Clear the Space
Everything in a room should be purposefully placed and beautiful to look at. Large amounts of space are essential to beauty. “Always ask yourself ‘Do I love it, does it enhance my life and can I live without it?’ Restraint calms the eyes and gives everything a sense of purpose.” – Amy Lau. You may be saying to yourself but what about all my important day to day items that I need? I can’t be living in a museum. Contain it. Organize yourself with closed containers like chests, cabinets, drawers etc. Everything should have it’s place and be out of plain sight.
Find Your Cornerstone
Once you have stripped your room down to the essentials take a quick look at what you have left. Is there one piece of furniture that you notice first or like the most? If so, that is your cornerstone. Design around this piece. Choose it’s position in the room first and fit the rest in relation to it. Find an item or two that matches the color, it could be as simple as a pillow or vase.
Area rugs ground the space and give dimension to the room. The larger the rug the better. For a luxury look get a rug large enough to put all furniture legs on the rug. For a more casual look put only two legs on the rug. The current fashion is to layer your rugs with different patterns colors and textures. Layering can also be a way to save a bit of money on that beautiful rug you just can’t afford. Get the small version and put a natural fiber rug underneath it.
Go big. Size matters with wall art. It is better to have one large statement piece than to have six small frames on the wall. Aside from a painting you can also hang photo prints and ornate mirrors. Use your cornerstone and color scheme as reference and tie the room together with the art. You can go as expensive or inexpensive as you want. If you have a painting that is too small above your sofa, don’t center it. Offset it a few inches to the left. The negative space – called ‘ma’ – becomes part of the image” Richard Mishaan. I personally like art with a story. Art is beautiful but a story is priceless. Maybe you have a painter friend who you could ask to paint you something just perfect for the room. If you travel keep in mind what you are looking for in case you see the perfect addition to your room. If someone comments on the art then you have a story you can tell them.
Once you have the room setup the way you want you can assess the light in the room. There are 3 types of lighting: general, task and accent. General is the large area light that covers the entire room. Task lighting is used for reading or lighting a conversation area. Accent lighting is used to highlight art, add light to dim areas, add dimension to the room and add atmosphere. To properly light a room you need all 3. To see what you are missing in the room turn off all light accept the general lighting. Are there dark areas of the room? Now turn on all of the lights in the room. Are there still dark areas? Which category of light do you need to use to fill it?
Plants and flowers bring a room to life. They are doubly impressive because it means that you continue to care for and update the room. Choose a flower color that matches your color scheme or go green. A green plant can fit into almost any room. Carnations are classic, last along time and are cheap. Succulents have great form and are very resilient. You can grow Jasmine indoors for a fragrant addition to a room. Jasmine has pretty white and pink flowers and grows on a vine. You can train the vine around windows or up a lattice on the wall. Note: Jasmine is toxic for dogs. Before you plant anything read about it to make sure it’s right for your home and lifestyle.
Have fun and send me pictures of your new creations!