yourself with to generate a creative environment for the many creative hats you wear?
Creative inspiration... I cut and paste magazines. I have binders and binders of imagery and inspiration.. like collage for my brain. I also have big bulletin boards so I am always surrounding myself with visuals. What else… I’m listening to JayZ and Kanye West’s new album. It’s unbelievable… "Watch the Throne."
You are a parent - how many children do you have?
Has that changed since you have had children?
Since having children, how about my LIFE has changed. Everything you can imagine has changed.
What does coming home mean to you at the end of the day?
What is the mood or style of your home? Has that changed since you have had children or even as you have grown up too?
Eclectic. It’s even more eclectic. My vision has just grown because of the influence of those children. And it’s become even simpler… and how about we have more fun with our homes? I think kids have definitely made my home more like a place we have fun and being together and remembering to laugh a little. Design does not have to be always serious.
What do you recall from your own childhood home? Is there anything that says “home” to you that you have brought into your own family home?
The shared experience of gathering together for dinner, conversation. Home is about surrounding myself with an ever changing array of visual stimulation. That big family bulletin board that always has evolving images and quirky reminders of what’s going on... it’s about change and changing together as a family.
What is your favorite room or area in your home now? Why?
The office and the kitchen/living area. And I cannot highlight enough the importance of tables.
(In keeping with Diane's thoughts on the importance of tables - the table below is one that I designed and am featuring in my upcoming makeover later this week. Tables are key for me too. I wanted a table that could serve several purposes and one that you could pick up and move for an instant home office, a breakfast bar or take it outside for an impromptu dinner in the garden - easily. So we created it to change easily from a dining table, to a kitchen island and also into a coffee table - all in one combo. It's made from reclaimed barn wood from a nearby farm. Casual and beautiful.)
|These industrial-style chairs in silver are from Overstock.com|
Where do you turn to for inspiration to make your home better?
When I was young I always got my fashion inspiration from the street as well as magazines... it’s a combination... you have to look at everything that’s available for you to see. It’s about expanding your vision. I think it’s important to stay observant and get around. It’s amazing how things change when you leave your designated spot. Recently I have taken to jogging in different neighborhoods and it’s so interesting to see the different styles and what’s going on. There is always something going on when it comes to design and architecture. You have to expand yourself.
What was the last thing you bought for your home?
I bought a couple of signs in Texas.. One letter says “I” and the other says “Q”. So I framed them together and put my I.Q. in the dining room so I could remember to think.
If I walked through your front door, what would be the first thing I would notice about your home?
My brother Randy’s collages… Entitled "Stymied By a Woman’s Face." They are amazing. And books. I have a ton of books. Of the art and architecture sort. You really can’t miss those.
A special thank you to Diane Keaton. The products, her vision and voice - certainly inspired the hundreds of photographs I shot of her products in the makeover I designed and styled. I will share those with you later this week (I won't share hundreds of photos with you - but certainly there will be ones that you can use as visual inspiration for your own vision boards!).
I love how just hearing how other families live in their spaces can be inspiring. It's not about fancy stuff or going over the top - it's about the good, simple, basic moments of everyday life. That's what I'm talking about. That world that we create on the inside of our homes with our families is key. It's a place for laughter, meals, music and connection. Enjoy it and be in those moments - fully. So turn up the tunes, go make dinner together and talk about each of your day's adventures. Then, after dinner, create a family vision board together!
I leave you with one of Diane's favorites words that she talks about in her book: THINK.
My favorites would have to be the combo of: BE CREATIVE.
Check back in later this week for my "Barn-Wood-Inspired Makeover Project" and a Visual Sampler Video from that project featuring all the products - including great industrial-style metal chairs and stools from Overstock.com, faux barn wood wall coverings from York Wallcoverings and the artwork. Better yet, sign up to Follow Me via email or Subscribe to my Designer Dad Blog...Plus be sure to check out these great companies. More to come...
A special thanks to Bed Bath and Beyond, Artistic Photo Canvas , York Wallcoverings and Overstock.com for being a part of my upcoming makeover feature and whose products are also seen in the images above.