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How to Start a Decorating Project?

How to Start a Decorating Project?
Whether you’re furnishing your first place or redoing the house you’ve owned for decades, decorating can be a challenging task, filled with costly decisions whose outcomes could haunt you for years. How do you figure out what style is right for you? Should you tackle the job yourself or hire a pro? How much should you spend? And what steps can you take to ensure you’ll be happy with the results?
In this series I’ll take you through the entire decorating process, from initial inspirations to final floor plans. We’ll talk about choosing colors, shopping for furniture, arranging furniture, where you should scrimp and where you should spend.
But before you do any of that, look around you.
Take a Critical Look at Your Current Home
What do you like about it? What do you dislike? Are your feelings prompted by the aesthetics of the decor? The comfort? The fabrics? The colors?
Learn from that. Repeat the things you like, and don’t repeat the things you don’t like just because they’re familiar to you.

Write Your List for Santa

Create a wish list — your Santa Claus list. Write down everything you would like to do if money were no object. Then figure out which things you can do, which things you can’t do, which things have to be done now and which things can wait.
“If you don’t have that master list, it’s hard to prioritize,” says interior designer Amy Luff of Viva Luxe Studios in Bristol, Virginia.
Collect Photos
Start collecting pictures of rooms you like. Even if you’re going to hire an interior designer, this will help him or her get a sense of your taste.
Naturally, Houzz is a great place to begin, as you’ll have more than 15 million pictures at your fingertips. You can save everything into one ideabook or make individual ideabooks for each room or each aspect of the design (wall colors, furnishings, fireplaces etc.).
Don’t try to do this in one sitting — give yourself a few weeks or months to compile your photos, as your tastes might evolve during the course of the exercise. Something that appealed to you on Day 1 might seem trite by Day 23.
Get Your Better Half Involved
For many couples there’s often one person who’s more interested in decorating than the other. The other person might say, “Do whatever you want.”
Do not do whatever you want. Because as soon as you start buying things, Mr. or Ms. No Opinion will suddenly have an opinion. So make him or her spend some time with you at the very beginning just looking at pictures of interiors. “Spend an hour or two on the computer and look at some things together and talk about them,” says interior designer Alana Homesley of Woodland Hills, California. As you review each room, ask your partner, “What do you like about it? What don’t you like about it?”
Alternatively, you can each collect images independently, then sit down and compare what you’ve chosen. This way your initial selections won’t be swayed by the other person. As you review your selections together, your differences and similarities will immediately become apparent.
“I Don’t Know What I Like”
Many people find it difficult to articulate what they want. Don’t let that bother you. Those photos you’ve collected can convey that information for you. Look at the characteristics that pop up again and again: the style of furnishings, the color palettes, the patterns, the materials, the quantity of furniture in each room. Let those characteristics guide you.
Most people have a basic comfort level, Homesley says. They know what kinds of rooms they like to be in and what kinds they don’t like to be in. Although it’s good to venture outside your comfort zone every now and then, it’s unlikely that you’ll enjoy living in a minimalist contemporary space if your natural predilection is for farmhouse style. So trust your instincts.
 Farmhouse  by Jeni Lee
Jeni Lee
Take Another Look Around
Now that you’ve started to zero in on the look you want your interior to have, make a list of all your significant pieces and figure out which items should stay and which should go.
Keep in mind that if you love a piece of upholstered furniture but hate its fabric, it can be reupholstered. Wood pieces can be painted or stained. Objects can be repurposed. And if there’s an inherited piece that has great sentimental value but you can’t stand to look at it — well, life’s too short to live with things you don’t love.
 Transitional Living Room by Chango & Co.
Chango & Co.
All at Once or in Stages?
If you have the budget to do everything at once, by all means go for it. If you want everything done at once but can’t afford that now, save your money and do it all at once later.
If you can’t afford to do it all at once and don’t care if everything is done at the same time, then you’ll be better off doing the project in phases. Complete one room before moving on to the next one, rather than doing a little bit in one room and a little bit in another.
“Living in a half-finished space isn’t going to make most people happy,” says Homesley. “I think it’s better to wait and do your project in phases.”
The living room is a good place to start, as it will leave you with something you can be proud of and can share with friends — a good launching point for the other work ahead.
Read more
How to Start a Decorating Project?
Whether you’re furnishing your first place or redoing the house you’ve owned for decades, decorating can be a challenging task, filled with costly decisions whose outcomes could haunt you for years. How do you figure out what style is right for you? Should you tackle the job yourself or hire a pro? How much should you spend? And what steps can you take to ensure you’ll be happy with the results?
In this series I’ll take you through the entire decorating process, from initial inspirations to final floor plans. We’ll talk about choosing colors, shopping for furniture, arranging furniture, where you should scrimp and where you should spend.
But before you do any of that, look around you.
Take a Critical Look at Your Current Home
What do you like about it? What do you dislike? Are your feelings prompted by the aesthetics of the decor? The comfort? The fabrics? The colors?
Learn from that. Repeat the things you like, and don’t repeat the things you don’t like just because they’re familiar to you.

Write Your List for Santa

Create a wish list — your Santa Claus list. Write down everything you would like to do if money were no object. Then figure out which things you can do, which things you can’t do, which things have to be done now and which things can wait.
“If you don’t have that master list, it’s hard to prioritize,” says interior designer Amy Luff of Viva Luxe Studios in Bristol, Virginia.
Collect Photos
Start collecting pictures of rooms you like. Even if you’re going to hire an interior designer, this will help him or her get a sense of your taste.
Naturally, Houzz is a great place to begin, as you’ll have more than 15 million pictures at your fingertips. You can save everything into one ideabook or make individual ideabooks for each room or each aspect of the design (wall colors, furnishings, fireplaces etc.).
Don’t try to do this in one sitting — give yourself a few weeks or months to compile your photos, as your tastes might evolve during the course of the exercise. Something that appealed to you on Day 1 might seem trite by Day 23.
Get Your Better Half Involved
For many couples there’s often one person who’s more interested in decorating than the other. The other person might say, “Do whatever you want.”
Do not do whatever you want. Because as soon as you start buying things, Mr. or Ms. No Opinion will suddenly have an opinion. So make him or her spend some time with you at the very beginning just looking at pictures of interiors. “Spend an hour or two on the computer and look at some things together and talk about them,” says interior designer Alana Homesley of Woodland Hills, California. As you review each room, ask your partner, “What do you like about it? What don’t you like about it?”
Alternatively, you can each collect images independently, then sit down and compare what you’ve chosen. This way your initial selections won’t be swayed by the other person. As you review your selections together, your differences and similarities will immediately become apparent.
“I Don’t Know What I Like”
Many people find it difficult to articulate what they want. Don’t let that bother you. Those photos you’ve collected can convey that information for you. Look at the characteristics that pop up again and again: the style of furnishings, the color palettes, the patterns, the materials, the quantity of furniture in each room. Let those characteristics guide you.
Most people have a basic comfort level, Homesley says. They know what kinds of rooms they like to be in and what kinds they don’t like to be in. Although it’s good to venture outside your comfort zone every now and then, it’s unlikely that you’ll enjoy living in a minimalist contemporary space if your natural predilection is for farmhouse style. So trust your instincts.
 Farmhouse  by Jeni Lee
Jeni Lee
Take Another Look Around
Now that you’ve started to zero in on the look you want your interior to have, make a list of all your significant pieces and figure out which items should stay and which should go.
Keep in mind that if you love a piece of upholstered furniture but hate its fabric, it can be reupholstered. Wood pieces can be painted or stained. Objects can be repurposed. And if there’s an inherited piece that has great sentimental value but you can’t stand to look at it — well, life’s too short to live with things you don’t love.
 Transitional Living Room by Chango & Co.
Chango & Co.
All at Once or in Stages?
If you have the budget to do everything at once, by all means go for it. If you want everything done at once but can’t afford that now, save your money and do it all at once later.
If you can’t afford to do it all at once and don’t care if everything is done at the same time, then you’ll be better off doing the project in phases. Complete one room before moving on to the next one, rather than doing a little bit in one room and a little bit in another.
“Living in a half-finished space isn’t going to make most people happy,” says Homesley. “I think it’s better to wait and do your project in phases.”
The living room is a good place to start, as it will leave you with something you can be proud of and can share with friends — a good launching point for the other work ahead.
Read more

The Brand New Interior Design Trends of 2019

Astrologists, sociologists, political scientists and communication professionals say that 2019 will be the year of “changes and conversions” as if they speak with a single voice. In this year, when changeovers are highly expected, interior design trends will of course be affected by this changing range.
Let’s see together what kind of home decor ideas 2019 will bring us.

Velvet furniture

Having been the main squeeze of last seasons, velvet will be in the forefront in furniture, furnishing fabrics and even in home textiles within this year as well. Especially the velvet sofas with the classical colors like blue, emerald green, dark green and wine will be among the most common furniture in houses with style.

Black – White Combination

As WoodBoz, we simply love Scandinavian style and black – white combination is one of the most important part of it. This dateless combination will get attention in 2019 than ever before. Especially the carpets with black & white colored geometric style and black metal wall art panels will be the favorite of minimalists.

Vintage lightnings

One of the most outstanding decoration trends of 2019 is ceiling lightnings that create a pretty contrast with the general atmosphere and the style of the furniture. This lightnings that reminds us to 70's will run and run!

Creative wallpapers

We will often see wallpapers that are brave in colors and produce natural stone effect. You may use this kind of applications as a minimalist wall decor while designing a living room interior or in any other part of the house to make a little difference.

Wood wall arts

Wall accessories  will continue decorating the walls in 2019! You may have a wall art with a motto and minimalist design and get your home ready for 2019 trends.

Boho-chic wooden wall accessories

Someone is just waiting for it to become outdated, but boho-chic trend is gaining popularity. In another words, the boho-chich trend in which there are plenty of textile fabrics, natural fabrics like straw and bamboo and of course wooden decors   will not lose its popularity!
Read more
Astrologists, sociologists, political scientists and communication professionals say that 2019 will be the year of “changes and conversions” as if they speak with a single voice. In this year, when changeovers are highly expected, interior design trends will of course be affected by this changing range.
Let’s see together what kind of home decor ideas 2019 will bring us.

Velvet furniture

Having been the main squeeze of last seasons, velvet will be in the forefront in furniture, furnishing fabrics and even in home textiles within this year as well. Especially the velvet sofas with the classical colors like blue, emerald green, dark green and wine will be among the most common furniture in houses with style.

Black – White Combination

As WoodBoz, we simply love Scandinavian style and black – white combination is one of the most important part of it. This dateless combination will get attention in 2019 than ever before. Especially the carpets with black & white colored geometric style and black metal wall art panels will be the favorite of minimalists.

Vintage lightnings

One of the most outstanding decoration trends of 2019 is ceiling lightnings that create a pretty contrast with the general atmosphere and the style of the furniture. This lightnings that reminds us to 70's will run and run!

Creative wallpapers

We will often see wallpapers that are brave in colors and produce natural stone effect. You may use this kind of applications as a minimalist wall decor while designing a living room interior or in any other part of the house to make a little difference.

Wood wall arts

Wall accessories  will continue decorating the walls in 2019! You may have a wall art with a motto and minimalist design and get your home ready for 2019 trends.

Boho-chic wooden wall accessories

Someone is just waiting for it to become outdated, but boho-chic trend is gaining popularity. In another words, the boho-chich trend in which there are plenty of textile fabrics, natural fabrics like straw and bamboo and of course wooden decors   will not lose its popularity!
Read more

Decorating Master Class: 10 Common Mistakes and How to Fix Them

Didn’t get your decor right the first time around? No problem — you can turn your styling errors into successes

If you’re scratching your head over why the decor in some of the spaces in your home leaves you feeling slightly underwhelmed, a remedy — or at least an improvement — may be just a few moves away. Whether it’s a bland room, a paint color you’re not quite sure about or throw pillows that refuse to sit right no matter how many times you arrange them, here are the tweaks that can help turn your questionable decorating decisions into resounding wins.

1. Your Dark Walls Need a Lift
Inky indigos, gunmetal grays and midnight blacks have never been more popular. If you’ve been tempted by their elegance and drama but they’re making your room feel a little closed-in, here’s how to dump the dungeon feeling.
What to do: Good lighting is essential to reveal the tonal complexities in deep, saturated darks. Multiple light sources allow you to control the ambiance and light direction. Combine uplights and downlights and don’t let the ceiling disappear into gloom. The bedside lights shown here, for example, make the most of a sophisticated blue-black wall.
Also, bear in mind that an over-furnished room will seem more cave-like than one that’s simply furnished. Clear out clutter and nonessential furniture.
“The darker the night, the brighter the stars,” Dostoyevsky wrote. Your bold move gives you the perfect excuse to indulge in rich, theatrical color contrasts. Play up dark walls with jewel tones, natural wood, reflective metallics, greenery and dramatic artwork.
Far from restricting a color palette, dark walls come to life when used with shades such as pale aqua and mint, silver-gray, teal, mustard, dusky pink and pumpkin yellow. And you can never go wrong with white.

Another approach is to simply surrender to your dark side and go moody and monochrome, as in this understated Scandinavian bedroom. Texture and layering are key to nailing this look. Think dusky velvets, slubby linens and sensuous silks.

2. Your Shelves Are Bursting at the Seams
Putting every ornament you own on open shelves often leads to a distracting mishmash of nondescript items. Serious sorting is needed to create some focus.
What to do: I recommend organizing-expert Marie Kondo’s life-changing advice of honoring items, then letting them go. Another motto may be “Beautiful, interesting or out.” Empty your shelves and create “yes” and “no” piles. You don’t have to throw items away, but this is a good chance to do the Kondo. The shelves seen here make clever use of space in a way that enhances every object.

Once you’ve reduced your candidates to the beautiful and meaningful, let them shine. You might want to paint the back of the shelves to emphasize lovely shapes and colors among your chosen collection; white items against a dark shade really stand out. Avoid highly patterned or textured backgrounds since they can be confusing to the eye.
Rather than lining books up soldier-style, stack some to form bookends and mini shelves, choosing intriguing titles and spines that coordinate with your display.

3. Your Sofa Is Pale and Interesting but Totally Impractical
You somehow forgot that a dog, a cat, two toddlers, sticky fingers, raspberry cordial and pet hair just don’t go with light sofas.
What to do: Have the fabric professionally cleaned and treated. Be aware that no stainproofing is infallible and that its effectiveness depends on the fabric. Modern formulas penetrate fibers and enable most liquid and other residue to be removed. DIY aerosol sprays are a short-term solution, but they only coat the surface and wear away after one cleaning.

We’re loving sofa throws at the moment. Drape them casually and pile on big pillows to deflect the worst of spills and grime. Another solution is to opt for slipcovers that can go in the washing machine when dirty.
If you want to leave sofas bare, vacuum often with a spotlessly clean brush attachment. In the event of a spill, blot carefully and never rub.

4. Your Vignettes Look Like Bargain Tables
Vignettes like this are a lovely way to show off treasures and create character. They’re pocket-sized portraits of your personality, so if you haven’t mastered the knack, read on.
What to do: Start with an anchor piece and build from it. Asymmetry avoids a stiff, formal look. Contrast shapes and textures. Connect with a theme, color or mood.
In this elegant vignette, angles contrast with curves, shiny and matte textures are juxtaposed, and a black-and-white palette anchors the scene. The setup is asymmetrical but, thanks to a careful arrangement, still manages to feel balanced. Best of all, it draws the observer in for a closer look.

5. Your Family Room Doesn’t Feel Friendly
We want guests to be impressed by our home’s public spaces, but often style takes precedence over comfort and we end up with a dressy room that feels stiff and unwelcoming.
What to do: The problem may simply be in how the furniture is positioned. Seating should be arranged in a way that encourages social interaction. When deciding where to put sofas and armchairs, imagine how sitters will communicate with one another. Put seating close enough to encourage conversation rather than back against the walls, which can leave you with a no-man’s land in the center of the room.

There’s nothing like humor to put guests at ease, so add some whimsical touches to your living spaces. You may not want a giant bowler-hatted giraffe stealing the show, but he’s sure to break the ice.

6. You Can’t Get the Hang of Hanging Art
Whether art to you means canvas or framed prints, blown-up photographs, a priceless original, a treasured heirloom or your child’s finger painting, its impact depends on the way it’s displayed. Are you getting the best out of yours?
What to do: If art is a defining feature in your home, calling upon the services of a professional hanger is a good investment. A common mistake is hanging art too high. Consider the human scale and hang artwork with the center point at eye level in spaces where people stand, and lower where it’s viewed from a seated

7. Your White Kitchen Is Practical but Lacks Warmth
Kitchens are in the limelight more than ever — and often open to other living areas. While all-white is common, clinical coldness can creep in.
What to do: Kitchenware has moved beyond functional to become something worthy of display. Appliances come in a rainbow of colors and styles, and cookware is designed to be seen. Don’t hide all this beauty away in cupboards: Hang great-looking saucepans from wall hooks, leave a stack of pretty dishes out on display or set a bowl filled with fruits or veggies on the counter.

Kitchen designer Anne Ellard believes a white kitchen is the perfect blank canvas. “Add bold flourishes of color with accessories such as books, flowers or small appliances, all of which can easily be changed,” Ellard says. “Or make your pop of color even grander with a colorful backsplash.”
Bright artwork, wood accessories, potted plants and mini herb gardens help relieve sterility and make a sleek kitchen feel more like home.

8. Your ‘Focal Points’ Are All Over the Place
If you walk into a room and nothing — or everything — catches your eye, then it has no focal point. This much-used designer’s term simply means a primary place for the eye to rest before taking in the whole space. A room without one lacks life, balance and harmony.
What to do: A focal point could be an architectural feature, a view, a piece of art, a fireplace, a statement furniture piece, a mirror, a textural surface or a stunning rug, as seen here. It’s easier to start with a focus and plan the rest of the room’s decor around it. If you prefer to work with what you already have, decide what the focal feature will be and then arrange existing furniture to direct attention toward it.

What do you see first when you look at this picture? Do your eyes go straight to the handsome goat on the wall? The curves of his horns are offset by a spiky plant and modern lamp, the sofa is simply styled and vintage wood chairs and table reflect the natural textures in the artwork. It’s a great example of a successful focal point.

9. You Can’t Control Your Pillow Habit
We all know one: a pillow addict who doesn’t know when to stop. Perhaps it’s you? Get help here.
What to do: Pillows heaped high on sofas, chairs and beds don’t always add much to a room. If you can’t sit on a sofa or lie on a bed without putting pillows on the floor, they lose their purpose. Try to restrict pillows to two at each end of a sofa, one (or none) on an armchair and three on a bed.

10. You Haven’t Changed Anything in Years
Has decor ennui crept in? You could just be tired of the same old, same old. We all have favorite styles, but it’s easy to get stuck in a groove.
What to do: Shake things up. Reignite your passion and inject new energy and interest into your home by mixing up what you already have or adding some inexpensive new accessories. Change bedding and pillows and move houseplants, chairs, lamps and rugs around. Reposition furniture for a fresh perspective — it’s cheap as well as fun. This bedroom shows how a few well-chosen accessories can make for a pretty and inviting space.
 
Janet Dunn
Houzz Australia Contributor
Read more
Didn’t get your decor right the first time around? No problem — you can turn your styling errors into successes

If you’re scratching your head over why the decor in some of the spaces in your home leaves you feeling slightly underwhelmed, a remedy — or at least an improvement — may be just a few moves away. Whether it’s a bland room, a paint color you’re not quite sure about or throw pillows that refuse to sit right no matter how many times you arrange them, here are the tweaks that can help turn your questionable decorating decisions into resounding wins.

1. Your Dark Walls Need a Lift
Inky indigos, gunmetal grays and midnight blacks have never been more popular. If you’ve been tempted by their elegance and drama but they’re making your room feel a little closed-in, here’s how to dump the dungeon feeling.
What to do: Good lighting is essential to reveal the tonal complexities in deep, saturated darks. Multiple light sources allow you to control the ambiance and light direction. Combine uplights and downlights and don’t let the ceiling disappear into gloom. The bedside lights shown here, for example, make the most of a sophisticated blue-black wall.
Also, bear in mind that an over-furnished room will seem more cave-like than one that’s simply furnished. Clear out clutter and nonessential furniture.
“The darker the night, the brighter the stars,” Dostoyevsky wrote. Your bold move gives you the perfect excuse to indulge in rich, theatrical color contrasts. Play up dark walls with jewel tones, natural wood, reflective metallics, greenery and dramatic artwork.
Far from restricting a color palette, dark walls come to life when used with shades such as pale aqua and mint, silver-gray, teal, mustard, dusky pink and pumpkin yellow. And you can never go wrong with white.

Another approach is to simply surrender to your dark side and go moody and monochrome, as in this understated Scandinavian bedroom. Texture and layering are key to nailing this look. Think dusky velvets, slubby linens and sensuous silks.

2. Your Shelves Are Bursting at the Seams
Putting every ornament you own on open shelves often leads to a distracting mishmash of nondescript items. Serious sorting is needed to create some focus.
What to do: I recommend organizing-expert Marie Kondo’s life-changing advice of honoring items, then letting them go. Another motto may be “Beautiful, interesting or out.” Empty your shelves and create “yes” and “no” piles. You don’t have to throw items away, but this is a good chance to do the Kondo. The shelves seen here make clever use of space in a way that enhances every object.

Once you’ve reduced your candidates to the beautiful and meaningful, let them shine. You might want to paint the back of the shelves to emphasize lovely shapes and colors among your chosen collection; white items against a dark shade really stand out. Avoid highly patterned or textured backgrounds since they can be confusing to the eye.
Rather than lining books up soldier-style, stack some to form bookends and mini shelves, choosing intriguing titles and spines that coordinate with your display.

3. Your Sofa Is Pale and Interesting but Totally Impractical
You somehow forgot that a dog, a cat, two toddlers, sticky fingers, raspberry cordial and pet hair just don’t go with light sofas.
What to do: Have the fabric professionally cleaned and treated. Be aware that no stainproofing is infallible and that its effectiveness depends on the fabric. Modern formulas penetrate fibers and enable most liquid and other residue to be removed. DIY aerosol sprays are a short-term solution, but they only coat the surface and wear away after one cleaning.

We’re loving sofa throws at the moment. Drape them casually and pile on big pillows to deflect the worst of spills and grime. Another solution is to opt for slipcovers that can go in the washing machine when dirty.
If you want to leave sofas bare, vacuum often with a spotlessly clean brush attachment. In the event of a spill, blot carefully and never rub.

4. Your Vignettes Look Like Bargain Tables
Vignettes like this are a lovely way to show off treasures and create character. They’re pocket-sized portraits of your personality, so if you haven’t mastered the knack, read on.
What to do: Start with an anchor piece and build from it. Asymmetry avoids a stiff, formal look. Contrast shapes and textures. Connect with a theme, color or mood.
In this elegant vignette, angles contrast with curves, shiny and matte textures are juxtaposed, and a black-and-white palette anchors the scene. The setup is asymmetrical but, thanks to a careful arrangement, still manages to feel balanced. Best of all, it draws the observer in for a closer look.

5. Your Family Room Doesn’t Feel Friendly
We want guests to be impressed by our home’s public spaces, but often style takes precedence over comfort and we end up with a dressy room that feels stiff and unwelcoming.
What to do: The problem may simply be in how the furniture is positioned. Seating should be arranged in a way that encourages social interaction. When deciding where to put sofas and armchairs, imagine how sitters will communicate with one another. Put seating close enough to encourage conversation rather than back against the walls, which can leave you with a no-man’s land in the center of the room.

There’s nothing like humor to put guests at ease, so add some whimsical touches to your living spaces. You may not want a giant bowler-hatted giraffe stealing the show, but he’s sure to break the ice.

6. You Can’t Get the Hang of Hanging Art
Whether art to you means canvas or framed prints, blown-up photographs, a priceless original, a treasured heirloom or your child’s finger painting, its impact depends on the way it’s displayed. Are you getting the best out of yours?
What to do: If art is a defining feature in your home, calling upon the services of a professional hanger is a good investment. A common mistake is hanging art too high. Consider the human scale and hang artwork with the center point at eye level in spaces where people stand, and lower where it’s viewed from a seated

7. Your White Kitchen Is Practical but Lacks Warmth
Kitchens are in the limelight more than ever — and often open to other living areas. While all-white is common, clinical coldness can creep in.
What to do: Kitchenware has moved beyond functional to become something worthy of display. Appliances come in a rainbow of colors and styles, and cookware is designed to be seen. Don’t hide all this beauty away in cupboards: Hang great-looking saucepans from wall hooks, leave a stack of pretty dishes out on display or set a bowl filled with fruits or veggies on the counter.

Kitchen designer Anne Ellard believes a white kitchen is the perfect blank canvas. “Add bold flourishes of color with accessories such as books, flowers or small appliances, all of which can easily be changed,” Ellard says. “Or make your pop of color even grander with a colorful backsplash.”
Bright artwork, wood accessories, potted plants and mini herb gardens help relieve sterility and make a sleek kitchen feel more like home.

8. Your ‘Focal Points’ Are All Over the Place
If you walk into a room and nothing — or everything — catches your eye, then it has no focal point. This much-used designer’s term simply means a primary place for the eye to rest before taking in the whole space. A room without one lacks life, balance and harmony.
What to do: A focal point could be an architectural feature, a view, a piece of art, a fireplace, a statement furniture piece, a mirror, a textural surface or a stunning rug, as seen here. It’s easier to start with a focus and plan the rest of the room’s decor around it. If you prefer to work with what you already have, decide what the focal feature will be and then arrange existing furniture to direct attention toward it.

What do you see first when you look at this picture? Do your eyes go straight to the handsome goat on the wall? The curves of his horns are offset by a spiky plant and modern lamp, the sofa is simply styled and vintage wood chairs and table reflect the natural textures in the artwork. It’s a great example of a successful focal point.

9. You Can’t Control Your Pillow Habit
We all know one: a pillow addict who doesn’t know when to stop. Perhaps it’s you? Get help here.
What to do: Pillows heaped high on sofas, chairs and beds don’t always add much to a room. If you can’t sit on a sofa or lie on a bed without putting pillows on the floor, they lose their purpose. Try to restrict pillows to two at each end of a sofa, one (or none) on an armchair and three on a bed.

10. You Haven’t Changed Anything in Years
Has decor ennui crept in? You could just be tired of the same old, same old. We all have favorite styles, but it’s easy to get stuck in a groove.
What to do: Shake things up. Reignite your passion and inject new energy and interest into your home by mixing up what you already have or adding some inexpensive new accessories. Change bedding and pillows and move houseplants, chairs, lamps and rugs around. Reposition furniture for a fresh perspective — it’s cheap as well as fun. This bedroom shows how a few well-chosen accessories can make for a pretty and inviting space.
 
Janet Dunn
Houzz Australia Contributor
Read more

How to Refresh Your Living Room

Matching design services to your goals and needs can help you get a living room that better reflects your style

Does your living room have a case of the blahs? Whether you’re looking for quick furniture-arranging help or a complete overhaul, read on for the need-to-know info on making your living room live up to its full potential. We caught up with interior designer Mollie Openshaw to get the scoop on costs, time frames and picking the right pro for the job.

Why: Whether your living room is a formal spot to gather with visitors or the main hangout hub of your house, it’s likely to take up a good chunk of real estate in your home — so it’s important that it functions well and expresses your style.

It’s a good project for you if: You are tired of the way your living room looks or are frustrated by the layout. Getting help — a little or a lot — from a pro can set you on the right track and help create a living room that meshes with your style and your life.

Whom to hire: An interior designer or decorator can help see your project through from start to finish — or provide you with a plan to follow through on your own. Here, we take a closer look at a range of options, from design consultations to design plans to full-service design.

Design consultation: A design consultation is just what it sounds like — a sit-down in your home with a designer to discuss your living room and offer feedback and suggestions. In your initial phone conversation, you and your designer can agree upon a length of time for the consultation. Typically, these run two to three hours, with most designers being open to adding time if you feel you need more once you’ve gotten started (and if their schedule allows). This can be used as a stand-alone service, but it can also be a great way to see if you mesh well with a designer before diving into a project.

Design plan: If you would like more specific guidance, but don’t mind shopping and moving furniture on your own, a design plan can offer a happy medium between a consultation and a full-service design. Although the details of what you receive will vary depending on what you agree on with your designer, a typical living room design plan includes a design board that lays out the items suggested by the designer for purchasing, a color palette and a floor plan of the room indicating how to put it all together. 

“With a design plan, the client can purchase items from the suggested plan, or we can help them with ordering,” says Openshaw, of Design Loves Detail.

Full-service design: If you want a pro to handle your living room design from start to finish, full-service design is probably the right option for you. With full-service design, your interior designer or decorator can take care of everything, including creating a compelling vision for your space, finding furniture and hanging art.

E-design or distance design: If you’ve fallen for a certain designer’s work but live outside his or her region, you may still be in luck if the pro offers e-design or distance-design services. In this model, you may communicate with your designer via email or Skype calls and receive a living room design plan through snail mail or digitally. The level of service can vary widely, with some designers offering a great deal of personal service (multiple phone calls and follow-up emails), and others offering less personalization but at a more affordable rate.

Typical project length: Most designers will tell you that there isn’t really a “typical” length of time when it comes to design work. “A lot of it depends on the client’s time frame,” Openshaw says. “We have done full-service design projects in as little as two or three months.” 

As the client, you can help things progress more quickly by being decisive and, ultimately, by trusting your designer to do his or her job. That said, Openshaw still recommends allowing several months for a single room project, to allow for the long lead times from some furniture companies.

What to look for in a designer: “Select a designer that creates spaces that you want in your home,” Openshaw says. Simply put, even though good designers can tackle many styles, they have a personal one that they gravitate toward (and come back to again and again). So if you spot a designer whose portfolio tends to line up with your style, that’s a sign of a good match. “If you think about different actors and actresses in Hollywood, they typically play similar roles — designers are like that too.”

Of course, personalities matching up is just as important as styles matching up, Openshaw adds. “You might be spending a lot of time with your designer, so it is nice if you get along with them.”

5 Quick Tips for a Living Room Refresh

1. Make a list of the top three challenges in your living room. 
Is the furniture arrangement working? Does the color scheme need tweaking? Where’s the problem?

2. Pare back. Removing clutter and excess can help you see your living room in a different light.

3. Take photos of your space. This can help give you some psychological distance, allowing you to identify what needs to change more easily.

4. Try out some design tools. Make a floor plan (on paper or online), put together a Houzz ideabook, or cut and paste a design board. Seeing your ideas all at once can be a huge help.

5. Focus on textiles. Swapping out a rug, reupholstering a chair or getting new throw pillows for the couch (or all three!) can point your living room in a new style direction.

 

Houzz Contributor
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Matching design services to your goals and needs can help you get a living room that better reflects your style

Does your living room have a case of the blahs? Whether you’re looking for quick furniture-arranging help or a complete overhaul, read on for the need-to-know info on making your living room live up to its full potential. We caught up with interior designer Mollie Openshaw to get the scoop on costs, time frames and picking the right pro for the job.

Why: Whether your living room is a formal spot to gather with visitors or the main hangout hub of your house, it’s likely to take up a good chunk of real estate in your home — so it’s important that it functions well and expresses your style.

It’s a good project for you if: You are tired of the way your living room looks or are frustrated by the layout. Getting help — a little or a lot — from a pro can set you on the right track and help create a living room that meshes with your style and your life.

Whom to hire: An interior designer or decorator can help see your project through from start to finish — or provide you with a plan to follow through on your own. Here, we take a closer look at a range of options, from design consultations to design plans to full-service design.

Design consultation: A design consultation is just what it sounds like — a sit-down in your home with a designer to discuss your living room and offer feedback and suggestions. In your initial phone conversation, you and your designer can agree upon a length of time for the consultation. Typically, these run two to three hours, with most designers being open to adding time if you feel you need more once you’ve gotten started (and if their schedule allows). This can be used as a stand-alone service, but it can also be a great way to see if you mesh well with a designer before diving into a project.

Design plan: If you would like more specific guidance, but don’t mind shopping and moving furniture on your own, a design plan can offer a happy medium between a consultation and a full-service design. Although the details of what you receive will vary depending on what you agree on with your designer, a typical living room design plan includes a design board that lays out the items suggested by the designer for purchasing, a color palette and a floor plan of the room indicating how to put it all together. 

“With a design plan, the client can purchase items from the suggested plan, or we can help them with ordering,” says Openshaw, of Design Loves Detail.

Full-service design: If you want a pro to handle your living room design from start to finish, full-service design is probably the right option for you. With full-service design, your interior designer or decorator can take care of everything, including creating a compelling vision for your space, finding furniture and hanging art.

E-design or distance design: If you’ve fallen for a certain designer’s work but live outside his or her region, you may still be in luck if the pro offers e-design or distance-design services. In this model, you may communicate with your designer via email or Skype calls and receive a living room design plan through snail mail or digitally. The level of service can vary widely, with some designers offering a great deal of personal service (multiple phone calls and follow-up emails), and others offering less personalization but at a more affordable rate.

Typical project length: Most designers will tell you that there isn’t really a “typical” length of time when it comes to design work. “A lot of it depends on the client’s time frame,” Openshaw says. “We have done full-service design projects in as little as two or three months.” 

As the client, you can help things progress more quickly by being decisive and, ultimately, by trusting your designer to do his or her job. That said, Openshaw still recommends allowing several months for a single room project, to allow for the long lead times from some furniture companies.

What to look for in a designer: “Select a designer that creates spaces that you want in your home,” Openshaw says. Simply put, even though good designers can tackle many styles, they have a personal one that they gravitate toward (and come back to again and again). So if you spot a designer whose portfolio tends to line up with your style, that’s a sign of a good match. “If you think about different actors and actresses in Hollywood, they typically play similar roles — designers are like that too.”

Of course, personalities matching up is just as important as styles matching up, Openshaw adds. “You might be spending a lot of time with your designer, so it is nice if you get along with them.”

5 Quick Tips for a Living Room Refresh

1. Make a list of the top three challenges in your living room. 
Is the furniture arrangement working? Does the color scheme need tweaking? Where’s the problem?

2. Pare back. Removing clutter and excess can help you see your living room in a different light.

3. Take photos of your space. This can help give you some psychological distance, allowing you to identify what needs to change more easily.

4. Try out some design tools. Make a floor plan (on paper or online), put together a Houzz ideabook, or cut and paste a design board. Seeing your ideas all at once can be a huge help.

5. Focus on textiles. Swapping out a rug, reupholstering a chair or getting new throw pillows for the couch (or all three!) can point your living room in a new style direction.

 

Houzz Contributor
Read more

How to Decorate a Living Room: 11 Designer Tips

Try a few of these living room design tips, and you’ll be on your way to creating a comfy space that reflects your style.

Whether your style is traditional or modern, relaxed or formal, bold or subdued, your living room should be a place where you can feel comfortable, let down your guard and spend quality time with friends, family or just yourself. There’s an art to decorating a room that looks great and works well for you. So before you dive into a living room redesign with your pro, arm yourself with a few designer tips and tricks. Here are some of my favorites.

1. Mix light and dark. When a living room is all white and bright, it can feel too “clean” and unapproachable. When it’s all dark, it can feel like a cave. But mixing dark and light colors creates a dynamic look that has depth and balance. The design of any space benefits from the inclusion of at least a little white and a little black.

2. Contrast your neutrals. Beyond including some white and some black, decorating a living room with a variety of contrasting neutrals goes a long way toward making it feel rich and welcoming. In this example, the white walls, caramel leather, brass hardware, gray sofa and blue-gray cabinets all contrast with one another, which highlights their different finishes and undertones. This makes the palette feel rich even before other key elements, such as color, pattern and texture, are added.

3. Play with texture. Texture is easy to overlook when decorating a living room, especially since we don’t see it so much as touch it. But it’s important for making a living room feel cozy, and that goes for plush textures that appeal to the touch and harder textures that add contrast. Include leather, cotton, wool, metal, stone, glass, plant life and as many other textures as you can.Pillows are a great place to start, especially if you’re decorating a living room on a budget. Look to other accessories and furnishings to add new materials to the palette, even in small doses.

4. Work in some wood. We can’t talk about texture without talking about wood, one of the top materials for bringing a sense of warmth to a living room.There are so many ways to add wood, any of which will make a space feel a bit more inviting. Consider wall paneling, side tables, movable stools, picture frames, sofa legs and carved pieces of art as just a few of the many options.

5. Mix up your upholstery. Sure, most furniture stores give you the option of purchasing an entire living room set in matching upholstery, but that doesn’t mean you should do it. In a formal seating area, matching upholstery can give a sense of maturity and order, but if you want a living room to feel cozy and welcoming, mix and match your upholstered pieces to give the design a bit more personality.One of the safest ways to do this is to mix leather chairs with a fabric sofa or vice versa, so the materials contrast in an obviously intentional way. It gives the living room design some diversity, which can also give members of the family different options to suit their seating preferences.

6. Choose practical fabrics. Speaking of upholstery, it’s especially important for living room seating to be not only comfortable but durable. What this means will depend on your family. You may have babies or small children, pets or not, and they may be messy or tidy. In general, mid-tone fabrics are the safest bet, as very light or dark shades will readily show soil and wear.Leather is a great material for avoiding stains because it can be easily wiped clean when a spill occurs. However, it’s usually more easily scratched than most fabrics, so it may not endure animals as well. A leather that already has a broken-in look or a pattern can age especially well.Denim and corduroy are two other materials that can be inviting yet durable. Plus, they add an unexpected twist compared with the typical plain cotton or wool upholstery you often see in stores. When choosing fabric for your living room furniture, look for a material with a blend of natural and synthetic fabrics to get the practical features of both, and if possible do a bend test of a fabric swatch to make sure the weave appears tight and doesn’t reveal the backing material. A tight weave will be more durable than a loose one (which leaves lots of space for dirt to hide), no matter the material.

7. Add a dash of color. While you can create a beautiful space without any vivid hues, adding even a little bit of color to a living room can go a long way toward creating a relaxed and inviting atmosphere.When in doubt, look to a cheerful blue — it’s a hue that usually everyone can agree on. It perfectly contrasts warm elements such as leather and wood, and it feels just neutral enough to work with basically any other future accent colors.

8. Add a patterned rug. Pattern is a powerful design tool, infusing a living room with energy and minimizing the appearance of stains or wear. A patterned rug brings these benefits to the “fifth wall” — the floor — simultaneously anchoring a seating area and giving the whole room a sense of life. Even if you already have carpeting, consider adding a rug to your seating area. The first time you roll it up to go to the cleaners after a big spill, you’ll be glad you had it there.

9. Choose movable tables and stools. Lightweight tables, stools, ottomans and even side chairs that can be moved around easily make a living room much more comfortable, giving you and your family lots of options on a daily basis for putting your feet up, setting a drink down or seating an extra guest.

Use a few smaller pieces, such as the upholstered footstools seen here, to allow for movement of pieces closer to and farther from the main seating as needed.

10. Consider conversational distances. No matter how big your living room, there’s a limit to how large a seating group can be and still make sense for intimate conversation and cozy gatherings. A good distance between seats to facilitate conversation is about 8 feet, meaning if you have several sofas or a sofa and side chairs, the seating area should have a diameter of 8 feet, or 4 feet out from the center.

A huge, 12-seat sectional sofa may look great and be perfect for a party, but if you’re looking to create a cozy living room, it’s usually best to use fewer, smaller seating pieces and push them a little closer together.

11. Don’t take it too seriously. A living room is a great space to embrace thoughtful disorder, such as through an artistic gallery wall, mix-and-match throw pillows, open storage baskets and fun furniture like this tepee-inspired tent.

Trying for perfect order will mean that anything out of place will stick out like a sore thumb, whereas accepting a bit of controlled chaos will mean the occasional dropped toy or draped blanket will look right at home.

 

Houzz Contributor

 

 

 

 

Read more

Try a few of these living room design tips, and you’ll be on your way to creating a comfy space that reflects your style.

Whether your style is traditional or modern, relaxed or formal, bold or subdued, your living room should be a place where you can feel comfortable, let down your guard and spend quality time with friends, family or just yourself. There’s an art to decorating a room that looks great and works well for you. So before you dive into a living room redesign with your pro, arm yourself with a few designer tips and tricks. Here are some of my favorites.

1. Mix light and dark. When a living room is all white and bright, it can feel too “clean” and unapproachable. When it’s all dark, it can feel like a cave. But mixing dark and light colors creates a dynamic look that has depth and balance. The design of any space benefits from the inclusion of at least a little white and a little black.

2. Contrast your neutrals. Beyond including some white and some black, decorating a living room with a variety of contrasting neutrals goes a long way toward making it feel rich and welcoming. In this example, the white walls, caramel leather, brass hardware, gray sofa and blue-gray cabinets all contrast with one another, which highlights their different finishes and undertones. This makes the palette feel rich even before other key elements, such as color, pattern and texture, are added.

3. Play with texture. Texture is easy to overlook when decorating a living room, especially since we don’t see it so much as touch it. But it’s important for making a living room feel cozy, and that goes for plush textures that appeal to the touch and harder textures that add contrast. Include leather, cotton, wool, metal, stone, glass, plant life and as many other textures as you can.Pillows are a great place to start, especially if you’re decorating a living room on a budget. Look to other accessories and furnishings to add new materials to the palette, even in small doses.

4. Work in some wood. We can’t talk about texture without talking about wood, one of the top materials for bringing a sense of warmth to a living room.There are so many ways to add wood, any of which will make a space feel a bit more inviting. Consider wall paneling, side tables, movable stools, picture frames, sofa legs and carved pieces of art as just a few of the many options.

5. Mix up your upholstery. Sure, most furniture stores give you the option of purchasing an entire living room set in matching upholstery, but that doesn’t mean you should do it. In a formal seating area, matching upholstery can give a sense of maturity and order, but if you want a living room to feel cozy and welcoming, mix and match your upholstered pieces to give the design a bit more personality.One of the safest ways to do this is to mix leather chairs with a fabric sofa or vice versa, so the materials contrast in an obviously intentional way. It gives the living room design some diversity, which can also give members of the family different options to suit their seating preferences.

6. Choose practical fabrics. Speaking of upholstery, it’s especially important for living room seating to be not only comfortable but durable. What this means will depend on your family. You may have babies or small children, pets or not, and they may be messy or tidy. In general, mid-tone fabrics are the safest bet, as very light or dark shades will readily show soil and wear.Leather is a great material for avoiding stains because it can be easily wiped clean when a spill occurs. However, it’s usually more easily scratched than most fabrics, so it may not endure animals as well. A leather that already has a broken-in look or a pattern can age especially well.Denim and corduroy are two other materials that can be inviting yet durable. Plus, they add an unexpected twist compared with the typical plain cotton or wool upholstery you often see in stores. When choosing fabric for your living room furniture, look for a material with a blend of natural and synthetic fabrics to get the practical features of both, and if possible do a bend test of a fabric swatch to make sure the weave appears tight and doesn’t reveal the backing material. A tight weave will be more durable than a loose one (which leaves lots of space for dirt to hide), no matter the material.

7. Add a dash of color. While you can create a beautiful space without any vivid hues, adding even a little bit of color to a living room can go a long way toward creating a relaxed and inviting atmosphere.When in doubt, look to a cheerful blue — it’s a hue that usually everyone can agree on. It perfectly contrasts warm elements such as leather and wood, and it feels just neutral enough to work with basically any other future accent colors.

8. Add a patterned rug. Pattern is a powerful design tool, infusing a living room with energy and minimizing the appearance of stains or wear. A patterned rug brings these benefits to the “fifth wall” — the floor — simultaneously anchoring a seating area and giving the whole room a sense of life. Even if you already have carpeting, consider adding a rug to your seating area. The first time you roll it up to go to the cleaners after a big spill, you’ll be glad you had it there.

9. Choose movable tables and stools. Lightweight tables, stools, ottomans and even side chairs that can be moved around easily make a living room much more comfortable, giving you and your family lots of options on a daily basis for putting your feet up, setting a drink down or seating an extra guest.

Use a few smaller pieces, such as the upholstered footstools seen here, to allow for movement of pieces closer to and farther from the main seating as needed.

10. Consider conversational distances. No matter how big your living room, there’s a limit to how large a seating group can be and still make sense for intimate conversation and cozy gatherings. A good distance between seats to facilitate conversation is about 8 feet, meaning if you have several sofas or a sofa and side chairs, the seating area should have a diameter of 8 feet, or 4 feet out from the center.

A huge, 12-seat sectional sofa may look great and be perfect for a party, but if you’re looking to create a cozy living room, it’s usually best to use fewer, smaller seating pieces and push them a little closer together.

11. Don’t take it too seriously. A living room is a great space to embrace thoughtful disorder, such as through an artistic gallery wall, mix-and-match throw pillows, open storage baskets and fun furniture like this tepee-inspired tent.

Trying for perfect order will mean that anything out of place will stick out like a sore thumb, whereas accepting a bit of controlled chaos will mean the occasional dropped toy or draped blanket will look right at home.

 

Houzz Contributor

 

 

 

 

Read more