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WV Design Team: The creative journey

By By Pat Bibbee
WV Design Team
Photo courtesy of PAT BIBBEE DESIGNS
A trip out West was inspiration for this unique front door.
Photo courtesy of PAT BIBBEE DESIGNS
A dramatic, overscaled wallpaper looks great in a small powder room.
Pieter Estersohn for Architectural Digest
This photo in the July 2014 issue of Architectural Digest magazine caught Pat Bibbee’s eye. She is going to repeat this wallpaper in her guest bedroom.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — It would be an understatement of the greatest proportions to make the announcement that I like to decorate.

As I have always said, I am one lucky girl because my avocation is my vocation. I am consumed by this interest.

My free time is often spent looking through magazines, surfing the Web, HGTV — whatever means to an end to satisfy my creative journey.

People often ask where I get ideas, and I answer, “Everywhere!” I am always searching for the perfect “thing” to put in the perfect “place.”

Many years ago, on a trip out West with good friends, I was told that riding in a golf cart while my husband played golf would be close to a religious experience.

I can’t say that the game of golf inspired me, but while riding in the cart, we passed a house with a stunning entryway. A metal deer had been sculpted on the door. I loved it! I couldn’t forget it.

As soon as I got home, I contacted Jeff Fetty, blacksmith supreme, and told him my idea. Jeff was enchanted with the possibility of such a door.

As the accompanying photo shows, my front door was born. I have enjoyed looking at it every time I approach my house, and have never tired of its originality and whimsy. A wonderful front door for a West Virginia home!

Just last weekend, while looking at this month’s Architectural Digest, I found a charming wallpaper in a room with chartreuse painted beds!

I couldn’t stop looking at it. I contacted the company on Monday morning and I have wallpaper samples coming my way.

I plan to use it in my guest room, which was my son’s room and is now my grandson Charlie’s room.

It is a small room with dormers, and houses a big timber bed. I think the paper will bring exactly the right sense of wonder to Charlie’s visits to Nana’s and Papa’s.

Grandchildren can be such an inspiration!

We can be inspired by a drive around our neighborhoods. I am always looking at landscaping, front door color, garage door style, or what someone planted around the maple tree in their front yard.

I am always looking and learning.

Creativity is an ageless pursuit. Some of my favorite clients are in their mid-80s. They never tire of making changes in their environment. I love their attitude that today is a great day to change the paint color in their bedroom or add wallpaper to the powder room.

Life inspires them, and in turn, they inspire me.

I have several friends who are interior designers that I have met over the years from traveling solo to markets around the country. We all say that we love to get together and share ideas and inspiration. We are always learning from one another.

Your creative journey can follow the same path. Just a walk out of your front door on a lovely summer day can provide you with a total color plan.

Mother nature loves green in every shade and hue. She also provides us with a road map for mixing pattern and texture. Lacy ferns, sculpted boxwoods, colorful day lilies — do you need to look any further? How can this relate to your own home?

One decorative element that has fallen into hard times of late is wallpaper. But a large pattern in a small space can be simply smashing. You can have fun for a relatively low price tag. Wallpaper in a small room, a powder room for example, can give you the most bang for your buck.

Look for ideas in your everyday world. Be open to the ordinary that, as I have said before, can become extraordinary.

It can fuel your creative journey. It is a starting point from which you can let your imagination be the driver. It can be the place where you need not consider too much of anything else.

Your children’s art can be framed and, when hung together, can make a wonderful statement in a hallway space or study.

Creativity is a muscle — the more we use it, the stronger it gets!

The creative journey is not a straight path. It is filled with lots of unexpected pleasures.

Come, walk it with me!

Happy homes!

Based in Charleston, Pat Bibbee has been designing homes and commercial spaces for more than 25 years. More information on Pat Bibbee Designs can be found at Bibbee can be reached at 304-346-1991 or Check out the latest on Pat Bibbee Designs on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Houz.

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