Organic Modernism asked Interior Designer Tobi Wright to share her inspiration for her bold, colorful interiors.
How would you describe your design style?
Contemporary with a double take is always my goal. Adding that extra special something to what could otherwise be a very common installation. In a current project large white subway tile are installed on an angle … not chevron or herringbone, think more along the lines of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. In a project I finished last year, a backsplash and counter-top stone look like a painting.
Where do you take your design inspiration from? Any specific Instagram accounts or blogs you ‘stalk’ for ideas?
The designmilk platforms are a great source for inspiration across so many different markets: fashion, food, interiors, architecture, travel, products, art, events, etc, so they are a go-to. I tend to find more of my inspiration away from the computer, and interestingly, in some non-visual environments. My visual inspiration comes from old and new architectural details, showrooms, show houses, trade shows, and mother nature. My non-visual inspiration comes from podcasts such as “How I Built This” and “Outlook”. Listening to people’s stories about how they thought out of the box, followed a passion, and/or overcame odds fills me with inspiration and reminds me that there are no limits.
Your designs caught our attention due to your fantastic use of color. You’ve managed to achieve a modern look that goes outside of the normal ‘white room’ we tend to see. What aesthetics inspire your interiors? Are there any particular projects you loved bringing to life?
There isn’t one particular aesthetic that inspires my interiors, I’m just not afraid of color. I will draw from themes in my client’s homes-maybe a color in their closet, or artwork, that shows up more than another. In the early stages of design when I’m presenting mood boards, I’ll run with the object/color/shape/texture they have the strongest positive reaction to.
I love creating environments that are specific to the client’s dreams and inspirations-designing furniture and fixtures from scratch for a very personalized and unique home is incredibly gratifying. A current client loves Frank Lloyd Wright, particularly his Falling Water house. I pulled all sorts of inspiration from that house to design their custom bed, closets, rug, and art.
We noticed our Sultan Credenza and Peking Chair pop up in one of your projects. What drew you to these particular pieces?
Mid Century Modern furniture is very popular, and some manufacturers nail the style better than others. I mentioned proportions above, and OM does proportion right! What’s not to love about the Sultan Credenza? I’m going to date myself with this term, but it is “SHARP!” There’s no better term for it. The brass patch doors provide color, texture, movement, and style, and the frame is sophisticated and understated. The Peking chair is a classic form with surprising comfort. You could use it around a dining table, but it’s truly perfect for my client’s needs-a side chair married with a drink table for entertaining. So easy to get into and out of, sturdy, comfortable, and … a bit whimsical.
Photograph © Brittany Ambridge/OTTO
How would you say being an interior designer affects the way you look at a piece of furniture?
It makes me very very picky 🙂 Proportions are EVERYTHING, unique details and quality construction are a must, comfort cannot be sacrificed, and if there’s something whimsical about it, it’s an epic WIN. If the right piece for space is not preexisting, I’ll design it and have it fabricated.
What are your favorite trends right now in design? Are there any you’re just over?
There’s a cadre of designers who don’t follow trends-I’d say I’m a part of that group. Paula Navone was my first design crush. Every time an interior in a magazine stopped me in my tracks, it was one of hers. She marries materials in the most unexpected ways, while the design remains surprisingly cohesive. One of (what I consider her) signature styles is a gradated transition from one material to another-a wood floor to a tile floor where individual tiles intermingle with the wood across the transition. I feel as though I’m seeing more of this technique in design these days. Along the same lines, I like that geometric tile shapes are being used as the finished edge, vs cutting a straight line or using edge liner or trim. It’s not practical from a cleaning standpoint, so it has its place, but, its visually arresting and kind of playful.
In addition to this, I think the appliance world is transforming kitchen efficiency by leaps and bounds with their customizable products: dishwasher drawers in different sizes (currently exclusive to Fisher and Paykel), refrigerator columns with cooling options and zones, and Galley sinks, to name a few.
Over: Grey and white kitchens and bathrooms.
Give us your elevator pitch about you:
I design spaces that are striking yet serene. I collaborate with my trusted architects, contractors, audiovisual specialists, mill-workers, upholsterers, custom workrooms, and vendors, to create a home that fills you with joy.
Who you are, and how you live, lays the aesthetic and experiential groundwork for your brand new, or re-imagined space.
If you find, upon completion of the design, that you walk into a room for the sheer pleasure of experiencing it, many important goals have been realized.
Wright Now gives you a glimpse into recent InsideWright successes. A of an event I co-hosted with is a fun watch.
Originally published at https://www.organicmodernism.com on May 13, 2019.