September 14, 2010

Favorite Things

Posted in Daily Favorites, Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 2:39 pm by dotcomdecorator

Do you know what makes a decorated house most appealing? It isn’t the model-home staging, it isn’t the designer sofa, and it isn’t the perfect accessory…it is the home’s inhabitants.  Interior decorating is about infusing a space with the personalities, lifestyles and likes of those who occupy it!

As a decorator, it is imperative that I ask the right questions of my clients to truly understand who they are and what the mood, style and function of their space should be. Unearthing a client’s story is like peeling layers of an onion. If I get just the quick version, their space may be attractive, but without substantial meaning or comfort to them. It is within the layers I find the best substance from which I design a space.  Honing in on dreams, cherished memories, and the favorite things in a client’s life allows me to include  those in their space.  This is what takes a space from pretty to charmed, from ornate to comfortably elegant, and from a showcase house to a beloved home.

No matter where you live or what your design style is, pay attention to what your favorite things are and incorporate them into your space.  While you could do this in a literal way, like hanging your Nascar flag on the wall, the more figurative approach may be a little more aesthetically pleasing for main living spaces! A couple alternate ways to embrace the race fan within could include sleek round chrome tables (to signify the wheels of a car), manly leather chairs (to replicate the driver’s seat), or your favorite driver’s colors represented in accessories. Obviously, not everyone is a Nascar fan (I’m sorry Nascar fans, it is true!) so we will move on from this example!

If you love music, interpret that in colors and shapes. For example, if you’re a beat-loving rocker, think bold, vibrant, energizing colors; angular shapes, trendy fabrics, and casual furniture. The music doesn’t have to be blaring to give a sense of a rocker-soul inhabiting the space. An opera aficionado appreciates subtleties and undertones, therefore their decor may consist of layers of neutral colors in fabrics, wall color and rugs, the use of traditional formal furnishings, lots of rich textures in fabrics, and soft curving shapes in accessories, lighting, and decorative molding.  Do you “see” how each preference can be interpreted?

If you look around your house and feel something is missing…maybe it’s the sense of self! How are you/your family represented in the space? If this is a shared space, does everyone have equal voice or is it overwhelmingly representative of one voice? Is your space designed for the way you live, for your likes and comfort, or is it plucked off a furniture showroom floor?

If you’re ready to infuse personality into your home, grab paper and pencil to create a list and follow these quick steps to get you started:

1.  Assess what the space is to be used for. If your family room is a space for watching tv, entertaining friends, paying bills, doing homework, and eating, then you either make accommodations for each of those activities, or find a new space for one/some of them.

2. Have each person who uses the space share what some of his/her favorite things are. Don’t limit this to physical objects–incorporate all the senses! What are favorite places, sights, sounds, smells, tastes, colors, activities, people, texture, period of history?  Each is rich with decorating potential!

3. Once you’ve compiled your list, a sense of  “mood” will be found in it.  For example, if there is a tendency for the favorite things to be related to the outdoors, the “mood” could be defined as earthy, woodsy, natural, open, light-filled, life-giving and comfortable. If the favorite things lean toward world travel, the mood may be interpreted as cosmopolitan, eclectic, adventurous, unencumbered, and global. If the favorite things are concerts and theme parks, the mood may indicate  adventure, excitement, and a zest for life.

4. After you’ve identified the mood, incorporate the colors that best convey the mood.  Remember, wall color is only one of the many surfaces you can use for color! Ceilings, flooring, molding, furniture, rugs, window treatments, art, lighting and accessories all provide additional color to a space.

5. With your space purpose, favorite things and mood identified, and with a color palette selected, next determine how to best incorporate some of each person’s favorite things through furniture, fabrics, accessories, art and other materials. Don’t over think this–but also don’t go overboard by literally bringing in dozens of colors/objects just so everyone feels he/she is equally represented! People who share spaces, share their lives; there is balance in the everyday and that is what your finished room should convey.

Even if you’re a solo-dweller, you have much to draw from…your social life, your career life, your family/friends, your tastes in music, food, clothes, cars, and the like. Peel back your layers and use them to bring personality to your space!

This morning I decided to share with my Facebook friends, on a regular basis, what some of my favorite things are. After more thought, I’ve decided to include a Daily Favorites category here and update it each day. I welcome your comments and sharing of your favorites as well!

Today’s favorite is music by Ludovico Einaudi. While I have an appreciation for a vast range of music, I find the pureness of piano music soothing, inspiring, and balancing. It makes nice bookends for starting and finishing my day…a balance to the cacophony of tvs, radios, barking dogs, ringing telephones, and other sounds of my daily life! Enjoy…I Giorni by Ludvico Einaudi

Until next time,

Viva Con Gioia!

The DotComDecorator


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