Thursday, September 28, 2006

Plans to improve a boring room

I recently had an appointment with a client who had one of the most boring houses I have ever seen. It was a fairly new house. It had oatmeal colored berber carpeting and builder white walls. They were replacing the furniture soon. The decorating consultation they wanted was for a paint color plan.

Yes, I totally agreed that they needed to add color but the real key element they need was inspiration. If you have a house such as this, what do you do? Well, the first decorating secret is to choose the paint color last. This house needs a coordinating element that will pull all the colors together and make the rooms look coordinated and complete. This element is usually a beautiful rug (yes - place it on top of the boring berber) or a large painting. The rug or painting needs to have a least three different colors in it. That inspiration is where you will find your furniture color, paint color and accent colors.

So by the end of the appointment I gave the client a shopping list not a paint color list. In this case, giving the client not what they asked for but what they need will result in a better room in the end.

Tell me about your plans to make your home no longer boring. What is your inspiration piece?

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Changing Rooms

I usually guide other people with decorating their houses but the week I had the joy of actually working on my own home! My boys (ages 11 and 8) have had this beautiful toy room/ playroom for years. It is a spare bedroom on the first floor and it has the largest brightest windows. I designed the toy room for a great place for them to play.

Well... that is one of the design lessons/mistakes I learned from personal experience. The kids never play in the play room. They have always pulled the toys to the room we are in. Toys end up in the TV room or the dining room. Lately toys are in the hallway - the best place to zoom the cars or play dodge ball. My home office space was the former laundry room. (We moved the washer/dryer to the basement years ago). It is a fairly small room with one tiny window.

All this to say that this last week we began the big switch-a- roo. I will get the big bright corner room. The toy storage room - because that is really what it is - will be the smaller room closer to the action (aka TV room) .

The first step was moving the toys out and stripping the wallpaper. Now the toys are piled in the living room so I have to chant to myself everyday "It is only temporary".

One of the design lessons I want to pass on is to not be afraid to switch rooms and make the house function to meet your family needs. You don't have to use the rooms as they are labeled in the original house plans. Have you made any changes to how your rooms function or are "labeled"? Has it made a difference? I would love to hear about it.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

I am a subscriber to the magazine "Home". Lately I have been disappointed in the content. But the issue that I received a couple days ago is awesome. The issue was celebrating the magazine's 25 years. One of my favorite articles was "25 years of Comfort and Style". It was so fun to see photos from the early 1980s. The biggest difference from the older photos to now is definitely the busy patterns. The look now is clean and crisp. Today we have more geometric and less busy florals. Here is a photo from that issue. Can you guess what year it is from? (answer at the bottom of this entry)

The magazine also has a fun article about TV shows and how those interiors have changed over the years. Think about the "Brady Bunch" interiors versus the "Cosby Show "interior, or the "Friends" set.
Think about your house now or what it looked like 25 years ago. How do you decorate differently? If you were to name a TV set your house is most like, what would it be?
(answer: 1983)