Tag Archives: home decorating ideas

Domestic dreams need rooms with a theme

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by  rogue-designs 

I’ve spent a lot of time writing about how to get the most out of your living space, particularly in terms of how choosing the right accessories can deliver stunning style statements. Chairs, beds, tables, chess sets and the right lighting all factor into what the style magazines call ‘bringing a room to life’ – which would be quite scary if you took it literally, but that’s another thing!

Anyway, what I want to say today is about how you can’t just do one thing on its own and think that you’ve cracked it. You can’t. All the pieces of the jigsaw have to fit together. So however striking your favourite vase might be, if its shouting 1960s in a room that’s trying to quietly to introduce itself as something a little more contemporary you’re going to have a stylistic jumble, or worse still a clash.

And jumbles and clashes aren’t good.

In just the same way that colours and patterns clash, the dating and the styling of 3D ‘objets’ can also go badly awry. The danger is that you grow attached to particular items and that level of sentimental attachment can blind you to the overall effect you’re creating. We’ve all seen people who like a particular colour to the point where they ignore anything else that might be going on. The trick is to be aware that interior design can go the same way.

A great way to keep everything in balance is to go with the tone of the permanent features of the room, whether that’s contemporary window frames, trendy internal oak doors or a more retro set of fittings. After all, those ‘big ticket’ features aren’t going to be the sort of things that you replace every few months – especially the windows and the doors. For instance, if your doors and skirting boards are in an oak tone consider opting for traditional styles when it comes to soft furnishings and accessories. ‘Traditional’ doesn’t mean you can’t have modern features but you’ll probably find that minimalist, chrome designs don’t work as well. When it comes to interior design, it’s all about working with what you have and enhancing it.

So if you really want your pied a terre to make a statement, you really need all the different elements that go into it to strike the same tone. That’s why all those magazine shots all look so great. It’s not just that there’s something lovely and shiny in the foreground. If you look closely, you’ll see that everything fits together as a unitary stylistic entity: floors, doors, windows and sofa throws, they all fit together as a piece.

There is a lovely quote from William Morris (the wallpaper man), who knew a thing or two about interior design. It goes like this: “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful”.

It’s a lovely quote and it’s right in all sorts of ways. So it makes me a bit sad to admit that there is a bit more to it than that.

I think what it should say is something like, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to add to its beauty.” That way, you won’t end up with a ramshackle collection of beautiful bits and bobs that taken together look like a jumble sale.  ‘Jumble sale’ is not a look that’s going to impress anyone! To create your domestic dream you really do need a room with a theme.

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3 Steps To Arranging Home Décor Accessories

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One of the biggest home decorating dilemmas is how to arrange your accessories, whether it be a bookcase, shelf, or tabletop. Here is a three step system that will transform your boring or cluttered spaces into charming vignettes!

Harmony and Contrast

When arranging a space with accessories, one has to keep in mind that the most important thing to avoid here is boredom! This has a lot less to do with the objects you choose than how you choose to display them. To keep an arrangement from putting the neighbors down for their afternoon nap, remember to keep a balance of harmony (things that feel like they go together, like similar colors or styles) and contrast (things that spice things up by being different…smooth against texture, round against straight line, et…) You want a bit of both in your arrangement. Perhaps you could create harmony by repeating a square shape or the color purple, and then add contrast by sitting a smooth candlestick next to a rough basket.

Scale and Shape

Make sure that the items you are using fit into their new homes scale…you don’t want one tiny paperweight on a large kitchen table, and you want to steer clear of using a huge ceiling high arrangement of flowers on a tiny end table. Most people tend to use things that are too small for their surroundings however. If you have small accessories you would like to display, but need to give them more oomph in the arrangement, try grouping them on a plate or a fabric covered box. You can also give them height by perching them atop stacked books or baskets.

Layer and Soften

Once you’ve chosen your objects for the space following the design principles above, now it’s time to layer and soften. Start with a larger, taller piece slightly off center…this will be the defining piece in your arrangement. Now work to the outer edges in layers…Add a taller background layer, a middle sized medium height layer, and your tiniest objects in the front. Keep the eye moving up and down as it purveys the arrangement from left to right for interest. Add some fabric or twisted ribbon to soften the edges of the shelf or table, to bring in color, and to highlight certain objects.

Above all, keep trying new combinations of items until you find an arrangement that works for you. Use things in unusual ways. Tuck flowers or a live plant into an arrangement that seems too static. Even professional designers will occasionally be surprised by trying things in a new way! And remember, if your arrangement still looks cluttered and lost, chances are you are trying to display too much. Develop a prop box or closet where you can keep some of your treasures, and switch them our a couple of times a year for a fresh new look without spending a dime!

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