These days most of us are spending far more time at home than usual. All this extra time brings with it the desire to create a sanctuary that is purposeful while also representing who we are.
Here are key suggestions on accomplishing that goal:
Use furniture and accessories both new and old
This mix feels collected with history and a story to tell and is far more interesting than a room full of new pieces bought all at once especially if sourced from one store. Think about how to make an older piece of furniture feel fresh and updated by having it professionally re-painted or lacquered. Dining room seats are the simplest and least expensive items to re-upholster and give an instant lift to a room that often gets over-looked. For most other upholstered pieces be careful to reupholster if they are 15+ years old as the foam for cushions currently is manufactured with higher standards and much lower chemical retardants.
When buying new upholstered pieces like sofas or sectionals, keep in mind that you are budgeting for the next 10-15 years of comfort and quality. This is an important place to buy the highest quality you can afford and treat it like the investment it is. If you calculate all the years and memories your soon to be replaced sofa/sectional gave you, you soon realize it doesn’t owe you a nickel!
Gather knick-knacks that have given you joy, have family history, or are just beautiful. Then empty your existing bookcase or etegare and starting from scratch (beginning at eye level) only use the books that are pretty to look at (no paperback for this purpose), and artfully blend a few standing next to a few lying down, add a book end or one of your “found objects” to one side and on the lying down books, give some space, place a picture frame or something large, and continue this way until the balance feels artfully done. You’ll be amazed how happy this will make you feel now when you look at these shelves! They are purposefully full of an edited version of special moments of your lives. All extraneous books you may find you don’t really need and want to donate them or just box them for later. This exercise works for coffee tables, side tables, and mantles too. This will help you keep sentimental items and family heirlooms as part of your current lives and your home feel more uniquely you. Click here to see how we did just that for a recent project.
Think about not only what will look beautiful, but also what works with your lifestyle. Do you prefer furniture that is easy to maintain or fabrics that are easy to keep clean from spills?
When planning a space for your children for example, build a reading nook out of solid wood construction, then soften the inside with padding, fabrics, pillows. Positioned against one of the room’s walls, the topside of the nook could be turned into a small slide with a wall ladder for fun climbing and access and a soft gym mat for their landing. If considering a carpet, choose something moisture resistant and easy to clean (wool is nature’s perfect carpet fiber!!). Carpet squares are a fun alternative, can be easily removed for cleaning or replacement, and are another way to play with pattern in the space. For a hard surface, the vinyl flooring plank options are practically indestructible but they look like real wood or other interesting materials.
Consider the artwork
Often times, the artwork is the focal point or major backdrop wall of a room. It’s what gives the space its personality or character. We not only want the rest of the room to aesthetically work with the artwork, but we also want to be sure nothing about the room is taking away from the artwork.
Click here for more about why I find the artwork to be an essential part of every project.
Lighting is a big part of many of the projects I do. It’s not only essential to brightening the room but many light fixtures also function as a focal point in living rooms, bedrooms, foyers and family rooms. Think about how a new fixture could change the look of your room. (Below are some modern choices going into my most current project).
Whether they’re picked from your garden, fresh flowers purchased locally, or are a very “real” looking silk version (and maintenance free!), flowers are a simple way to make any room feel happy and spring-like.