Category Archives: Design Tips

How to Create Balance In Your Room

In my previous post I started a ‘training’ session of sorts on how to create a well put together space in your home. I used to train and certify Home Stagers and many of the things I taught them applied to a home for living as well as a home for selling. My previous post focused on focal points (pun intended)! 😊 Now lets take a look at balance.

How do you create balance in a room? It can be done through the placement of your furniture, accessories or even with color. Many times it is all of the above. I really think balance is about the feeling you get when you are in the room. Balance does not mean you have all items perfectly symmetrical because you will never have the exact same items or size of items on both side of a room; nor would you want to.

 

 

A perfect way to describe a room out of balance is when all the large pieces of furniture in a room are set up to face the TV.  What happens is that all the heavy pieces get lined up on one wall and the TV sits alone on the opposite wall. The weight of the room literally feels like it is tipping to one side. You want to arrange furniture so that it is not all about the TV all the time, then use other furniture and accessories to balance the visual weight within the room.

 

 

There is also a sense of balance you get with bookshelves or the mantel of a fireplace. Again, you don’t want everything identical on each side but you don’t want, for example, all books on one side and all accessories on the other. The side with all the books would obviously feel too heavy. You want to disperse items amongst the shelves using varying heights to create balance as well.

 

 

Let’s take a look at this room below:

 

The chair floating to the left of the TV creates balance so that the right side of the room doesn’t feel heavy with the weight of the fireplace and chair. It also counters the weight from the other direction because if the wall had just the TV and fireplace it would feel light with all the heavy furniture on the other side of the room. Do you feel how that would be?

Also let’s take a look at the fireplace, there are not tall items on both the left side of the mantel and the right side. That can be done but it may also be boring. The tall vase with reeds on the floor to the right of the fireplace brings balance to the whole area. The floor lamp behind the chair on the left brings in height to counter the height on the right side. Do you see it?

So for me, I just did this without thinking. It is ingrained within me because it is what I do and do it all the time. It is just automatic and took me maybe 10 minutes to pull together visually. That’s me. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get it balanced on the first try. Play with it, pull in things from other rooms and see how it feels, move things around, experiment. When will you know it is balanced? It will feel just right, like the Goldilocks nursery rhyme, you keep trying until it is just right. 😊

I hope you learned a little bit about balance and if you want to check out my previous post about “focal points” click the link. My next blog will be all about creating Continuity and Flow!

 

 

What Is Your Focal Point?

I was thinking back to when I had my Home Staging Academy to train and certify new home stagers. What I taught them applies really to anyone who is a DIY person and wants to work on their space.

Some concepts that I taught were very specific for staging a home to sell, totally different in many ways than designing to live in a space. Some concepts overlap however and I want to talk about those over the next few weeks.

First lets talk about Focal Point. The focal point is: the area in each room that immediately captures the attention. Also defined as the location in each room where the eye lands first.

In many cases the focal point is easy to see, the fireplace, a stunning vintage built-in buffet, or it can even be the view.

You want to play up the focal point and not distract from it.

What do you do if you don’t have a focal point? Create one! A large light fixture, a large piece of artwork or a large piece of furniture can become your focal point.

What happens if you have too many focal points? You basically don’t have one as your eye is bouncing to all the focal points and doesn’t know where to land.

Photo credit Spacecrafting

If you are having trouble determining the focal point in one of your rooms, have friends stop by and ask them where their eye was first drawn. Another tool is snapping a photo of the room with your phone and seeing where your eye lands when you open the photo.

Remember….try to make your focal point clear. Play around with it by adding and deleting until you have it defined.

Stay tuned for my next blog post about Balance!

 

White on White Design

For a while now, many things in home design have been light and bright including paint, flooring, and furniture. In many cases you see monochromatic rooms and you may have heard the term “white on white” design. What is it?   Blog 2

It really is a design style where most things are white, especially the background. What I mean by that is that the walls and trim are both white. The degree to which color is added within the room can vary. Many times you see the decor also be white or at least very light colors. The artwork on the walls may be the only real color as white walls are the best way to showcase artwork.

 

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One key thing to remember with white on white decorating is that all whites do not need to match; that would be near impossible anyway. Creams go beautifully with white and can add warmth.

Most people worry about a white on white color scheme being cold and sterile. That is a possibility and it may actually be a look you are trying to achieve with an ultra sleek contemporary design. If not, there are ways to keep a room from looking like a hospital room. In my opinion the two best ways to do this is by bringing wood and texture into the room.

Wood elements in a room design or wood elements in the furniture or accessories bring in character, warmth and coziness.

 

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Layers of texture through pillows, throws, and again in accessories is the second way to keep a white room from looking too sterile.

 

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Another element to use is leather and a mix of metals. Mix black and gold; silver and gold; or metals and woods.

 

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White on white is one of my favorite designs but also a tricky one to implement. If you love the look don’t be afraid to try it! Look at photos or bring in a professional to give you some guidance.