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Saturday, June 26, 2010


Often times, we see a room and if we love it, we take it all in at once. We don't stop to examine the details or what architectural elements, lines, textures, etc., made the proportions of the room come to be such perfection, or why the colors made us feel so engaged.

A good example of this is when we go into furniture stores with what I call "cookie-cutter rooms,"such as Rooms to Go, (and others). The rug, tables, lamps, tables, seating and even accessories are all there at our reach. How simple, right? We fall in love with the feel of the room and we begin to it in our own space at home, eager to make the purchase and take it home.

I myself happen to like Rooms to go and other furniture stores such as these. I find the designers do a great job at putting the rooms together with the furnishings and items the stores sell. They can be creative and inspiring.

At one time, many years ago, my house looked like it was the ACTUAL Rooms to go store. I had the living room, the bedroom, bar, and kitchen all set up in my home.  Yep, I bought it allllll.

With time however, I became tired of the look. It never quite felt like home. It just felt like I was walking through a furniture store and sleeping in one in the evenings.  This is when I realized, not matter how handy cookie-cutter rooms are, they aren't ever going to be home for me.  In order for us to make our house a home, we are going to have to use some creativity and imagination.

Our homes can be cookie cutter on the outside but we have control over it on the inside. Your home should be a place of refuge. It should represent you and your family. Your passions should be evident and your favorite things, colors, artwork, should all be expressed. It should be a place that invigorates you, motivates you, ebraces you to be spiritual, engage in love, relax you and most of all, make you smile.  It should be original, and all...YOU.

But how can you be original and truly expressing yourself if your neighbor across the street has the exact same set up from when they came to your house and fell in love with your rooms to go house? Do your own thing, put some effort into it. Make it original...beautiful.

When I began seriously looking through architectural and design magazines in depth, I began to realize, that this was a major interior designer trick! That matching everything to everything such as a sofa with a chair and rug is not necessary. That the use of the same kinds of woods in one room is not necessary either. That design rules can be broken and made. That the design process should be a fun one, not a stagnant one that I buy from a ready made store.

As an example below, you will see a two rooms with beautiful and individual decor; a patio and a living room. The designer did such a excellent job. I'm going to point out a few of the creative and artistic elements the designer used to make this room so fabulous and maybe you can use them in your own home with your own creative ideas.

1) If you look at the back patio, you will see where the designer used coral curtains that exetned from the ceiling to the floor. This gives the room length and makes it seem more grand than it actually is. The warm coral color of the curtains calls us into the room and makes us want to relax, take a breath, smile. It may even make us eager to go outdoors. These curtains make the patio feel more like a room and that of course adds quality and more space to our home.

2) Take a peek at the three pieces of furniture in these rooms. The sofa in the patio, the chair in the living room, the center table in the patio and the small table in the living room. Notice how none of them are made of the same wood or materials.

The sofa is made from white wicker, the chair in elegant dark wood, the side table in light wood and the patios center table is of iron. Who would have thought, right? Most people wouldn't use so many materials or even dream of mismatching the kind of wood they have in a room, but it works!

Now go back up top and look at the Rooms to Go room...B-O-R-I-N-G.Everything matches, there is no creative sense. See why it's important to put your own touch on things?

3) Even the upholstery colors aren't the same. The patio sofa has thick stripes in bone and blue, with throw pillows that contain pastels. The living room chair is elegant in it's red and beige French inspired material. Everything has a different feel, yet it all ties in so well. THIS is what design is about.

4) Elegance, traditional, exotic, conventional, are all mixed together in this room, and if I don't say so myslef, it's looks STUNNING!

(Image from BHG)

Next time you go to decorate your home, don't have to be so specific.  Use your imagination.  Allow a little mismash. And when you walk into a room that takes your breath away, look at the details to see why!


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