September 24, 2010

How Do You Dress Your Home?

Posted in Decorating tagged , , , , , , at 8:04 am by dotcomdecorator

Many people are intimidated by the prospect of designing their interior living spaces. Regardless if the process is limited to selecting a new paint color or as comprehensive as a full-scale remodeling project, it can be a daunting challenge for many homeowners. If you are white-knuckling at the thought of making changes to your home, know that it does not have to be intimidating—and it can actually be fun!

I ensure my clients, if they can get dressed, they are capable of participating in the interior decorating of their home. That’s all you are doing—you are dressing your home.  Like getting dressed, interior decorating is done in layers, although getting dressed is a little more regimented…you don’t put on your shoes before your socks, but you could select fabrics before paint!

The basic structural integrity, purpose of space and traffic pattern, are akin to the “body”…these are what we work with when dressing a space. Begin dressing by selecting your foundation items–wall color and flooring. Like undergarments, they are often most notable in their absence! Neutrality equals longevity, but neutral does not have to be void of color or texture! On walls, varied hues of color on adjacent spaces, or faux finishing provide interest without being overwhelming. Think the difference between plain white cotton and alternative fabrics and colors…you may be the only one aware of and enjoying the choice!

The selection of large items such as sofas, chairs, cabinetry, appliances, and bedroom furniture make up the next layer–the basics. Consider them like a quality suit or favored jeans. What (or who) are you projecting–comfort and ease, trendy, artistic, vintage chic, or leadership? Your attire reflects your image, just like your furnishings will define the image of a space.

Soft goods, such as draperies, bedding, pillows, and rugs, along with hard goods such as counter tops, back splashes, and accent tables, add additional color, texture and visual interest.  What shirt or blouse will you wear with your trousers? These choices, when paired with your foundation and basic layers, build on the look you want to project. Imagine the following looks: Jeans with a tee-shirt;  jeans with a starched button-down shirt; a tailored suit with a turtle neck; a tailored suit with a dress shirt. While each option may or may not appeal to your sense of style, appreciate that each gives a unique voice to style.  Applying that to design, could you use an embroidered silk fabric in a space with concrete counter tops? Of course! If you are comfortable with the contrast. If not, use granite with silk, or linen with concrete…whatever is most comforting.

When considering lighting, think shoes! Most homeowner’s go for general lighting options—like a good pair of loafers. Integrating task-specific and/or ambient lighting adds a new dimension and completes your overall design. It’s like having your everyday loafer with an exciting weekend shoe!

The final touches and pops of color come from accessories.  Accessorizing is the equivalent of adding jewelry, makeup, hosiery, or a tie to your final outfit. Don’t be afraid to make a statement! Let your accessories bring in a pop of color, show your personality or showcase your hobbies and talents. However, do remember that sometimes “less is more”…be aware of the amount of tchotchke in the space…it’s the difference between the elegance of wearing one simple chain or the potential to look like the gold-chain-laden Mr. T!

When you dress–beyond the social requirement of having major body parts covered—you are dressing for yourself, expressing your likes and dislikes, your personality, your sense of style, all through your choice of attire; do the same in your home. Like your personal wardrobe, you want your home’s interior to be an extension of your personal taste and lifestyle.

How’s your house’s wardrobe looking these days? Do you need to refresh the look with a new item or two, or is a total makeover required? If you need help, ask! Store associates, friends, and professional decorators, like The DotComDecorator, can offer a different perspective and/or advice.  As always, I’m an advocate for decorating to be an enjoyable process. It’s more important that your space being right for you, than to adhere to hard and fast design rules. Glam it up a little, baby!

Until next time,

Viva Con Gioia!

The DotComDecorator


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