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Sequestered in their swatch-lined offices, interior designers may seem intimidating and unapproachable. Stephen Patrick has set out to change that perception with his San Luis Obispo showroom, Stephen Patrick Design.

 

Open since July of 2008, the shop is not only a resource for his interior design clients, it allows the public to access products and materials typically reserved for the design trade.

 

Although the store carries a broad range of items, home accents are its specialty.

 

“It stirs the creative juices for people to find accessories to finish a project,” he said. “People can walk through and see what styles they like.”

 

For this reason, the store offers a range of styles, but the overriding look is bold and contemporary. Patrick strives to offer pieces that are unusual, including some that are created by local artists and artisans.

 

Pismo Beach’s England Botanicals creates Asianstyle ceramic planters and terrariums that come arranged with succulents. Atascadero artist Robert Wayne hand-sculpts and paints relief designs on pieces of natural stone to create textural wall hangings suitable for both indoor and out.

 

The store has a strong organic vibe and offers many products that are either green or feature natural materials — a design concept Patrick calls “eco chic.” An iron coffee table with sinewy legs that resemble branches has a glass top encasing an arrangement of natural slate and pebbles which call to mind a garden path. Photography by Pam Forrest vividly depicts botanicals and garden wildlife. Patrick also offers a line of soy-based candles with lead-free wicks and recycled glass holders.

 

Although the holiday season brought small, gifty items to the shop, Patrick is transitioning toward more large-scale art and accessories. The advantage of these larger pieces, he said, is a cleaner look. For example, the shop offers a curvaceous lamp made of woven grasses which stands at an impressive 7 ½ feet tall. It functions as lighting, sculpture and focal point all at once.

 

Accessories aren’t the only items available. Customers can special order furniture and lighting, buy wallpaper, order drapes and blinds, or even purchase materials like flooring, marble and granite. Most of the time, Patrick is onsite to offer design advice to clients and non-clients alike.

 

The high-style look of the store belies the mid-range pricing on many items. Sure, there are plenty of high-end pieces. But for the most part, Patrick makes good on his pledge to offer good design that is accessible to the average person.

 

Stephen Patrick Design is open Thursday through Sunday and by appointment. It is located at 888 Monterey Street in San Luis Obispo, phone 544-3326.

DESIGN TIPS FROM STEPHEN PATRICK

 

JUICY HUES

 

Hot colors for 2010 will include citrus-inspired shades of orange and lime. Use them to perk up pale earth tones. For instance, try adding a piece of orange or lime colored art glass against a background of gray or rich brown. If you’re daring, try them in a larger application such as an accent wall, and you might be surprised with the energy it brings to a space.

 

GREEN FOR LESS GREEN

 

If an eco-friendly material was out of your price range a year or two ago, it might be worthwhile to take a second look. The cost of many green materials is beginning to drop as they become more mainstream. For example, the cost of low-VOC paint has dropped dramatically. Some cork flooring has dropped 35 percent or more in price.

 

CLEAN IT UP

 

The look for 2010 is cleaner and simpler. Replace a cluster of accessories with one bold, large-scale piece. For instance, clear out a scattering of vases with one large vase, or a collection of small wall hangings with an oversized piece of art. It offers greater impact, has a cleaner look, and provides fewer surfaces for dust to collect.