This is the most important of all rules!!!!
1. There are no rules. You have probably heard all kinds of rule of thumb for designing a space. Each space is different and unique so each space will have it's own set of "rules" if you will.
Homeowners Goal: These homeowners weren't sure what to do with the odd shaped room off their dining room. It a was bland space that the family just didn't know how to use. My gut instinct was to turn it into a lounge area, where the family could entertain as well as enjoy quality family time. In addition, the architecture of the home is natural and outdoorsy, but they prefer a more modern style.
-Extremely tall storage cabinets and an angular staircase, which offered great architectural detail, but was not highlighted in any way
- The room is adjacent to the dining room, so the traffic pattern needs to flow between the two spaces
- Serving Space is needed for entertaining
- The area under the stairway was dark and dreary
- The stone walls look dated
- Everything was beige
Nothing in your home will generate warmth and appeal more than the decorative fabrics used. A review of available fabrics will assist the homeowner in the sometimes-confusing selection process.
Is any fabric as rich as silk? Imported from the Orient for centuries, the very word silk generates opulence in one’s imagination. How can a room not feel elegant with the incomparable sheen, texture and depth of color that silk offers?
While there may be no more beautiful designer fabric, there are certain cautions to be taken when using silk, primarily its sensitivity to direct sunlight. Your decorator will specify not only a quality lining but also an interlining for protection from the strong Florida sun. When used for upholstery, silk should always be enhanced with a knit backing.
Cotton is Still King
Originating in Egypt, cotton is one of the most versatile and appealing of all fibers, natural or manmade. In the home, cotton is a decorative fabric mainstay. It dyes beautifully, and when finely spun, combed, and tightly woven it is both beautiful and sturdy, lasting for years.
If opulence is your goal, but budget and durability are important, choose a high quality cotton fabric in a rich hue or fabulous print.
Long before anyone thought to unwind a silkworm cocoon or plant a row of cotton, linen was being woven into fabric. While dimensionally stable and easily bleached, linen generally does not take dyes well thus limiting the range and depth of colors available.
Since linen is readily recognizable and tends to be expensive, it immediately lends prestige to any room it adorns. However, linen is prone to wrinkling and does not iron easily so those who enjoy perfection should make another selection.
The 1950’s brought manmade fabrics but they lacked many of the features that were so desirable in the natural fabrics. But chemists persevered until today we have many beautiful choices in the man-mades.
Still, there are a few drawbacks. No synthetic fabric will have the depth of color in a silk nor the ability to be woven into the complex patterns available in cottons. Yet, these fibers and what they offer in appearance and price extend to a greater population the pleasure of having their home make a strong statement about quality and opulence.
Your decorator will guide you to the right fabrics for your home and lifestyle.
I will be glad to help you take a look at any fabric that you have in question, or help you to develop a room around a specific fabric or help you chose a fabric to get the look that you want. Call me today for your free consultation.
So you long for your own private media room. And the room that you envision is filled with deep, cushy, comfortable leather recliners, complete with drink holders. Your surrounded with upholstered leather walls and ceiling all soundproof, of course. Your room screams comfort, relaxation, and casual drama! Let’s talk about a few of the practical aspects of creating such a dramatic hideaway – as well as some additional “creature comforts”.
PLASMA TELEVISIONS – ALL THE RAGE!
That’s right! No well appointed media room would be without one! But, if by chance, your media room has to double as a family/recreation room, then you might be interested in considering some clever options for displaying your new TV. Today’s furniture manufacturers are truly jumping to the task of displaying – and more importantly – hiding these sets when not in use. Beautiful entertainment centers, in a wide variety of design styles and wood tones, have been created with clever disappearing television shelve units – all operated by remote control. Now you see it – now you don’t! And another BIG TV option is to consider installing it above your fireplace unit – especially if you have the option to include this feature in a newly constructed home. By placing your plasma TV above your fireplace area and including cantilevered doors – once again – you have the option of “now you see it – now you don’t”!
A DECK OF CARDS, POPCORN – AND A SOFT DRINK OR TWO!
Today’s media rooms can be expanded to include a variety of additional design options. How about including a game table! Did you know that many of the game tables available today can actually expand – or flip over! One side for poker and when it’s flipped over the other side features a backgammon board.
And, a must for any nearby media room is a swivel or corner bar unit. Again, many are now being designed to actually disguise their real purpose. Most look like beautiful accent furniture pieces, until you turn them around, or swivel them to see a well appointed bar.
Whatever your pleasure, it’s important to take stock of all the activities you wish to incorporate in your new room, and do some careful planning to ensure your completed design is absolutely perfect!
In addition to knowing which colors are the most flattering to you, it’s also important to take into consideration how natural and artificial light will affect your desired color scheme. First consider how much natural light enters the room, and for how long a period during the day.
In sunny rooms with a southern exposure, cool colors will be more pleasing than warm ones; hot yellows and reds will produce an unpleasant glare during a large part of the day. These colors are more effectively used in rooms that face north and need the warming effect of sunny colors. Darkening the room by covering the windows doesn’t help- it just makes all the colors in your room look dark and gloomy. The window treatment you use will definitely affect the amount and quality of natural light in your room, and therefore your color scheme.
Artificial light can affect colors even more dramatically. Generally, standard incandescent bulbs give off a yellowish light. Standard fluorescents create a cold and harsher light. However, many different tints of bulbs are available in both types of lights. Using the right tint in the bulbs you select will definitely help you control the way your colors look in artificial light.
Red light makes pink or red hued walls look grey; blue tinted light makes them look purple; yellow light makes them look red-orange.
Blue light makes blue-tinted walls look grey; red light makes them look purple; yellow light gives them a greenish cast.
Yellow light makes yellow walls look grey; red light makes them look orange; blue toned light makes them look unpleasantly greenish
Red light makes green walls look grey; yellow light makes them look bluish green; blue light makes them look yellowish green.
As you can see, the effect of different colors is not always predictable, but throwing a light of one color on a wall of the same color will always tend to neutralize that color and ultimately make the wall look dull and grey. Definitely not a pretty picture!
So, once you select your color scheme, be sure to carry through with a lighting plan that will enhance and compliment the effect you have in mind. The right light will make or break your décor!
Floors are the second largest and broadest expanse of color in a room—the first being walls. They are also the most permanent feature, replaced less easily and less often than wall treatments or even upholstered furniture. Purchase and installation costs are substantial, so it’s important to select floors with an eye to the future.
For many reasons, it’s best to consider investing in the best quality possible for your budget. That doesn’t necessarily mean buying the most expensive flooring. In estimating what you are willing to invest, consider the life span of your floor covering. This will help give you a truer picture of cost and what is truly the most economical for you, your budget, and your lifestyle. And by all means, consider using the services of a professional interior decorator to assist you in this important buying decision.
Modern technology has made flooring more attractive, varied and practical. Such natural materials as wood, marble, stone, slate, clay tile and wool are still high in initial cost, but may not be in the long run because of their durability. Man-made flooring materials such as vinyl and carpets of synthetic fibers come in price ranges able to fit almost any reasonable budget.
Color psychology takes on added significance in the dining room because color, research clearly shows, profoundly influences appetite. Did you know that changing a restaurant’s color scheme has been known to make a failing success restaurant a success, despite their excellent food?
Clear colors have the same stimulating effect on appetites as they do on atmosphere. Blue is particularly restful, encouraging leisurely meals. Full-strength red is exciting and to be used with discretion, but lighter shades, such as rose, or pinkish hues are pleasant to eat by. Yellow is it’s usual gay and sunny self. Neutrals tend to liven up dining rooms with positive and effective color splashes.
In the presence of food, stick to clear lighter shades of green. I also recommend avoiding shades of purple such as lavender and violet, as they tend to be appetite suppressants. Likewise, using drab colors in your dining room décor are rarely successful.
Since most dining is done at night, it’s important to test colors under artificial light. It turns some colors muddy, and would ultimately make food look less appealing.
Lighting should be flexible to allow different levels of light for many activities. A central chandelier can be controlled with a dimmer switch.
Valentine’s Day is another holiday that has its own color. Red, of course. While you are putting out those red hearts, burgundy candles, and other Valentine’s decorations, it’s a good time to ask if some new color will make your home or that special room more heart-warming.
After all, when it comes to color, I advise my clients to follow their heart. As an interior decorator, my color philosophy revolves around the fact sometimes color preferences are not always the same as your favorite colors. But when some sound thought is considered when planning for a new color scheme, generally your heart’s color desires will rule supreme! And as most people have discovered, planning a color scheme is a carefully thought out process.
I suggest that my clients follow 5 easy steps in assessing their space for a new color scheme.
First, decide where your best opportunities are for using color! Will painting one wall in an accent color give your room the spark you desire? Or perhaps, a soft blending of similar color hues will give your new room it’s desired “feeling or mood”.
Then, take a critical look at your room’s architectural features. Do you want them to stand out – take center stage – or be minimized? For instance, perhaps you have painted bookshelves flanking a room’s fireplace. Adding an accent color to the back walls of your bookshelves, might add just a bit of much needed color flair to the entire wall scheme.
Thirdly, try to define how your space is being used. Reading, relaxing, game playing, watching TV? An important consideration in selecting your new color scheme is how you actually use and enjoy the space.
Next, analyze your room’s lighting. How much natural light does your room have? A room with a lot of artificial light will definitely call for a different color plan than one with a lot of natural light.
And Last, but not least, it’s critical that you take into account your “new” room’s relationship to the other rooms in your home. Color continuity is key to creating the overall look most people desire for their homes.
So says world famous Muppet, Kermit the Frog! But, actually in today’s environment, with so many products and design options available, being “green” can be a relatively easy and environmental beautiful design option.
From paint, lighting, accessories, fabrics, furniture and wall coverings, becoming eco-friendly has become an extremely high priority for many home furnishings manufacturers.
Let’s take a look at a few of these exciting options.
Furniture. Natural fibers, found in rattan and plantation grown woods (rather than depleting forest grown woods) give home owners a wide variety of styles, textures and designs. And how about materials such as bamboo, abaca, and government certified hardwoods. If purchasing eco-friendly furniture for your home is a priority, you might check to see if your furniture manufacturer is a member of the Sustainable Furniture Council (SFC) which was established in 2007.
Lighting. Not only have halogen lamps been all the rage for the past few years, they are a boon to energy savings, as are the wide variety of energy saving light bulbs available in the marketplace. In addition many of today’s decorative lamps have been designed in wrought iron, allowing for a more intricate detailing and design variety.
Fabrics. Believe it or not, gorgeous decorative fabrics are being made from recycled plastic water bottles, recycled polyester, and recycled paper. And often times these eco friendly fabrics are treated and finished with only water based or environmentally approved dyes.
Wall Finishes. Paints now feature low odors, faster drying times and stronger durability, all by maintaining environmental codes. If repainting is in your future, be sure to ask if the paint you’re considering has a low VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) rating, so that you can continue your environmental stewardship. Natural grass cloth wall covering is another way to add warmth, beauty and texture to your wall décor, while maintaining your green focus.
And let’s not forget the importance in design of the color GREEN!! Yes, it may not be easy being green, but this long desired shade can be found in almost every design scheme. Whether you incorporate green in plant foliage displayed in you room’s design, or you make this shade predominate, usually any green shade will add a bit of the splendor of the great outdoors to any décor.