What Do You Mean By “Ambience”?
In the same way one man’s champagne is beer to someone else, it’s crucial to understand your own personal preferences. Are your preferences at right angles to your partner’s?
This is where compromise begins:
Answer these paired questions for keys to your comfort.
- Do you think of home as a pit stop on your way out and an entertainment Mecca for you and your friends on the way in?
- Or do you think of your home as sacred space and a serene retreat? Home to you is essential to your well-being as the place where you rejuvenate.
- Do you love the grandeur of formal settings as part of your personal aspirations for greater things?
- Or do you prefer the light, unencumbered feeling of spare but functional surroundings?
- Does the term “controlled environment” with not so much as a dog hair out of place, equal true bliss?
- Or, are you happiest munching cookies while lounging on big comfy sofas that never show spills or spots?
There are many other either or questions like the ones above you can ask your partner to uncover various areas of in need of compromise. Regardless of where these compromise points land, there are basic home design concepts that should be incorporated into your big picture plans
Good taste and a happy home design always require thoughtful editing. Notice how your furnishings relate to the architectural style of your home. Think in terms of dressing your home appropriately for its setting, in the same way you dress yourself for an event. As such, some style directions, however loved they may be, are unworkable.
Imagine Victorian red flocked wallpaper and ornately carved dark wood overstuffed and tufted furniture in a light, airy clean-lined modern structure. It’s a cringe-worthy thought.
Dressing your home is a lot like dressing yourself: first the pants, then the shoes: Regardless of style, your furniture is still going to have to be arranged in a functional way before any other consideration. Take a good look at the way each room serves its intended purpose, or not, to determine what needs to be addressed.
- Do you have a conversation area in the living room?
- Are there a variety of tables or surfaces conveniently located next to where you might sit?
- Are there enough light sources? Are they placed where you need them?
These kinds of details are the bones of your design scheme. Without an organized structure that answers to your comfort and needs, you are only storing your furniture, not living with it.
Color Me Happy. The marriage of your furnishings needs a container suitable to the desired end result. Wall color is key. Obviously, if you want to create a tranquil environment, screaming yellow will not be your first choice. If the two of you are on opposite sides of the color universe, bear in mind that certain personalities do well living with strong wall colors while others will just get a headache and possibly a bad mood.
You are best served in this instance, to think of wall color as the adjunct background support to your overall design scheme, rather than allow it to be the alpha dog in the room…
Still, while you may want a more restful, calming effect for your bedroom, you might also want a little more jazz for the living room. Avoid the sensation that you are going to another country each time you walk to another room, by creating continuity. One sure way to accomplish this is to use the same color for all your door and trims, but don’t stop there.
You need elements that will unify the spaces within the line(s) of sight. Very often, an entry foyer opens to the living room, dining room and the kitchen beyond. A carpet or a color that’s picked up from the upholstery or drapery and carried through these rooms achieves this. Wallpaper works well too. Sisal or sea grass offers the twin benefits of neutral color and texture. These woven grasses work with most home styles.
Creating unity is especially important if, as a bargaining chip, one or both of you have a room of your own to decorate to taste.
(Decor For Two: Can This Marriage Be Saved? Three Part Series)
Large Article Photo: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Conner-prairie-log-cabin-interior.jpg
The original version of this article was published on Hamptons.com. It’s presented here as a foundation for further topic discussion and updates.