January 8, 2008

that "designer look"

I hear it all the time- "My room doesn't look pulled together- help me!" So what exactly makes a room have that coveted "designer look"?

Let's start by taking the pressure off a little and getting into some reality. Well-decorated rooms are not created in two days, two weeks, or two months! I know it looks that way on TV, but there's a ton of behind-the-scenes planning involved in shows like "Trading Spaces", "Divine Design", and "Extreme Home Makeover". Don't feel bad if you can't pull things together on a whim!

Great design is a dance of geometry, texture, repetition, and color. All of these elements come together to form a well-balanced, beautiful room... but each part of this "dance" has to be choreographed! Each step is planned, each segment is arranged, and each spin is deliberate. That kind of detail doesn't happen overnight- so don't stress if it's taking you a while to get a room "completed".

Here's some ideas for pulling your room together and getting that "designer look"...

1. Brighten your art in the room! Change your bland artwork to a bright, intense piece that will add a touch of the unexpected. Even the most traditional homes look wonderful with an edgy, bright canvas in the mix.

2. Add greenery to your rooms. The most overlooked accent in rooms today is greenery! Your home needs these accents to feel comfortable and warm. A modern palm or gorgeous topiary adds an amazing amount of character to a space- try it! (Note: NO ficus trees! NO ivy!) Use artificial or live greenery in corners and on surfaces and watch your rooms transform before your eyes!

3. Look up- is it boring up there? Get a ceiling medallion and dress it up. Lowe's and Home Depot sell many varieties, and they can be painted easily to create some interest "in the sky". In fact, you don't even have to have a medallion- just paint your own directly on the ceiling for a "faux" effect!

4. Get at least one conversation piece. Each room should have a great item that makes guests ask questions. Shop flea markets, antique malls, and specialty stores for whimsical and unusual pieces that make you smile. Don't be timid- if you love it, buy it!

5. Add a rug to bring more pattern or color to your room. Rugs are wonderful touches that really "complete" a room. Try a punchy color if your room is more neutral, or try a neutral color with an interesting pattern or texture if your room is already vibrant.

6. Look for repeats and "yin and yang". Whatever does that mean?! Your room needs to have color and patterns repeated around the room and a balance of masculine and feminine touches. Masculine is wood, iron, tile, squares, rectangles, and leathers. Feminine is fabric upholstery, drapery, circles, curves, and greenery. All these must be mixed together to get a balanced, pleasing space.

There are many ways to bring a room together, but the main objective is to take your time and really think through your choices. Synergy sometimes happens, and a space can sometimes be completed in record time- but that is the exception, not the rule. So slow down a little- it will be worth it in the end when you are enjoying your beautiful new room!

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