When in Doubt, Just Hit Play

By Erica Swanson

I hear it all the time.

“I don’t know who I am, really.”

“I know what I don’t want, but when it comes to what I DO want… well… er, I

“Um. I like neutral…?”

You know EXACTLY who you are. Translating that into 3D form? Sure. I can sympathize with
the mental fog. But this is easier than you think.


Just hit ‘play’.


Your record collection holds the key to your visual expression. Whatever’s hiding in your i-pod,
bring it on out to play. Literally. Preferably your favourite track.

Now, here’s the tough part.


I mean, REALLY listen. Close your eyes. Shut the door if need be.

How do you feel? Elated? Relaxed? Inspired? Sexy? Powerful? Peaceful? All of those things?

Whatever it is, it’s what your space should look like.

“Erm. What?!”

Think about it: You’re attracted to certain music because of the way it makes you FEEL. You
reach for (fill in the blank) when you’re pumped. You reach for (fill in the blank) when you’re
aching. You reach for (fill in the blank) when you’re, you know, in the mood. And you choose
those tunes for a reason. It’s an expression; a point of view. And it’s distinctly yours.

Design can do the same thing. Auditory and visual sensations; they’re two sides of the same
coin. It’s about finding your visual melody, picking out the various notes, standing back and
hearing (seeing) how those various notes fit into the greater composition, and then

walking into it. It’s you ~ an intangible experience, brought into tangible form.

Stay with me. Let’s experiment a bit.

How does this make you feel?

Dirty? Gritty? Nostalgic? It’s a visceral video, to be sure.

I hear lights down low. A scotch, neat. A hot bath, no bubbles. Here:

Slightly ‘off’; like cracks in the pavement. And utterly perfect after a shitty day.

And this ~ tell me how this one makes you feel:

I’m silenced. And with trepidation, I find myself here:

There is stillness. And grace so exquisite, it reminds me of glistening dew on a brisk, autumn
morning. But underneath that layer, hides raw intensity. And the tension within the clash is
the seduction.


The ache. Dripping in decadence. Harsh and angry and asking. Here.

So tell me…

How does your music make you feel?
And what does it look like?
Because you know.

Deep down, you do.


Erica Swanson is an interior Designer, which is a fancy-pants way of saying she creates kick-ass spaces for wickedly cool people. She listens. She translates. She initiates. And then she delivers you You.

She does that with her Design at Your Doorstep virtual services. She helps you get what’s in your head, into your space, all at a fraction of the cost of working with a designer in the traditional way. It’s kind of like having your cake and eating it too. Naughty, yes? Because it isn’t about trends or this year’s hottest paint colour or what the Joneses are doing. It’s about you. And it’s about time.

She’s been designing for over a decade. Shes been featured on national television, books, magazines and in both of Canada’s national newspapers. Oh, and she don’t just hear music, she sees music. She works by weaving music through the visuals like lyrics through a melody. Because design isn’t just about how you want it to look… it’s about how you want to feel. All of this means, of course, that she’s not your mother’s designer. Not by a long shot. Want more? Visit her atwww.ericaswansondesign.com and follow her at @erica_swanson.

2 Responses to “When in Doubt, Just Hit Play”

  1. Lizzy B says:

    What would you say this looks like?


    I’m thinking lots of vintage tat…

    • Erica says:

      Hm. With a bit more spunk. It wouldn’t be your grandma’s doily-covered living room, that’s for sure.

      And more colorful than the faded, worn-just-so perfection of vintage tat… especially with minute 2:10.

      A little wild-child, a little throwback. And so, so comfortable.

      Like sipping a Sidecar on the front porch.

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