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Article: Less is More When it Comes to Home Décor

(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 the design.

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.

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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

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