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Tuesday, January 26

Wait! You can't do that! Or can you?

I guess I am always on a mission to "think outside of the box" and challenge myself and projects to come up with creative ideas that are unique-creative-inventive and personalized.

What are the "laws" of design anyway? Who says you can't move something to a new location that is not typical- to make something work. If it works for you and your life- is that all that really matters?

I am pondering this question as earlier this week I thought of a new location for a little "bar on a tray" for a project that I am working on. Rather than keeping it in it's usual home in a bookcase- I moved the location to the mantel above the fireplace (which isn't working by the way). I am not sure if this is really going to end up living in this new location- but this is what got me thinking about this topic. Why isn't it ok? Or is it? Is it horrible? Or maybe brilliant? Is it that- it becomes the focal point of the room? Is it that- you just can't make a bar on top of a fireplace mantel? If the bottles are pretty CAN it become an interesting focal point? Who sets these rules anyway? If it works for the space- is that all that really matters?

Let me know what you think about pushing the limits and the idea of the bar on the mantel as a concept in general.

(Sorry the photo is not great- it was getting dark and the iphone doesn't have a flash (hear that iphone maker people- flash next time- please!)


lindaraxa said...

It's tough to see from the angle you shot it, but what would bother me has to do with the narrowness of the mantle and how functional it may be as a bar. Can you comfortably fix a drink? if so,how clever,...who would have thought!

Lacquered Life said...

It could be cool in an artistic avant garde sort of way. I think that the only probs would be height of the mantel (for those hard to reach bottles) and depth of the mantel (if you have alot of bottles). Clearly getting to the booze is my number one concern! Good Question!

EAC said...

I like the idea of trying something new & unexpected. Practically thinking, though, most furniture arrangements center on the fireplace and making a drink would require turning your back on your company, and possibly, waiting for a break in the conversation prior to walking through the group. Unless you have a large room and a lot of space between the end of the seating group and the fireplace. Plus the ice in your chiller would melt. A nice men's library type winter arrangement though! What the heck- try it- if it works, great, if not, try something new!

La Maison Fou said...

I so agree does it take "the right people", and whom are they?
I think you should push the envelope, reach a little higher, and think outside the box!
By the way, Grant I loved your spot on the skirted roundtable! You will go far.

home before dark said...

Being married to a tall man, I can see a tall man's thinking going on here. I like the idea of doing what works in a room vs what works in a book or for smaller always follow the rule minds. For most people this bar would be too tall.Big thumbs up for how you handled the TV in your apartment. Thumbs down on this idea unless you are tall or have a tall bartender.

A Perfect Gray said...

You've inspired me. . .thanks!

Kathysue said...

Hi Grant, I believe design rules(should be called guidelines) are made to be broken. Remember when they use to say put small pieces in small rooms and now they say put fewer but larger pieces in the room to make it feel larger. If you break a rule you just might become the next Design Diva!! Kathysue

Calimyrna Moon said...

Grant, I think you've created a metaphor for life. The Bar on the Mantelpiece stands in for all the times, from childhood to great old age, when we are told what we cannot do, should not do, must not do because it will not work, has never been done before, isn't right for us, et cetera, et cetera - ad bloody infinitum.

If we use our own emotions as guides instead of the pronouncements of little dictators inside (and outside) our heads, we'll do what makes us feel happy. Consequently, we'll be happy. Remarkably enough, it's as simple as that.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant, especially for the scotch & whisky drinkers that might like it warmed up a little over the fireplace. I agree do what works.

"Yeah, that works..!" said...

I love the idea if practically speaking, it works for the client. Personally, I get bored with "rules" and am always looking for unqiue approaches such as this. It's the creative thinking and problem-solving that helps define a designer. If an idea doesn't work for whatever reason- it doesn't work - onto the next one!

Maureen Sullivan Stemberg, Interiors said...

when I was in my 20's Diana Veerland, once told me.
"As long as people walk away with a feeling of *good taste and style." I would add I believe (assuming you have *it* as Miss Veerland stated), go with your instinct, which you indeed have *it!* ~maureen Oh love the mantle design. Great use of the space.

ArchitectDesign™ said...

I think it's a great idea! Thinking outside of the box is why clients hire us :-)

Dianne said...

Too short to do the bar on a mantle. I do, however, love things in odd places...thinking outside the box. The most important thing with a bar (as in the prep of anything) is space to do it. Is there really enough room there to prepare a drink? Remember, out here in the burbs we LIVE in our homes...not just show places.
Love your blog and you were just charming on SRT!!!!!

katiedid said... can break the rules at my house anytime! Who was it that said a comfortable place to sit and a place to set my drink are all that is necessary (maybe I just did!) Oh, and a light to read by. The rest of the rules are made to be broken, and should be regularly to keep us all on our toes. Makes for a much more interesting space!

Acanthus and Acorn said...

No rules ever! Which is probably why most of my favorite designers have no formal training. I loathe rules such as: put something red in every room, put something black in every room, put something asian or exotic in every room, etc...!!! While I don't particularly care for the idea of a bar on a fireplace mantle, I like the idea that it most certainly does not always have to be set up on a bar cart. I personally like a bar set up in/on a secretary or any other place that is practical, but not necessarily expected. Enjoyed this post-keep them coming!

Anonymous said...

Although it looks good as a sculpture (the shapes, textures & colors) it bothers me to have two activities intermingled like this. I think the fireplace, even though it's not working, and the bar should each be given their own separate space. Just love your apt. though and don't hold this one against you. Always gotta be experimenting….

Anonymous said...

I think it's always worth the effort to try something new. My only thought would be whether the height of the mantle would make it awkward to actually mix-pour a drink.
I loved your loving cup as storage for the tp. However we are not that agile and I was afraid that we would have rolls perpetually falling.

Anonymous said...

There are dumb rules and there are wise rules.
Good design has everything to do with function.
So there is probably a good reason why mantel
shelves haven't been used as a support for drinks
paraphernalia up to this point in time.
You are an excellent designer, but there is something
desperate about this concept.

michael said...

Rules are good for playing games, driving, and getting along with others.
All other "rules" should be pliable.
I agree with ALL the comments about mantles as bars (I'm so pliable)!

ps I really liked your spot on the Skirted Roundtable.

Anonymous said...

What a fun idea!

I agree with others, however, that practically speaking, this may not be the best idea.

Definitely whatever works best in any given space is what should happen, though. Rules can certainly be helpful guidelines and starting points, but they should never be seen as the end-all and be-all, especially in a creative occupation.

Remember, too, that nothing great has ever been accomplished or created by thinking inside the box.


Michael Hampton said...

I like that the liquor is almost at eye level! Makes it very handy for self service! As long as the bottles are attractive then I say why not!

Karen said...

I think part of being creative is to push the limits and to think outside the box. Otherwise, design and art would be whittled down to simplified form that could be written in a "how to" book that would lack dimension. I myself, am always a fan of the unexpected twist in a room.

Valerie Wills Interiors said...

Love that you mix things up like this and actually try different things. I like the idea but it may be difficult to mix a cocktail... you know what I mean? You'd have to take down the bottles and shaker and fill the glasses on another lower surface. Thanks for sharing this with us all.

Natalie Thiele said...

I thought it was a bathroom shelf at first, and no, I wouldn't like to have my bar in the bathroom. (I suppose, on occasion, it would make for a fun private party, though.)
Firepace mantle definitely works for me.


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