Sunday, July 12, 2015

Looking At The Big Picture



In my years of helping clients design their homes I have been asked, “What is the biggest mistake homeowners make when designing or decorating their homes?”


My answer is always……

“Starting a project without an overall flexible plan!”

I know having a plan goes against the way society seems to run our lives these days. 

blue aqua white & sand via decor8

Everything is quick, and at our fingertip's, or thumbs. 

We communicate with texting, or we can get what we want with the push of a microwave button, drive up windows for food and drink, or on the computer with just one click and we can literally purchase just about anything we want.


Blues, Aquas, Whites and Sand

However, when designing, or decorating your home it still takes a lot of thought, and planning to achieve the design in the room, or home that you truly you want.

Lately I have seen so many home decorators buy one piece for their home without thinking of how it will relate to the whole context of the room, or how it will marry to the homeowners individual style throughout the rest of the home.

StarrMiller Interior Design, Inc. traditional family room

When someone buys a piece that is out of context to the rest of the room, and places it in the room, they will soon discover it just is not working. 

They often will tend to try, and justify the purchase by trying to make it work by adding more and more  to the room , and making more purchases to make this one new addition work in the room in their minds eye. (Does this sound like anything you can relate too?)

The results can be one big hot mess.(not a technical design term)

Design Chic -

The homeowner now has a home that does not flow, or make sense. The elements do not relate to one another in any shape or form. 

Chances are they now have a room, or home they never wanted, or expected, all because of making purchases without a plan.

Nantucket residence, MA. Sam Oberter photo.

The word juxtaposition is thrown around by home decorators,  especially when someone adds an element that has absolutely nothing to do with the style, or design aesthetics of the home, or the homeowners individual style or taste.

What I am about to show you is NOT an English lesson, but merely to explain the word juxtaposition

The definition of juxtaposition is…….
  the act or an instance of placing two or more things side by side; also :  the state of being so placed

Function of Juxtaposition


Writers employ the literary technique of juxtaposition in order to surprise their readers and evoke their interest by means of developing a comparison between two dissimilar things by placing them side by side. The comparison drawn adds vividness to a given image, controls pacing of poem or a narrative and provides a logical connection between two various vague concepts.

In the design world we have chosen to use the highlighted part of the definition of juxtaposition. 

When this practice is executed by a professional who knows what they are doing, it is stunning, and something we all would like to emulate.

by Susan Ferrier for the Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles Christmas House 2010 via atlantahomesmag.com
Unfortunately I feel this word, or technique has been over used, and misused in the design community.

 Would you like to learn how to pull together a colour scheme and make your own mood boards? Room Recipes Workshops are coming soon...

It  also seems to have given the less capable home decorator the excuse to put things together that should NEVER be used together in the manner in which they are displaying them in their homes.

Using opposites next to each other takes talent, and a plan otherwise you will have a room that looks like I stated above. A much less impressive statement, simple and to the point……..
A Big Hot Mess!

Personally I am in the beginning of making plans for our new built home that we will be moving into in the Fall.

I already have much of my base elements since we have had a home previously that I had decorated in the style we loved.


In this sunny living room, a white and blue scheme lays a foundation for cottage style. A white brick fireplace and corner built-in hutch bring architectural detail to the space. French doors let in light and open up to the backyard. Gingham and a leafy pattern, both in blue and white, advance the room’s cottage style, while the painting and ship on the mantel infuse beachside flair.

With a new home there will be new challenges, and ones that I am very excited about.

Even with all of my current furnishings I am making plans on how they will look with every single detail I can think of.

There will be no purchasing until I know that my overall plan will remain intact, and in the end I will get the results that I was planning on all along.

Beautiful House Makeover | Traditional Home
Most people will make purchases of items they love, and I am not against that at all, IF these are items of quality, and IF you have always had an affinity towards this particular element.
Furniture Arranging Tricks! • Great tips and ideas on arranging furniture!
Where people fall into the pit of making huge mistakes, and not spending their money well is when they go out, and purchase the latest trend, and try to plop it down in their room. 

When it doesn’t really work, they soothe their regret by saying, "I like the juxtaposition of this piece with that piece." This will often make the onlooker pause with a big Question mark on their face! The homeowner has made a .........

Big Mistake!!!

Then they try to make it work by adding, and adding more of the same style of the misplaced piece  , and we all know what happens then…..

One Big Hot Mess!!!

We All Need A Plan!!
Interior Design Concept Development Boards | ... room design? On a budget & want a flat rate per room design package
It is key that you have a flexible, overall plan, as pictured above, and purchase what you truly love. 

In the end it is all about staying with what you truly love, and try not to fall into the pit of the TRENDS, and when it does not work try to explain it as  using the technique of Juxtaposition.

Bespoke service
You will notice that I use the words, flexible when I am talking about your overall plan. 

When we are making purchases for our homes we will always have to make adjustments along the way. We may have to adjust according to one of these three things….

  • AVAILABILITY
  • AFFORDABILITY
  • PRACTIACALITY
When you think about it, how in the world could you make the proper adjustments if you don’t have an overall plan?


The answer is, YOU CAN'T. 

This is where homeowners fall into the pit of adding, and adding elements to try, and make their mistake-purchase work.  The result is a room that they never, ever wanted.

Planning is fun, and it gives one a sense of control when decorating, or designing their home.  It also helps you NOT  to make unnecessary, or costly purchases.

Sometimes I think I enjoy the planning, and sourcing for my home more than anything. 

If you have ever wondered how do designers do it????

They Have A Plan!!
Architectural illustration of living room decorated by My Paradissi from Anastassis Vamvakas
“ Enjoy The Process of Planning!”

BTW: Here is a great article on how you can make your own mood board/plan. Just click HERE!
 
 
 

3 comments:

Mary said...

Boy....did this speak to me! I am currently re-doing my bedroom because of a chair I had purchased for the room. After it was delivered I realized I had made a big mistake with my fabric choice. In order to make the chair work, I'm now changing everything in the room. Talk about an expensive chair!
And I had a designer from Ethan Allen help me pick the chair. I guess I needed a better plan. Or a better designer. LOL

Shirley@Housepitality Designs said...

Great post Kathysue!....

Diane Haynie said...

Great advice Kathysue. I am trying to get this idea across to our HOA board for our landscape project but with not much luck! Looking forward to seeing your new home all completed and following along on this next phase of life with you and your husband.