Good Design – ain’t no such thing.

What is “good design?”

In a sentence, one could say, it’s the bringing together of elements to make an aesthetically pleasing visual outcome.

It’s a topic that could be covered a million different ways from hundreds of angles and viewpoints. And has been.

Personally, I don’t believe such a thing could possibly be defined (cue angry experts telling me how wrong I am). Much like “good parenting” or “good fashion sense”. To me, it just can’t be boxed that easily.

It’s just too personal.

And as individuals, there is no way possible that we will see eye to eye on all aspects of one train of thought or another.

For example, my love of boho finery wildly offsets my friend’s passion for stark minimalism, and yet our shared passion for exquisite basketry works in either of our homes sublimely. Two totally different approaches, vastly different styles, and both look amazing to the people living in those spaces.

Is either of us creating a good/bad design? Well, in her eyes my style is most likely tacky and I feel like a surgeon is lurking in her sterile hallways just waiting to operate on me, but neither of us is right or wrong.

Good design/bad design…. Hard to define yes?

Sure, there are basic principles and guidelines that can mould and assist in a pleasing aesthetic, and I’ll happily share with you what I have learned, but not one idea can apply to all.

Perhaps the closest you could come to having a ” single rule” that defines good design is to just acknowledge that there can be no rule. Or, as Bunny Williams wisely said,

“If you love something, it will work. That is the only real rule.”

I think this applies to life really, not just design. What pleases us, what we learn to love in life, is what we need around us to flourish. It feeds us. A mix of all we are, all we’ve been and sometimes, it’s a reflection of where we hope to go.

Design within the home is fiercely personal and subjective and exactly why I say that having “rules” just makes no sense to me. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean to destroy standards and norms set by years of expertise and hard work by designers all over the globe, I just don’t feel that they are for me… and there will be loads of folks who feel the same, I’m sure. 

Nate Berkus said,

“Your home should tell the story of who you are, and be a collection of what you love.”

And I totally agree.

In beginning my journey with ten.eleven.twelve, I had it firmly set in my heart that I would offer what resonated with me only.

Memories, sights, sounds… moments. They all moulded who I am today and the spaces around me reflect that. Our family’s little home is an eclectic mix of hand me downs, found treasures and hints of lives gone by.

I realise not everyone wants that kind of space, but inherently, those folks won’t be who I design products and spaces for. And that’s just perfect.

Your vibe attracts your tribe.

Cliche, for sure, but it’s accurate.

I guess in a way, your home is as much a part of “your tribe” as the lives that live in it. It vibrates with the energy shared there and is a conduit for memories and collective moments that will be held in heads and hearts for lifetimes to come.

I think what I’m trying to say is that when I sat down to write a blog about “the basics/good design/how to get it right”…I saw my backside. Smartly.

Because there is just no way that I could do that…without demanding that the world sees things my way, and really… I think there are enough of those folks about.

So I won’t.

What I can and will do is share my experience, and will research further to share with you how to achieve certain looks I love and even toss in the odd DIY of how I’ve wrangled a look together.

I’m no expert, but also don’t feel I need to be one to share my thoughts. It’s a ‘use it, don’t use it’ vibe here, always. Easy going, fun, and an open exchange of ideas, learnings and experiences.

Please, feel free to let me know if there’s something you’d love me to address about creating spaces or my take on creating a look. I’m very happy to share, and knowing what you’d like to read about, makes it so much easier to write with confidence.


Until next time, go and make some beautiful memories

With love and respect








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