(ARA) - It is unfortunate that so few people
realize that good design can really be simple.
Design becomes refined and livable when it
is done in moderation.
Try to picture a living room of moderate
size with every piece of furniture, every
window covered in the same fabric with matching
wallcovering and drapes. What do you notice
upon entering this room? The furniture is
lost, the walls begin to close in and your
first reaction is to flee. The choice of a
beautiful design is not highlighted, but lost
in a mass of sameness. The idea of “less is
more” is important when choosing furniture
and window and wall treatments.
No one wants a setting that looks as if
it was purchased off a showroom floor. A beautiful
sofa looks better with just a side chair and
table with an interesting lamp than with a
matching loveseat, matching chair, a set of
two matching end tables and a coffee table.
One simple way to recognize good design is
to spend time walking through the better furniture
stores that hire interior decorators. Notice
that each vignette is carefully constructed
not to look planned.
When deciding to decorate, or re-decorate,
highlight one piece of good furniture and
use other pieces to enhance it. If the sofa
is covered with a lively floral print, try
using a striped fabric of a lighter hue on
a side chair. When showcasing an heirloom
dining table, don’t cover it under layers
of lace, but keep it uncluttered, highly polished
and move some of the chairs to another area
to be brought out as needed. A beautifully
carved headboard can’t be seen behind a pile
of pillows. And a prized hand-woven rug would
be lost under heavy furniture. Use glass tables
and pieces that show an optimum amount of
To frame and enhance a spectacular outside
view as the focal point of a room, don’t cover
the window under layers of fabric, keep it
open to view. The window can be treated with
a cornice or valance hung high enough as to
not obscure the vista. To maintain privacy
when desired, there are a number of blinds
and shades available that can easily be tucked
under that valance when it’s not in use. If
a piece of furniture or a setting is the focus,
don’t distract from it by overdoing the windows,
but enhance it by including the same colors
in the treatments, but in a lighter shade.
Hard surface flooring is again in vogue.
Feature it by using brightly colored area
rugs to bring the eyes down. Too large a rug
will obscure the floor; too small, and it
will be lost; many rugs of different origin
and design will confuse. If a larger rug is
to be the focus, choose one or two colors
and use this as a base for the rest of the
room when deciding upon upholstery, and window
and wall treatments.
Walls are rarely the focal point of a room,
but play an important part in bringing the
décor together. If a traditional look is the
goal, deeper, richer tones will set the stage
for beauty and comfort. Contemporary décor
relies on warmer, neutral tones that will
keep the sense of serenity while giving the
room depth. Country style, always a favorite,
uses primary colors and white or brown if
the intent is a more rustic look, to imbue
the room with down-to earth comfort. Don’t
overlook the fifth wall of every room: the
ceiling. Nowhere is it written that the ceiling
must be white.
Today, homeowners are seeking a décor that
is more serious, less frivolous, that encompasses
comfort and serenity. With this in mind, the
color palette will be strongly influenced
by the color blue. This is according to The
Color Marketing Group, a not-for-profit international
association of more than 1,700 color and design
professionals. Blue is as basic as the atmospheric
feeling of light and air, bringing the serenity
of nature into the home. Blue can also be
found in the cool gray-blue of stone and earth,
or the green blue aqua of the oceans.
In keeping with the theme of less-is-more,
Cheasapeake Wallcoverings uses the color blue
to bring style and fashion into every décor
with their newest collection, Simply Irresistible.
When a sky blue faux finish is used on the
walls in a traditional or contemporary bathroom,
the space gives a sense of spa-like comfort.
This airy blue when paired with a border of
swimming Koi in golden orange, feels serene
and full of life. The room can be decorated
with little less than a vase of flowers, some
stacked towels and a comfortable seat.
Many homeowners prefer to use wallcovering
to give the effect of a faux finish. It is
faster, less complicated, less messy and often
less expensive. For a more country look, Simply
Irresistible offers a periwinkle blue pansy
and petunia border that brightens any area,
especially when paired with the simplicity
of café shutters opened to the outside and
an uncomplicated table with a bowl of fruit
or bread as ornamentation.
Courtesy of ARA Content