It’s a look. Is it yours?
What Would A Designer Do? Are great interior designers mystical, magical creatures who effortlessly create beautiful environments on demand?
Behind Oz’s Curtain. Magical Mysticism aside, what all great designers do is create their own bag of tricks. These are learned from a multitude of experiences in designing and producing the basics and the details of good home design.
A “designer look” is actually quite specific. That “pulled together” quality comes from an astute assessment of:
- the necessary
- the unwanted
- and the perfect addition of just the right amount of “Fabulous”.
While interior design is the most layered and complicated of all art forms, it’s rooted by necessity in practical application.
The goal is beauty, comfort and pizzazz with a minimum of the stuff in-between.
Set the bones. Before any other consideration, you need to have a functioning furniture arrangement for every room. It helps to think in terms of giving your furniture something to do, besides the obvious.
How else can your furniture provide comfort, practicality and attractiveness?
For example, in your living room, (multi-purpose or not), you’ll want a conversation area and comfortable seating for everyone. A sofa, two chairs flanking or opposing and a coffee table in the middle close enough for everyone to set down drinks or food is a classic solution.
Look for opportunities to place your groupings on the diagonal. Instant chic.
Even just getting the furniture to float off the walls will give your room a more sophisticated look. Be careful that the natural traffic flow from one area to another doesn’t run through your arrangement if at all possible. Allow 26”- 36” inches minimum width for the possible pathways surrounding the area.
Be mindful of scale. Big furniture will need big coffee and end tables, along with beefier lamps. A little chair next to a huge sofa looks silly. Conversely, keep the “little” furniture with the “smaller supporting acts”.
An interesting caveat. Big furniture and big art in small rooms packs a great wallop if done right. Make sure there is no extra furniture, clutter or excess of any kind.
Focus Where? A focal point is the first place your eye lands when you enter a room. Fireplaces are a good example of this, but entertainment units, bay or picture windows can also serve the same purpose. This is your starting location to arrange your major pieces of furniture according to need and purpose.
If no natural focal point exists, make one. Folding screens can work on the shortest wall opposite the entry, as can extra large flower arrangements on tables, or even a large scale art grouping.
After establishing the main focal point, look for other “focal point opportunities”. The main idea is that the eye always be given something attractive to land on whenever possible. Other locations are the ends of corridors, the landings and the tops of staircases too.
Easy gestures are all it takes.
A piece of art, a good-sized mirror or even the odd (meaning it’s not part of a set) chair will work fine. A tall cabinet set on an angle or an indoor tree can be the answer for those empty corners. Using up-lights behind a tree looks great.
More “tricks of wonder” and critical “don’t do this at home” guidelines to follow…
Learn how to look like you know what you’re doing and Your Own Designer Look will soon be on its way home.
Next time: Get Your Own Designer Look #2: Balancing Act
(Get Your Own Designer Look Three Part Series)
Large Photo: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montacute_House
Article Photo – Ontheporch.typepad.com