Why Something Small Can Make A Big Difference / by Raji Radhakrishnan

Interior by  Raji RM & Associates ; Photography by  Rikki Snyder

Interior by Raji RM & Associates; Photography by Rikki Snyder

I know I often talk about "grand" gestures and yes, in some ways murals have become a signature style in many of my projects. But, if you look closely at the whole room and observe or better yet, if you actually walk into a room I've designed you will notice that while the big gestures draw you in at first, it is several of the small gestures that put a smile on your face and makes you actually want to linger. Designing a room is not about just one grand gesture. I know that because I still design many homes with nary a mural in it. It is the sum of several parts that is much greater as a whole. Sometimes when it does involve a grand gesture like a mural then I think carefully about what it might do to a room's composition, the architecture and how each piece, each move I make interacts with and affects the other parts of the room and in fact the rest of the home. Every piece in the room plays a role, like characters in a play, and make the room come together and come alive. Nothing is trivial. Everything bears consideration.

And when I say smaller parts I mean all the way to the tiniest detail. A good example is my own living room. I devoted nearly an entire wall to Leopold #2 mural seen above. I chose this mural, because the original painting reminds me of Thomas Struth' photographs. I like to think that perhaps Struth was inspired by it to create his Museum series. Besides, every time when I have guests in my living room looking at this mural it is down right exhilarating and funny at the same time. It is as if they and the room together have now become part of a painting/photograph too animating the whole space.  It is also a happy nod to my love of art, museums and people watching!

Detail of a tiny 2" x 3" wire sculpture juxtaposed in the adjacent wall where a large 14' x 8' mural is

Detail of a tiny 2" x 3" wire sculpture juxtaposed in the adjacent wall where a large 14' x 8' mural is

Typically, when guests come into this room, they are taken by this enormous mural for the first few minutes and slowly as they settle down on one of the lounge chairs or sofas they get comfortable and start chatting. I think it is during that time they start noticing all the other pieces and finally some one (often it is a child who does) notices that little, tiny wire sculpture sitting atop the shelf on the wall adjacent to the mural. Some ask what it is and how come I placed such a tiny sculpture next to this large mural and I say it's just a play of scale and a reminder of how tiny we all are in this great, big world. And they smile and the conversation turns to more worldly matters, our children, family, DC politics and I feel like all these little things in the room are all partaking in this lively conversation and are pleasantly happy to be there too.

Raji RM & Associates | Interior Designer & Decorator

Washington DC | New York

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