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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Where To Start In Decorating A Room

    What Is Your Design Springboard?

In my years of consulting there was one question that was asked by most, if not by all...

 Where do I begin? 
Which should I choose first? 
The sofa, rug,curtains etc? 

 I wish there was one pat answer but it truly will vary from project to project. 

I did offer a guideline that seemed to apply in the cases where the homeowner was doing an entire room with new purchases.

I would tell them to choose the least available element first. 

In other words, a rug or sofa will be much more limited on choices that you will like than maybe curtains or accessories.

 Paint is a bottomless pit, paint can always be custom mixed, so I never start with a paint unless the walls are going to be the statement, and all other furniture pieces are going to be neutral.
In bedrooms I would have the bedding chosen before we would move onto other choices. 

 In living areas, such as living rooms or family rooms. it would be the sofa or an area rug.

There were the occasions where there was a fabric or an accessory that the homeowner absolutely loved and we would use that as a jumping off point, or what I like to call a spring board.

 On many blogs you see design boards and I love looking at those. Do you ever wonder which element they started with first, what was their spring board?

 In this post I thought it would be fun to look at some rooms that are well done and think about which of the elements the designer or homeowner would possibly have chosen first.

Here is a perfect example of a room with a lovely rug. I would venture to say the client wanted neutrals and some blue in her room so the shade of blue for the fabric was the first choice.

  The reason I think that is because there can be a multitude of different shades of blue in the rug and it will still work. The color of blue on the sofa and day bed are a very specific shade of blue and they are the statement piece in the room. What a gorgeous room done by none other than Candace Olsen.

This room is done in all neutrals with a pop of black and the only lively colors are in the artwork.

 I would imagine that the rug with its interesting border was chosen first for this room.

The right hue of neutrals could be taken out of the background of the rug. The fabrics on the sofa and chair were obviously chosen for their texture and for the fact that they match the rug quite nicely.

 What keeps this room so interesting is the colorful artwork and the use of black in all the right spots. What a warm and inviting room.

Here we have a very handsome bedroom. The back wall is covered in a unique patterned wallpaper. This would be my first choice. In this room I think the spring board is the wallpaper.

 There will not be that many wallpapers that will be pleasing to you so I would find the perfect paper and work off of that.  They kept all other pieces dark and sophisticated and then added this great pop of bright yellow to liven it up.

This keeps the room from not becoming  too serious and dark. The yellow also brings out the gold tones in the wallpaper background.

This room is a good example of one that could have started with several pieces such as the fabric on both chairs or the wonderful armoire.

 Since the armoire is a statement piece with an unusual color I will guess the armoire is the room's spring board or jumping off point.

 Because this room has a country feel and also looks like a home that is on the water, all the other choices were probably pretty easy to make according to color and theme.

I find this picture interesting. Since this is such a large statement piece of art I think the room started here.

 I am not one that matches art to a room, because that can look contrived and I find art to be such a personal statement.

  You will notice just washes of the green overlaying the beautiful lavender color. Using green in this room is fresh and a natural with this piece of art.

The room is kept interesting with the use of texture and pattern in the fabrics. I like these fabrics. These are what I call non-committal fabrics. They are fabrics that will go with just about anything.

I hope this gives you a few options of how to get a jumping off point or Spring board for your next room project.

 I gave you guidelines, but never be afraid to use an accessory that you love as your starting point.  If it inspires you, you can plan a room around it and you will love the process of planning and the end result of a room you love to live in.

"Enjoy the Process" Of:

 Finding your own Design Springboard for your next project.


Patty Day @Pattys Epiphanies said...

Great Post..Made us all "think"

Unknown said...

Great post and great advice. I tell my clients the same thing - start with what there is the least of IF you have the ability to choose. And especially when it is between carpet and paint. Please people, pick your carpet first and your paint second - it will make it a lot easier! You had some great examples ... LOVE the chandelier in the neutral room!

Toy Carli said...

Great substance in terms of input, Kathy. You give us good lessons.

NanaDiana said...

It is interesting, isn't it...what the springboard is for a room? I love the examples you have shown here-it is interesting to see what people have chosen and what they use to pull the rooms together.

My dd just bought 2 gorgeous Persian rugs and that became her springboard. She sold her couch and bought a new one with a solid tone that complemented her rugs. It is fun to see my kids "get it" as they decorate their own homes and take some advice from Mom. (I guess I'm not as dumb as they seemed to think when they were teenagers!;>) xo Diana

michele said...

loving this last image with the paneled wall and intriguing art.

one of the reasons i admire designers is because it is not easy work! so many decisions and details and people to please.

thanks for great advice!


The enchanted home said...

Great post....and right on the money. In a perfect world and if theres going to be a rug, I think thats the perfect place to start. Lots of pretty examples here, hope you have a great day!

Patty Day @Pattys Epiphanies said...

Yes, I have wondered what was the "Spring Board" when I have looked at rooms. I will now look with a different approach. Thanks

Teresa Hatfield ~ Splendid Sass said...

Great post, Kathysue!
I start with a rug, a piece of art, or the fabric, usually a sofa.

carolyn bradford said...

What a wonderful post! I learned so much from it! Wish you could come be my consultant for a lot of rooms in my house! It's so hard to decorate for your own home I think! Hope your week is going great!

Stacy CUrran said...

I almost always choose the rug first. Unless it is going to be a sea grass or sisal. But for most rooms, I start with the rug and then the larger upholstered furniture. But really, it's hard to separate in my mind - so when I'm looking at rugs, i also have an idea of what I want for furniture, so even if I haven't found it yet, I've chosen it in my mind! Thanks for the thought provoking post!

Woodside Park said...

Hi Kathysue ~
Love this post. I found it very interesting, and can relate to it very well. Fairly often, I work around something existing.....not many clients start fresh unless it is a complete re-do or, a second home.

Merlin said...

You just KNOW IT!! franki

Mary Ann Pickett said...

Really helpful to have a spring board (I always called it a "jumping off point"...like your term much better!)
Have a great weekend.

Julie Taylor and Danni Greenwalt said...

Great post Kathysue. Fabric or a Rug usually starts my design process.

debra @ 5th and state said...

this was both interesting and fun. i would guess along with you and often we were in cinque. great lessons!
have a splendid weekend kathysue!

Ann from On Sutton Place said...

Wonderful post. As a fabric fanatic I always start there. I just can't help myself! That's probably the reason why some of my bigger pieces are neutrals. I did go outside of my comfort zone and get 2 gold print slipper chairs for my living room. It made me nervous because I am now "stuck" with that color...but I love them and am happy with my choice. Your posts are always food for thought. Have a lovely week!

Unknown said...

Really love Springboard design
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Grace @ Sense and Simplicity said...

What an interesting idea. I don't think it ever occurred to me what the springboard for the room is. You can bet I'll be thinking about it now.


I think there should always be a jumping off point.....or inspiration piece. It just makes it all come together so much better.....