Summer Decorating Ideas

Summer is here this coming weekend so it’s time to think about some fresh summer decorating ideas to give your home a fresh feel!

1. Pare Down – Think of your home as a summer rental, and you’ll see it in a whole new light. Throw open the doors and windows, pull back the curtains, and get rid of pieces that are dark, gloomy, or fussy. Stow away heavy accessories, throws, and unnecessary small decor items until it’s time to cozy up for fall.

Image

2. Natural Living – To add organic appeal, consider planting succulents in a large shell. The tiny plants last for a long time and require little care, making them the perfect addition to a summery tablescape. The natural elements also add texture and character to this chic end-table display.

Image

3. Set a Colorful Table – Consider buying accent dishes to add splashes of summertime color and pattern to your next dinner party. Mix bright floral, tropical, or nautical-theme dishes with your everyday plates and bowls.  To ramp up the summertime look, clear a small table to create an impromptu bar, and arrange bottles and glassware on a pretty serving tray.  Fun elements, such as stir sticks and paper umbrellas create a look that is perfectly seasonal.

Image

4. Front and Center – With warm weather and a few extra hours of sunlight, the summer months are perfect for dining on your front porch or having a picnic in your yard. Eating outdoors will help you and your family take advantage of everything summer has to offer.

Image

5. A New View – While a fireplace is a great focal point, consider rearranging your furniture away from it during the summer. Rather than huddling around the hearth, shift the focus of the room toward a beautiful window or French doors. Stow away heavy draperies and hang gossamer sheers that flow with the breezes.

Image

6. Light up the Night – Summer is as much a state of mind as it is a season, so transform your spaces to embrace all the benefits it has to offer. String paper lanterns on tree branches around an outdoor patio to allow gatherings to last well into the night hours. Or should the weather turn stormy, cozy up by lamplight on a covered porch.  Because pleasant summer days sometimes fall few and far between, you’ll want to take full advantage of the time you have to spend outside, rain or shine.

Image

7. Update Old Furniture – Give a tired chair or side table new life using high-gloss spray paint in a summery hue, such as sky blue or grassy green. The glossy paint creates a fun lacquered look and gives an old piece a fresh and modern edge. Make sure to properly prime the furniture to help the paint adhere to the surface and wear longer.

Image

8. Art Swap – Brighten dark walls with colorful art pieces.  Affordable pieces can be found just about anywhere online or at flea markets and resale shops. A large piece or a collection of smaller pieces also provides the perfect blank-wall solution for large, open rooms.

Image

9. Flirty Fabrics – Bright botanical prints (on bedding, for example), instantly lift a room’s mood — and yours. To let the motif truly shine, keep the wall color neutral and other accessories to a minimum.

Image

10. Garden Fresh – Interject bright, summery colors in your home with freshly picked flowers. To make the biggest impact, stick to arrangements featuring warm colors — such as bold oranges, radiant yellows, or vibrant pinks — and save rich reds and deep purples for other seasons. Small clusters of bright color look cheery and create an undeniable summertime vibe.

Image

11. Party Starter – Welcome summer by entertaining outdoors. Low tables, floor pillows, and strands of clear outdoor lights will set a merry mood. Winning combos of bright colors such as turquoise, red, and white, create a festive atmosphere and will keep everyone in a party mind-set.

Image

As always, I would be happy to discuss these and many other decorating ideas to make your summer plans easier and more fun!

Feel free to contact me for a free consultation.

Liane

Decorating with the 2014 Colors of Spring

Pantone, the world-renowned authority on color, recently named “Radiant Orchid” it’s 2014 color of the year.  In conjunction, they also released their “hot hues” you will see in stores, runways and on the street as the weather warms up.  I thought it would be fun to incorporate these colors into your home.  After all, every room needs a pop of color!

Image

CAYENNE

ImageImage

Accenting a bedroom with this bold hue, isolating it to the bedding and accessories, while keeping the floor and walls neutral.

CELOSIA ORANGE

ImageImage

On an accent wall or secondary entry wall, this is sure to provide some pop.

DAZZLING BLUE

ImageImage

Blue and white gain new freshness and grandeur in this bathroom.

FREESIA

ImageImage

Bright walls and a rattan Pottery Barn sofa make sure that this “winter porch” always seems summery.

HEMLOCK

ImageImage

The cabinets in this kitchen are painted a color similar to “Green Crystal” from Olympic.  The homeowner chose the celadon hue to fit with the rest of the home’s theme of “sun, sea and sand.”

PALOMA

ImageImage

Rather than keep with the heavy period style one might expect to find in an antebellum mansion—damask window treatments and patterned rugs—these homeowners opted for a neutral palette of muted solids: mostly grays, brown, and creams.

PLACID BLUE

ImageImage

This living area’s furnishings are covered in a sea of blues, but slight variations in tone and subtle patchwork motifs take the place of sharply contrasting patterns and hues.

RADIANT ORCHID (Color of the Year, 2014)

ImageImage

Know when to go for broke!  Inspired by flowers in her yard, the designer covered the walls in an attention-grabbing fuscia, then painted on a few bright-orange leaves.

SAND

ImageImage

Soapstone counters and a matching backsplash complement this kitchen’s light brown custom cabinetry, including an island framed with salvaged heart-pine beams.

VIOLET TULIP

ImageImage

A pair of slate-gray sofas and muted lavender walls sets a soothing tone in this living room.

The key thing with these and any other color you choose to incorporate into your home is to have fun with it, make it add some much needed life to dull rooms and enjoy it.  After all, it’s my job to turn your house into “your home.”

For any questions, please feel free to contact me for a free estimate at (914) 273-2870.

Thank you and enjoy the spring weather!

Liane

Hot Home Decorating Ideas for 2014

Everyone is buzzing about “trends” this time of the year, so here are some ways to freshen up your home for 2014.

1. Black and White – interiors have been influenced by the huge amount of black and white on fall runways, and while black and white is classic and in some ways perennial, it feels fresh right now when used in bold patterns. Look for stripes and modern geometrics as opposed to French toile.

Image

2. Washed-out Pastels – we’re seeing seafoam green, pale peach and the newest neutral, nude, pop up on accessories. This illustration by Norwegian designer Mariken Steen is perfect inspiration for the trend!

Image

3. Haute Hippie – from whimsical dreamcatchers to macramé wall hangings to chunky hand thrown pottery the spirit of the 1970s is taking over interiors. Think Joni Mitchell singing California from her Blue album.

Image

4. Cool Copper – Pretty metals — from weathered brass to rose gold — will be the go-to materials for home accessories this year, but copper is the standout fave. Look for it everywhere from lighting to decorative accents to stools.

Image

5. Organic Glam – kitchens have been evolved from a ‘service’ space in the house — hidden away behind closed doors — to being a very central part of a home, and an entertaining core. So, naturally, more attention is being paid to designing them in a way that you would approach the living quarters. I love mixing warm metals, marbles, lacquered surfaces, solid wood slabs, handmade irregular tiles, and dramatic hardware and lighting fixtures.

Image

6. Indigo Tie Dye – inspired by the Japanese dyeing technique know as Shibori, tie dye is cropping up on everything from pillows to throws to rugs to curtains. The patterns are created by binding, folding, twisting or stitching the fabric and then immersing them in the dye. The color of choice – indigo!

Image

7. Leggy Lights – whether they’re attached to the wall or standing alone, thin linear lights on extended arms will light up our rooms.

Image

8. Velvet Luxe – plush, soft and sensuous – velvet is making a return to sofas and chairs. Colors like midnight blue, blush pink and charcoal grey are popular. The look is glamorous and elegant. This isn’t your great aunt’s red velvet sofa.

Image

9. Earthy Ceramics – picking up on a boho vibe that’s a throwback to the ’70s, hand-thrown pottery is enjoying a resurgence. The chunkier the better!

Image

10. Bold Geometrics – graphic geometric patterns are still going strong for 2014. We love this coffee table featuring a chevron design in a classic black and white color combo. It makes a statement in any room without being too overpowering.

Image

These are just some of the hottest and latest trends that promise to be widely used in the coming year.  As always, I would love to help you in any way possible with all of your home decorating ideas in 2014, so feel free to contact me.

Wishing you and your families a very safe, healthy and Happy New Year 2014!!

Liane

Decorating with Fall Colors

The kids are back to school, the pools are closed and it’s time to prepare your home for the fall season ahead.  You can accomplish this by infusing colors for the fall around your home in many different ways.

Here are just a few:

1.  Red Brown – Red browns have a warm, rosy glow. Salvaged doors inspired this Vermeer-like setting: Fabrics were selected for reddish tones that complement the wood. Texture and luster are important here, too: Daylight brings out the sheen of the velvet comforter and satin pillow, lending life to the room.  

Image

2.  Dark Yellow – On this daybed, opulent fabrics and a rich palette of burnt red, deep gold, and pale cream and gold create a sense of depth.

Image

3.  Forest Green – The intense green of these platters and seat cushions would overpower most other colors. But the rich brown of this furniture more than holds its own. Together, the two hues enhance each other, evoking the beauty of a forest. A bowl overflowing with ferns is a fitting woodland touch.

Image

4.  Dark Red – An assortment of lacquered plates and trays creates a bold display in a living room. To color it red, lacquer is tinted with cinnabar or vermilion. Lacquer can also be dyed black, green, yellow, gold, or brown by adding various pigments, as in the lacquered eighteenth-century Chinese side table.

Image

5.  Brown Grey – In this dining room, the homeowner chose a dark stain for the table to set off painted chairs, as an antique sideboard stands out against the gray walls. The chandelier adds a hint of color.

Image

6.  Marigold – Utilizing a lone color scheme can be tricky; to avoid overpowering a room, seek out a color that is lively but not too bold, like this rich marigold.

Image

7.  Taupe Walls – If you have ever wondered what taupe looks like, these dusky walls are your guide, with lustrous fabrics chosen to enhance and uplift its distinctive character. The daybed is the focus of an audacious assortment of mauves, lavenders, and lilac touches.

Image

8.  Red Foliage – One temporary way to bring autumn indoors is to create a natural display such as a blazing tree branch and greenish gourds.

Image

9.  Bold Brown – In a luminous white setting, dark brown has the impact of black, without the harshness. This sofa is upholstered with velvet the color of bittersweet chocolate; white piping makes the fabric look even darker. A varied collection of smoky-glass bottles and vases lightens the mood.

Image

10.  Orange Walls – This traditional English-style foyer, painted pumpkin-orange, offers a warm welcome to all who enter. Paired with plenty of whites — the wainscoting, ceiling, risers, trim, and balusters — the walls feel crisp, particularly when outlined with brown grosgrain ribbon (which is adhered with craft glue). The warm browns of the wood harmonize well with orange, animating and restraining it.

Image

These are just a few of many color idea schemes that could rejuvenate your home for the fall season ahead.  Give me a call to discuss any of your home decorating needs and set up a free consultation.

Thank you,

Liane

 

Keeping your Home’s Value at its MAX!

Although the value of homes may have dropped in your neighborhood recently, there are smart ways to invest in your home right now to hold it’s value at it’s maximum.  Here are some tips that could make it happen:

  1. Create Space – knocking out a non-structural wall or even removing that kitchen island opens up more space and creates a flow that people love.  You can transform the feel of the house for a few hundred dollars.                                                                               1openkit
  2. Landscaping – landscaping is one of the top three returns on investment in the house market.  Trim those trees, manicure that lawn and keep the view of the house as picturesque as possible.
  3. Let in the Light – always the most popular item is light.  From “uplighting” to dimmer switches to skylights, lighting makes a home more attractive.                                                                                  eclectic-living-room
  4. Don’t put off Care and Maintenance – before thinking about all the fancy upgrades, take care of the basics.  Repair leaks, insulate the attic, replace rusty gutters, repair windows and install storm doors before taking on major upgrade tasks.
  5. Go Green – if your heating or air conditioning systems are old, new ones are so much better and save 30-40% in green tax credits.  Research published by The Appraisal Journal estimates that energy savings add twenty times the annual savings to the value of your property.                                                                                                        home-solar-panel1
  6. Home begins at the Front Door – do not underestimate the power and value of the front door.  People make up their minds when buying a house in the first seven seconds of entering a home.

Image7.  What’s Under your Feet? – Don’t undervalue the materials you’re standing on. Ninety-four percent of real estate pros recommend spending some money on floors. But it doesn’t have to be a lot of money.  Other small projects with a big impact include repairing broken tile, patching damaged floor boards, and tossing out the wall-to-wall carpeting.

Image

8. Easy Bath Upgrades – spiffing up the kitchen and bath is a sure bet for adding value to your home. These kinds of improvements can get expensive. It may not be economical to do a major renovation if you are trying to spend as little as possible before putting a house up for sale. But some upgrades are cheap, easy, and fast…especially in the bathroom.
Replace frosted glass for clear glass, clean the grout, remove rust stains, apply fresh caulk, update doorknobs and cabinet pulls, replace faucets, and install a low-flush toilet. Even buying a new toilet seat can make a difference. You can spend $500 on a bathroom, and it’s totally tuned up.

9.  Neutral Wall Colors – if you’re getting ready to put a house on this circumspect market, don’t allow walls with chipped paint to go unmaintained. If you need to do more than a touch up, choose neutral colors that would appeal to more people.

Image

10.  Remove the ???’s from the House – let’s call it the “What’s that?” factor, and whatever it is (1950s wallpaper in a 1930s bungalow, a broken front step or cracked threshold, green-and-blue vinyl flooring), fix it or remove it. Get the impartial advice of a friend who can tell you what’s drawing attention and raising questions for the wrong reasons. “The more questions, the more people are likely to say, ‘We don’t want that house.'”

There are so many other ways to increase the value of your home and keep it at it’s full potential.  These are just a sampling.  I would love to provide you with details on these and many other ideas I have to keep that home of yours at top value.  Please do not hesitate to contact me at (914) 273-2870.

Liane

Get a “New Look” for Summer!

With the summer feel already here, what better time to think about getting that new, fresh look for summer in your home.  Out with the old fall and winter decor and in with the new summer feel.  Is it hard to accomplish this?  Not at all.  Most of these ideas are small weekend projects you can do yourself.  Let’s take a look at some.

– In my last newsletter, I told you that Emerald is the 2013 Pantone color of the year.  How about pairing emerald green throw pillows and surround them with neutrals for a fresh new summer feel?

Image

– Adding a bright new headboard to your bed can add style, texture and color.  Paint a basic wooden, textured headboard a color of your choice.

Image

– Add bright trim.  Traditionally, all of the trim in a home is white, so infuse a space with excitement by painting the trim in a fun color, such a coral, pictured below.

Image

– Create a book backdrop.  Add unexpected color to a white/light-colored room by painting the back end of a bookcase in a hot hue, like this fresh yellow-green hue.

Image

– Create a “Family Message Center.”  Keep beach trips, summer camp and sport schedules by creating a custom framed chalkboard message center and have fun with it!

Image

– Add summer prints/paintings to the walls.

Image

Image

Furniture – Dark and muted tones are perfect for fall and winter, but spring and summer scream for light and airy colors.  Use removable slipcovers, or decorative throws to bring bursts of color and brightness. Prefer whites and neutrals? White and khaki slipcovers are casual but can be dressed up with formal throw pillows in an instant.

Image

Drapery: When you want to bring in the cool night air, and keep out the hot summer sun use curtains instead of drapery. Drapery material is heavy and dark, while curtains paired with sheers can give you versatile flexibility in the summer months. If you prefer to savor the views, and not cover up the windows use valances. Valances in summer textures and colors will leave your windows looking finished, with an obstructed view.

Image

– Bring in the Outdoors: When you think of summer it’s all about the feelings of the outdoors. Flowers, plants and fresh fruit centerpieces make your home smell aromatic and look beautiful. For a more rustic feel, try bringing in eco-friendly materials like bamboo, hemp, and jute area rugs.  These materials bring an exotic and natural feeling of the outdoors in. Remember, entertaining outdoors will also give a welcome break to being inside. Summer is about being flexible and spontaneous!

Image

Most importantly, just have fun with these ideas and any other projects you choose to begin.  As always, I would love to help you with these, as well as the many other ideas I have to get your home officially into “summer mode.”

Please contact me at (914) 273-2870 to set up a free consultation.

Thank you,

Liane

“It’s All About the Color!!” – Spring 2013

When wanting to freshen things up, inject some new life or even go after an entirely new look for your home, there is nothing that can accomplish these goals quite like color.  Paint colors are a very quick and cost effective way to make this happen.

soft pumpkin

The great thing about color is that it can easily and often be changed.  Picking the color schemes that you love and make you feel most comfortable in your home is what it is all about.  Also, don’t neglect your outdoor spaces, especially if you entertain a lot, when it comes to color.  A fresh exterior paint coat can increase the value of your home.

extpaint

“Emerald” was named the color of the year for 2013 according to Pantone Paints.  They also named “Lemon Zest, Poppy Red and Nectarine” as hot colors for Spring 2013.  Benjamin Moore named “Lemon Sorbet and Peachy Keen” as it’s two hottest color trends, among a few others.

nice-living-room-colors-interior-design-ideas

This is where I can help.  As a trained color consultant, I can help you choose the best color scheme for your home and bring your new fresh look come to life.

Most importantly, spring is upon us and choosing colors is a fun way to freshen your home and escape the cold.  Get some assistance from the experts, but ultimately, you are the only one who matters and lives in your space, so enjoy and have fun with it!

Winter Decorating After the Holidays

Ah, the holidays! The warm glow of the Christmas tree lights up your evening. Festive, shiny decorations fill every surface of your home. Then, you face the dreaded tear-down process, which always seems to take much more time than when you decorated back in December.

There is a little sadness to putting it all away, but what I think many people neglect to think about is that there are still great ways to decorate through the winter months. With many years decorating all types of homes, I’ve learned a few tricks to help ease out of the holiday season:

1.Glitz. Silver & Gold. This is a great color scheme to carry you through the New Year & the remainder of the winter. So bring out (or leave out) the crystal, silver bowls, etc.

Image

2.Keep the red. No, sorry, the Santas need to go…but look at your decorations, and find items that don’t scream “holidays” & repurpose them. For example, maybe you have red roses, red lanterns, candles, candle-holders, tray/bowls etc. Red is a very warm color. So, visually it will help you have a toasty space even when it is cold outside. Keeping a red color scheme will carry you through Valentine’s Day.

Image

3.You don’t have to ditch the greenery. Evergreens are just that…forever green. Now, I’m not saying the Christmas tree should stay up, but I do think sprays/sprigs/twigs are an easy way to warm up a space.

Image

4.Chances are you may not have enough of each of these items to spread across the entire house…so just do groupings. While you are putting things away, if you come across something listed above, set them in a pile so that you can work in smaller areas. Create little vignettes with your left over decorations. Maybe you want to do a winter-wonderland mantel, decked out in silver & gold….or perhaps an entryway draped with greenery & creme candles. Have fun looking at your decorations in a new way & try something fresh!

Image

5.Give your eyes a treat by incorporating pops of color in otherwise neutral rooms. Whether you bring in brightly-colored throw pillows, a funky vase, or a piece of art, integrating color in a space creates warmth. Follow color psychology: Yellows promote happiness; light blues and green shades are calming; orange brings a jolt of energy.

Image

As always, I would love to help you accomplish the look and feel you desire in your home.  If you have any questions or would like to discuss many other ideas I can provide, please let me know.

Enjoy!

Liane

p.s. “LIKE” my “Décor and You – Liane Fiore Rigano” page on Facebook.

Getting Your Home Ready for the Holidays!

It’s time to get your home ready for a wonderful time of the year: celebrating the holidays with family and loved ones. I thought it would be best to go room by room to see if these tips might help you out in preparing for the holidays. Let’s get started! 

The Front Entrance

– Buy a fresh evergreen wreath as soon as they hit the market. Just add a wide ribbon bow – no fuss, no glitz.

– String twinkle lights outside your home. Want low-effort, city-chic results? Just stick with your porch and deciduous (non-evergreen) trees and avoid “net lights.”

– Catch drafts by putting a mat or runner right by the front door.

– Polish your hallway table so it gleams. Keep a welcoming scented candle on standby.

– Run a garland along your exterior porch rail or around the front door and one down the interior stairs. 

THE LIVING ROOM

– Swap lighter throws and cushion covers for cozier winter versions in velvet, chenille, cashmere and faux fur.

– Save energy and renew the room with draft-containing and chic velvet drapery.

– Add an area rug for warmth underfoot.

– Run some garland along the mantel.

– Display your holiday cards. Clip them to a ribbon clothesline along the mantel, or just stand them up on the sofa table.

– Wrap any gifts and display them. 

THE DINING ROOM

– Display a pillar candle on top of a bed of cranberries or chestnuts inside a hurricane lantern.

– Decorate the dining table with a seasonal runner.

– Create a long-lasting and eco-friendly tabletop arrangement with tiny vases, teapots, recycled bottles or other vessels filled with sprigs of fresh ever-greenery from your yard.

– Hang a swag of ribbon – wired taffeta or sheer organza both work particularly well – from the bottom of your chandelier. (Keep it clear of light bulbs.)

– Decorate the table with edibles such as a bowl of nuts with decorative nutcracker or bevy of clementines or petite lady apples.

– Check on your linen napkins and tablecloth and make sure they’re ironed and good to go. 

THE KITCHEN

– Pull paper clutter off the side of your fridge to make room for holiday cards, snapshots or other mementos.

– Got plenty of plates? If not, stock up on plain white inexpensive ceramic side plates.

– Purge your fridge. Ancient mustard? Old miso paste? Clear it out to make room for platters of party trays and leftovers.

– Put out bowls of nuts or fruit – they look festive and are a healthy snack too.

– Put out your decorative trays on tables and counter tops. 

BEDROOMS AND HALLWAYS

– Stock the guest bedrooms with extra blankets in case your overnight guests like to really pile on the covers!

– Fold bath and hand towels and guest robes at the foot of the bed in the guest room. Place a packaged toothbrush on top. Guest slippers are another nice touch.

– Offer recent magazines on the guest room nightstand.

– Test your smoke and CO detectors. There should be one on each floor. Between Christmas lights, candles and non-stop appliance use, you want to make sure they’re in working order! 

BATHROOMS AND POWDER ROOMS

– Introduce a wintery scented candle or reed diffuser set. Spice, berry blends and evergreen scents are always terrific choices.

– Swap your regular hand towels for seasonal ones.

– Keep hand cream out for you and for guests. Winter is drying on skin!

– Keep extra fingertip towels out during parties. If you only have a one-towel ring in your powder room, leave a small pile of extra towels or change the one towel frequently so it’s not damp.

– If your bath or powder room light isn’t on a dimmer switch, make the trade now – it’s a fast one-hour fix that saves energy and adds ambiance. 

Hopefully some of these ideas can help you to prepare your home for the Holidays. If you need any assistance with furniture, rugs, lighting, window treatments or accessories, let me know I would love to help you. 

Most of all, I wish you and your families a safe, healthy and Happy Holiday Season!! 

Liane

The 7 Rules of Interior Design

What is it that makes a beautifully decorated room? Is it expensive curtains? Or plenty of light, or original artwork?

There isn’t one magic formula to create the perfect room. Even an interior designer starts from scratch with each project, working with both the client and the space.

The key to a beautiful home isn’t spending a ton of money on pricey furniture or designer fixtures. It’s about making sure everything in your space works together.

Magic formula or no, many years of projects gives you some insight. So I want to share my seven key principles of creating a great space, from where to start to what to avoid. The best part? Doing it right doesn’t mean draining your checking account.

LIVE WITH IT

It’s especially important for people on a budget to go slowly.  You literally have to live with these decisions, so it’s not a good idea to rush into something and look back with regret.  Even though it’s tempting to finish an entire room at once, I encourage you to live with each choice before moving on to the next one. New couch? Let it sit (and sit on it) before moving it around the room or covering it in pinstripes.

How do you know it’s a good fit? Ask yourself two questions:

  1. Does it make you happy?
  2. Is it functional in the way it was intended?

It’s also important to spend time at the beginning choosing exactly what you want. It’s critical to nail down your vision for the room before you get started. There’s nothing worse than spending money you’ve worked so hard to save, and then regretting it.  That is where I could help you.

SOFTEN THE CORNERS

Most things have 90-degree angles: rugs, tables, chairs, pictures.  One of the ways to make a room more visually interesting is to “soften the corners,” or mix in some pieces with rounded edges to avoid a succession of sharp corners around the room. Throw in a round coffee table or a rug to make things more interesting.

NEVER BUY A SET

Don’t go into the store and buy every piece in a set; it will look like you went out one afternoon and did everything.  People respond best to blended, organic compositions of furniture.  It’s like putting together an outfit, it isn’t about the skirt or scarf — it’s about how it all comes together.

This goes hand in hand with living with your purchases. Everything you buy should blend together visually, but shouldn’t be too matchy-matchy. Taking your time amassing different elements in a room gives you a chance to evaluate how each piece fits before adding another and to figure out if you need anything new at all.  Sometimes you can repurpose an existing piece, change up the pillows or just move the furniture, and that’s enough.

DON’T OVER-THEME

One thing I notice as a designer is that a lot of people want a particular look for a room but go overboard.   It’s all well and good to have a nautical room, but when you have only blue and white stripes, rope knot pillows and porthole mirrors, things start to look strange.  An affinity or look is one thing, but you appreciate the look of a room more when it isn’t over-themed.

CHOOSE THE RIGHT WHITE

If you’re going to do white, you have to use the right white.  There are a million whites out there. They can be pink, blue or yellow, and once you find your favorites, stick with them.  Some examples:

  • For a contemporary interior, crisp but warm: Benjamin Moore White Diamond
  • For trim, a cooler feel: Benjamin Moore Decorator’s White
  • For warmer interiors: Benjamin Moore White Dove

And how do you find the right white for you?  I recommend getting a small board and painting it with your potential white. Move it around your room to see it at different times and with different light. The board is better than painting on the wall because if you paint one square on one wall that faces south and love it, what about how it looks on the north wall at night?  The board gives you a chance to live with the color, because no matter how easy it seems to repaint, it can be a real pain!

DON’T FIGHT THE ARCHITECTURE

If you have really amazing moldings, that’s one thing. But highlighting the cheap casing — the frames around doors and window — from the ’70s and ’80s (by painting the walls a contrasting color, for example) is another.  There’s no need to make a room into something it’s not.”  Of course, what you love about your home is entirely up to you, but it’s like dressing for your body  — emphasize your best assets and play down your weakest. That way, you’re giving the best impression of yourself to the world.  Only highlight something when you love it.

START WITH THE BOX

Look at every room in stages, starting with the biggest stuff first.  What is a room, really?”  It’s a box. When putting a room together, start big and get increasingly smaller in your changes: the walls (the box), things attached to the box (light fixtures and trim), large furniture and so on.  Sometimes a client will say, ‘I like this coffee table,’ at the beginning of a project. I say, ‘Great, but we’re not there yet.’  That coffee table will give me hints as to the overall scheme, but we don’t start with the coffee table.

I hope these rules help you in some way and as always, I am here to assist you with anything you need in regards to your home decorating projects.

Thank you and most importantly, “have fun” doing it!