Instinct plays a role in my creative process along with inspiration. I will see something in my travels, antiquing, flea marketing, like the very old brass church sconce above and just know I have to have it. One of a pair they just lay on a table in a jumble of unrelated pieces, with a piece of wire somehow holding them together. Unusual and rather useless, since no way to hang on a wall or make them stand, with a place for a candle inside from some church long ago. They immediately appealed to me for their charm and detail and great age. I bought them with no use in mind or rather thinking someday, somewhere I would find a use. Might be tomorrow or might be years but one day they’ll find a home. As often happens, the home turned out to be mine. Many years later I was taking several lamps to be rewired, repaired, reshaded and remembered these in my inventory and brought them along. After discussing with the artisan at the “lamp store’ who deals with antique lighting, we decided the best idea was to create small lamps out of them. He conceived and made the round bases and faux painted them to make them look old and complementary to the very old brass and etched glass inserts. I didn’t want them cleaned up, repolished or replaced so just wired and ready to go. I have a very old Italian cabinet that holds a collection of antique brass candlesticks and antique santos from my travels all over the world. Nestled among these and lit they add just the right mood lighting to complete the picture.
Over the years my instincts are so honed that I am able to quickly pick out the pieces that have the potential to be fabulous, for my clients or myself. Once honed you don’t have to know exactly where that piece will fit into your room or house at the moment but with confidence know that it will seamlessly become part of your design at some point. You too can hone your instincts by looking carefully and using your imagination and creative spirit to the not so obvious use of the object. With practice you well become surer and better. Begin with the fun and less dear so that the investment is not so great while you are building confidence. Have your own space where you can store such things, and look at them for inspiration from time to time. In time you will be sure that whatever it is will find the perfect home with you too.