Oct 31, 2012

Quick change ideas.

I'm a 'broken record' advocate for some things that make decorating your space(s) fast and easy.  Here are my 5 top tips for changing the mood, appearance and even the style of your rooms.

1) Add Color. Try painting an accent wall to liven up a dark, dated, or bland space. In an all white room, a subtle change might be an accent wall in a soft taupe like Sherwin Williams 7010 "White Duck".  For drama, try a rich gold color like 6395 "Alchemy". Don't want to paint a whole wall? How about stencils?   When painting is not an option (as with renters) use art and accessories to add color. A few large scale items will have more impact than many small ones. 

2) Create functional zones: With the open plans of many homes, some intimacy is lost. By creating seating, gathering, working, eating or other zones, you bring back that sense of intimacy and cohesiveness. Area rugs define spaces nicely, and add warmth to tile and wood flooring surfaces.  Using the same colors on furnishings in each area also create definition.  For example, brown leather seating in the television area separates it from beige fabric in the eating zone.  Lighting is a fantastic way to create and define zones.  Be sure to put dimmer switches on all of your lights for mood control and energy savings.

3) Add personality.  Whether you have a warm traditional home or a sleek minimalist style space, bringing in objects, art and other pieces that provide a sense of yourself is important.  Decorative objects ground us, when we see a treasured piece of furniture or a favorite object d'art.  Even in the most sophisticated modern spaces, there is room for a hand blown vase, canvas art, a timeworn chest, and soft, organic looking pillows.  For traditional homes, inherited chests, antiques, hand-made craft items and other items fill the need for items that reflect you.

4) Mix it up. Many people like numerous design styles. Adding an Asian chest to a country living room is creative and appealing.  Sleek bars tools in a traditional kitchen are artistic and interesting. Mixing styles in your spaces enables more customization to suit your personality and need for function.  A great wicker lounge chair works well in a traditional living room when you keep the fabrics and colors in balance with the rest of the space.  Use pieces that fill both a functional and decorative need. I firmly believe that less is more since carefully selected items have more impact than a cluttered look.

5) Add softness. Curves and fabrics make us feel secure and add balance to our spaces.  Bring in plants to soften hard edges of large pieces of furniture or the corners of rooms.  Panel drapes - even on windows with blinds or shutters - adds softness and warmth.  Pillows are a great element since you can use several and mix the patterns, colors and shapes.