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Monday, July 2, 2018

How To Avoid A Frumpy Dated Home

Recently I had a reader reach out to me because she has recently moved, and she is trying to incorporate her beloved pieces from her travels into her new home.

Several questions came up but one thing she really wanted was to NOT look old fashioned, frumpy, or dated.

This is a touchy subject because sometimes there are pieces that are OLD that we absolutely love.

When I was consulting that is one of the first questions I would ask my client......

"What pieces do you want to eliminate and what pieces are a must keep!"

Who am I to discard Grandma's rocking chair where she rocked all her Grand babies.

I might not put it in a main room or make it a focal point but I will find a spot for it if the client truly loves it and can not bear to not see it in her home. As a decorator or designer sometimes it comes down to what is the least of two evils for some clients.

Kind of like Tim Gunn, " Make it Work!"

So what do you do, where do you start when trying to refresh a room, or maybe you just moved into a new home?

Here are a few pointers that I have found that have worked for me and others.

1.  When starting out, onnly put your main pieces in the room first and get a cohesive furniture arrangement. 

Once you do that, add the larger pieces next, lamps, plants etc. It is like layering, next the smalls, or accessories. I will often wait until the end to add the artwork once everything is in place because it becomes part of a vignette in certain settings.Notice how the picture is part of the entire vignette in picture below.....

2. If you find one piece is making you rearrange the entire room to try and make it work, chances are that piece just is not what the room needs. Eliminate it!

3. Vary your textures, shiny, rough, matte. A room without varying textures looks a bit off. It might look good, but it can't look great without varying the textures.

4. Add some life with green plants or real flowers. I find it helpful to have at least one or two areas where a vase can be set so you can always have a fresh bouquet.

Did you notice I said REAL flowers!? There is nothing that can age a room more quickly than faux flowers. I know they USE To Be all the rage, but the operative phrase is USE TO BE. Let's face it, that was an 80's epidemic.

5. Remember my mantra, "Less Is More, Big Is Better!"

Too many little things sitting around will age your room as well.

If there are too many things to look at you see none of them, it just creates chaos on the eye.

6. If you choose to have a vignette on a table, use three items, varying textures and heights. If the table is large like a coffee table use the same rule but us more items in an odd amount.

By Studio McGee

7. Remember not every area on your tables or walls need to have something on them.

By Katie Marker

Interesting wainscoting and wallpaper instead of things hanging on the wall can be enough.

8. If you want someone to stop and look place something there, if you just want them to pass by, leave it empty. This really applies to wall areas.

Michele from Hello Lovely blog hallway draws your eye towards the one single lovely piece of artwork that she painted.

I see so many people put things on every little slice of wall and it just looks cluttered and meaningless.

9. The eyes need a place to rest, a void before seeing  more color, pattern and pieces.

Do you ever go into a home and feel a bit nervous and quite can't figure out why? It might just be the amount of clutter in the space.

Then there are other places that you go into and you immediately feel a sense of calm and peace. That probably has to do with the use of serene colors and the environment is not cluttered and beautifully appointed.

Architectural Digest

10. A good rule of thumb is, "If you have had it for more than 10 years, and it is not an antique, classic piece, or an heirloom, you need to get rid of it!"

I know we can't all afford to replace everything, nor am I suggesting that, but if you have pieces that you are questioning, think of when you purchased them and maybe, just maybe it is time to think about getting something new.

Colors and styles change and it is impossible to stay on trend, but you CAN and you SHOULD try to freshen up your homes decor.

There is nothing better than mixing an antique with a more contemporary piece when done well. It is not an easy combination to get right so be very careful.

 An eclectic room can be beautiful and interesting, but when not done well can look like a hot mess. Read this blog post which explains further. HERE

If you are having a difficult time deciding on making some changes, updates and getting rid of things......

.....Think of it like your own personal style. You probably don't wear the same clothing that you had 10 years ago except for the classic basic pieces. I bet your hair has changed and your makeup as well.

Our homes need to be 
refreshed as well. 

Now go into your room with new eyes and be honest about what truly looks dated to you, or is just clutter and what is dragging your room back a decade or two or three!

Always, always......