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Friday, October 22, 2010

What is "PPL"???

"PPL" Remember those three letters as the cheapest decorating tools in your design arsenal. Now what do those letters stand for? Paint, Plants and Light.  I have found that those three items can change a look of a room more quickly and less expensively than almost any other element.

Paint is always an obvious change in any room but lighting and plants were a surprise to me. It is kind of funny how I discovered what a difference a plant could make in a room.

 One day I took out two plants that I had in my living room to water them at the kitchen sink. As the plants were draining in the sink I walked by the living room and I actually gasped! The room that had looked warm and inviting now looked cold and empty. What??!! How can two $10 plants make such a difference? Well trust me they did. So that is how I discovered that plants would then become one of the elements I could always afford  in my decorating arsenal.

Now for lighting, this is a vast subject so I will touch on the high points. Do you know how many light sources an average room should have?
 I read a little formula a long time ago that said  find your square footage (example 12ftx16ft = 192sq.ft) then multiply your square footage by 1.5 (192 x 1.5 =288) so that means your room will need 288 watts of lighting sources.An average room should have approx. 4-5 lamps.

 In my own family room that measures 17 x 20 I have 6 lamps,2 sconces and 2 uplights in the corners. Do you have enough lighting sources in your room? Most people don't so don't feel badly about that, just become a little more aware and it will help you see your rooms differently. I am going to show you a few rooms that have a good use of "PPL".

 The first picture is done by Brown Design Inc, now imagine this room painted in the wrong color, no plant and maybe only the bedside lamps. Boring!
 Look at how many lights just in this one section of the room and the color of the paint keeps the room simple and fresh. Without that one plant and the bouquet of roses on the nightstand  the room might actually look bland. This is a great example of using "PPL"

In this next room the lighting is amazing. The oversized chandelier and the use of the strip lighting above the cornice moulding absolutely breathtaking. Take away one of those lighting sources and the room is not nearly as spectacular.

 Notice the use of the plants, if those were not in the room the room would not have as much life to it. The subtle color keeps this room soft and inviting. I love the "PPL" in this room.

Now here we have an all white kitchen with some great old school lighting fixtures, perfect choice for the look of this room. The plants in this room come in the form of a beautiful floral bouquet and a bowl of crisp green apples on the counter top.
You see, bringing life to a room with plants doesn't always have to be the potted variety.

This is a bright and cheerful room with a lot of good natural light but that did not stop them from putting two lamps on the console table and a great overscaled lantern above the black table.
 The plant life here is of the potted variety but they are placed in just the right areas to make your eye travel around the room to the pops of the fresh green
 So remember PPL, Paint: is it time to make a change? Plants: Do you have any in your room? Lights: Do you have enough in your room?

                             "Enjoy The Process" of:

 Adding "PPL" to your rooms


La Dolfina said...

Just keeps getting better and better.
It's wonderful how you find the perfect images to illustrate your point!
I especially love how you sign off with your encouraging words...Enjoy The Process.
It makes me want to run out and buy some plants!!!

Kathysue said...

Thank you Terri, It really is amazing how plants make such a huge difference in a room. I am so glad and honored that you are enjoying what I have attempted to do so far. I must admit the process is Enjoyable, Kathysue

Confessions of a Plate Addict said...

Hi Kathysue! It seems that you are enjoying the process of blogging because your blog is so much fun to read! I can't wait to have a peek each day to see what you have waiting for us...wonderful! One questions...how do you feel about silk plants? My staff would eat the real thing or have a great time digging in the dirt, so that's a no-no for me. I do have some silk geraniums and paper whites. Is that OK? Have a wonderful evening...hugs...Debbie

Kathysue said...

Deb, I don't mind silks if they are really good quality. I prefer the real thing but if your staff likes to munch on them then just look for really good ones. I hate to see a lot of silk flower arrangements, I would much rather have one real rose in a vase but that is just me, I realize that there are two camps on this issue and there always will be. Buy real when you can and buy only really well made silks. I hope this helps a litlle. Kathysue

txbelle said...

I'm enjoying the process of learning! You've given us alot to think about in just a few days of blogging. Very impressive! Keep it coming...and I also think you should go public. Love, Vicki

Kat said...

Kathysue, I love plants but really can't keep them - between Sax and my black thumb they wouldn't stand a chance. But I love to have fresh flowers and I like the use of the fruit in a plant's place. Thanks! Kat

Bargain Decorating with Laurie said...

Kathysue, your blog looks great, and your subject matter for this post is great! I love lighting and think it is such an important part of decor. I'm looking forward to everything you are going to teach me through your blog! Welcome to Blogville! laurie

xinex said...

Hi KathySue! I am so happy you told me about your blog. Thank you so much for the good decorating tips. I can't wait to go home to put them into action....Christine

lvroftiques said...

Oh you are looking great girlfriend!! I'm so happy you're blogging!! I've already been inspired and learned that I don't have enough lighting (love the formula!) *sighs* AND I need more plants and texture!....Oh and some good uplighting! I can't wait to read more...And it's about high time! *winks* Vanna

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

I just love your kitchen, came over from Marty's blog, I hope you post more pics of it!
Welcome to Blogging,

Gypsy Heart said...

Great to visit a new blog! Thanks for sharing all the good stuff. :-)

LuLo Designs/Blue Eyed Tango said...

Lovely example again Kathysue! I totally agree about buying the real thing! I maybe have one silk plant and it looks like an aloe .....very real appearance! I used to have silks and quite frankly they just become huge dust magnets....I hate dusting (we live in the country with a field right across the road so when my windows are flung open I don't want to have to worry about being tied to upkeep....now those of you who have a cleaning service to maintain them....go for it! LOL!

Melissa Miller said...

Thanks for the decor advice Kathysue. I do enjoy the idea of adding more lamps. I love a warm glow in a room.

Happy weekend! ~Melissa :)

High-Heeled Foot in the door said...

Great tips! I need to start adding a little bit of greenery into my home. Fingers crossed I don't kill anything. :)

Blooming Rose Musings said...

It really is so good to have you back from your trip. After reading one of your past posts I found my uplight and it has made quite a difference. If I hadn't read your post that light would probably still be packed away.
Thank you so much for all your wonderful posts and always inspiring us to make our surroundings more enjoyable. So good to have you back.

Anonymous said...

Oh, if only I didn't kill all my plants! Have a good weekend, Sweetie. xo

Kristin @ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia said...

Welcome home kathysue!!! What a fabulous trip! :)

Thanks for all the advice on the foyer, two more colors are drying right now, one of them should work..
The iron work on the wall will come down when we finish the stairs and add wood trim :)
I'm loving the pictures you shared. I love having plants in the house and ofcourse flowers!

Laura Casey Interiors said...

How about PPF? I usually use flowers :) love the post.

La Vie Quotidienne said...

Super important points! All very useful. Thanks!

Mariette VandenMunckhof-Vedder said...

Dearest Kathysue,

Sure I do agree with those three elements PPL but the great lamp above the black table is way too big, the proportions are not right there.

Sunny greetings from Georgia,


Kirsty Girl said...

LOVE the kitchen! Espesh the chairs! Gorgeous.

Jane said...

Wow you are so right thanks for pointing me to your blog. I am even more inspired!! xo

K&B by the Sea said...

Good tips about paint, plants, and especially light. I'll have to remember that formula.

We could definitely use more light in our family room. We added under-cabinet lighting in the kitchen, which made a HUGE difference. And we put a lot of our ceiling lights on dimmers, which adds flexibility to the lighting in a room.


Cashon&Co said...

PPL> what a GREAT concept. I love that! and the examples you picked are fabulous!!! Great post!