Does your home need a facelift but you don’t know where to start? Did you jump in with both feet, only to find yourself sinking? You are not alone! Decorating can become an overwhelming chore, but despair not! You can remake this into an enjoyable experience where you get to define your surroundings by who you are and really make it your place.
Don’t try to decorate everything at once, but do select certain design features and colours such as baseboard colour that will serve as a common feature throughout your whole home. By breaking your decorating into smaller tasks you will find yourself pulling out fewer hairs and your pocketbook will thank you as well.
Properly decorating a room involves colours, textures, furnishings, lighting, space identification and traffic flow. Plan your decorating project from the start. Don’t leave something as crucial as window coverings as an afterthought.
Start by locating the focal point of a room. It might be a fireplace, a piece of artwork, a feature wall or a window with a magnificent view. If the room doesn’t have a focal point, then create one. A boring fireplace can become transformed using reclaimed architecture mantles and moulding to produce a stunning effect. This creates structure in the room and is a visual queue for your furniture layout. Create an anchor point for your furniture by using a central coffee table or area rug for example. This helps define the area and will assist with traffic flow through the room.
The colour of a room is defined by quantity, texture, placement and lighting.
If choosing colour for a room is confusing, try following the 60-30-10 rule. Plan for 60% to be a dominant neutral colour with 30% for a secondary colour, finishing it off with 10% vivid accent colour. If colour is your thing, then work outside of the box. This is where working with a colour consultant from your local Benjamin Moore Store can be invaluable, who can come to your home and guide you through the process, saving you valuable time and money. You will want to bring harmony to your colour choices by paying close attention to the undertones in flooring, woodwork and furnishing fabrics. If possible, design your lighting and have it installed before you paint. This will allow you to see how your colour choices will actually look. Also, keep in mind that walls aren’t just for painting. Wallpaper and fabric are back big time and with more selection than ever.
Effective window treatments can define the style of a room and accent a view. Modern blinds can offer more than a choice of open or closed, allowing solar shading, diffusion and redirection of light; giving the occupant true control over their interior environment. More control translates into more comfort. Allowing daylight in provides a natural, bright atmosphere which has proven health and psychological benefits.
“In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary” -Aaron Rose
Layer your lighting, utilizing artificial ambient, task, accent, and natural daylight. Never try to illuminate a room with only one major light source. It can make your surroundings drab and uninteresting. Use accent lighting to reinforce the focal point of the room. Incorporate lighting into highlighting pictures and artwork. Modern LED lighting strips can be installed into book shelves and cabinets to fill in the dark areas of a room and create greater visual warmth.
If choosing new flooring, consider using timeless options as a trend-free solution that will serve you for years. Nothing beats real hardwood flooring. Stick to more classic materials such as maple, oak, mahogany and ash, and consider more natural mid-tone colours that aren’t too bright or too dark. Ceramic tile flooring has definitely stood the test of time. Avoid complex shapes, patterns and colours as they can be hard to match. For carpeting chose solid neutral colours or use less expensive area rugs that can be changed out with minimal expense.
Nothing can be more annoying and costly than trying to keep up with constantly changing fashion trends. Choose to modernize with new wall colours and by using accents such as pillows and decorations which are lower cost and easily changed.
So there you have the basics of good design. Still having problems? Give one of us a call to assist you with your choices. With some professional guidance, you can avoid some of the design pitfalls that turn good intention into a lacklustre appearance. Now get out there and decorate!
James Nelson studied design through the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Syllabus. He coordinates the in-store Design Studio and Hunter Douglas Specifications and Sales. James is available for in-home colour design consults by appointment only.
West Side Paint & Decorating
3354 Dunbar Street, Vancouver BC V6S 2C1