Decorating

Go Big or Go Home

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

Courtney and I got to talking the other day about how much we love well designed spaces with large scale statement pieces.  While small collections successfully grouped together certainly have their appeal and do help to personalize a home, there is something to be said for the wow factor created by a statement piece that begs to be noticed and takes center stage. 

This month Courtney from Courtney Out Loud is back for his monthly insight, offering his best tips for delivering big impact in spaces which demand large scale décor. 

Let’s hear them Courtney! 

“The 1990s ushered in the concept of the expansive ‘great room’ – a large and often double height room that encapsulated the idea of living without walls. It combined the functionality of formal dining rooms living rooms, dens, and family rooms into one massive space.  The great room proved to be a key selling point for families looking for more open living, however, it has also proved to be a constant source of frustration as how to best decorate such a voluminous space.

When faced with rooms of monumental proportions, I look to the words of a former college classmate whose favorite catchphrase was "Go Big or Go Home." Of course he was referring to drinking when he uttered that phrase but nonetheless, the statement also holds true for home decorating. The key to decorating large spaces lies in utilizing proper scale.

Follow these simple rules and your larger space will end up feeling more like a cozy nook:

1. Define the Space From Below. A complaint I typically hear from my clients is that their great rooms are not functional. Upon hearing that, the first thing I tend to ask is if they have segmented the room by use. Sounds simple but so often home owners neglect to divide their great rooms into smaller areas.

By creating activity zones or communal areas for entertaining, reading, and conversation as well as more utilitarian areas such as an office or craft area, the room begins to feel less overwhelming.

l choose to work a space from the floor up, so a hardworking area rug is a worthwhile and essential investment for a large great room. In great rooms, I like to use multiple rugs to define zones, but I find many people are hesitant to use multiple rugs in one room because to them they appear choppy or island-like.

To counter that notion, I encourage them to consider large rugs (8 x 10 or larger) in different but coordinating designs to create seating areas and to avoid the appearance of a room looking like a fragmented hotel lobby.

Deborah Needleman great room ny mag

Deborah Needleman via NY Mag

If the idea of multiple rugs doesn’t sit well, then consider going having a custom rug created.  While extra-large rugs often run thousands of dollars, a inexpensive alternative is to find a carpet remnant and have it bound.  This way, you can create a custom one-of-a-kind pieces for far less than what a custom woven rug would cost.

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Room Inspiration via Television

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

Hello all, today I’m happy to welcome back a monthly contributor, Michelle from Ten June.  After all that fall decorating and crafting, I’m in the mood to take a break and read about great design, so Michelle’s article couldn’t have come at a better time.  Today she’s bringing you her perspective on how television influences her design style, take it away Michelle!

“They say that beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, but what about inspiration? Where does it lie for you? While I spend my fair share of time perusing shelter magazines, design blogs and creative websites like Pinterest, I also like to find design inspiration in unusual places. One of my favorite places to seek out unique home décor ideas is right in my living room – on the television!

brothers and sisters kitchen

Nora’s kitchen from Brothers & Sisters, via Hooked On Houses

One benefit of using television to inspire home design is that, as a viewer, you are automatically granted access into a million different scenes- homes of the rich, the poor, the old, the new, the traditional and the glamorous. But did you know that when you pull home design ideas from television, you can add a lot more to your design knowledge than just a few pretty, inspiring images? In fact, you can learn a lot about the way design works, just by turning on the TV.

The creators of television shows use set design to help to define and shape what you watch, such as the time period of the event, the tone of the show and even the personality of each of the characters.

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