Friday, October 14, 2011
Choose Pieces with a Meaning
When Jason and Jill Williams hired a firm to design their home, they clearly stated that the theme was "sparse."
They did not intend to buy things to simply fill the house; they wanted to acquire pieces over time that had meaning, complemented their lifestyle, and reflected their personalities.
While the theme was "sparse," sleek and modern wasn't their design choice. Instead, they mixed furniture styles with rustic, stained, and painted finishes.
Every piece serves a purpose, and each can be used in different ways for years to come.
Design for gathering
Family rooms are gathering places that should exude a relaxed style and communicate warmth and playfulness.
Perhaps the most important consideration for such an active room is how to keep the space's flow while noting its separate areas. Color, furniture placement, and area rugs can help meet this goal.
Here, a U-shaped seating area encourages conversation. Artifacts from family travels reflect the personalities of those who live here, while the fireplace and television anchor the space.
Carry Your Style Outdoors
"Outdoor areas are often the last to receive design attention, but they shouldn't be," says landscape designer Matt Lemos.
"Plan space for your lifestyle by incorporating ample seating, table surfaces, cushions, play areas, eating spots, and sunning areas."
By carrying your design style outdoors, you can turn a patio, deck, or even a balcony into another room of the house.
This sleeping porch, a feature of many Craftsman houses, is updated with contemporary styling and weatherproof drapery and upholstery fabric.
Common colors and materials help connect your living spaces.
Display signature pieces without too much fanfare. Try using one simple but dramatic floral stem or leaf in a chunky modern glass vase.
In transitional areas, brushed nickel or silver works well for frames, accessories, and fixtures.
Find Fabric You Love
For designer Jennifer Hilgardner, the right fabric is one of the best ways to enhance an interior.
"Find a fabric you love," she says. "Choose a signature fabric with enough design elements so you can pull out colors, coordinate textures and have lots of options for furnishings and accessories."
Here, green and blue accents in the fabric even play off the foliage outside.
Smart Art Display
Include tall and low elements throughout the room to keep your eye moving.
As a general rule, hang framed photos and art at eye level (or a bit higher if the ceilings are high). Keep in mind eye-level may be lower in a room designed for seating.
Here, a lipstick-red wall sets off black-and-white photos and a mix of collected treasures.