TEN STEPS TO THE PERFECT ROOM
Hunter Douglas Shares Secrets on How to Achieve It
Sally Morse, director of creative services for Hunter Douglas shares these tips for creating a new look in any room.
"People can follow the 10-step recipe below to create the room they've always dreamed about and thought about, but didn't know how to go about it," says Morse, who lectures on design.
1. Getting Started: You need a road map, an inspiration. Find a print you love -- it could be from a drapery fabric, area rug, wallpaper or even a piece of artwork. This gives you three big clues and puts the horse before the cart instead of vice versa:
2. Furnishings: Don't be too "matchy-matchy" with furnishings. Mother Nature doesn't match the flowers in a garden, why do you think you have to match wood tones? The case goods, coffee tables, floors and wood blinds in the kitchen can have different hues.Too much of the same thing is boring. Also, make sure your furniture is sized properly for the dimensions and layout of the room.
3. Furniture Placement: Place your furniture in shapes derived from the alphabet such as L, X or U, making sure whatever shape you choose works best with the size and shape of the room. You might have two conversation areas and use and L in one and an X in another. Remember too, no matter where you're seated, you need a place to put a glass, plate or cup of coffee within 15 or 18 inches. I frequently get asked how big the coffee table should be. It should be two-thirds the size of your sofa.
4. Window Treatments: A room is never complete without a window fashion -- you may not notice that there is no rug, but you always notice an empty window, and neighbors do too. Decorating them can present a challenge, as materials look different when light comes through them and there are so many practical considerations. Do we want to emphasize the view; provide light control and privacy; add energy efficiency and noise control; operate them frequently?
Luckily, with the innovative designs available in window fashions today, solutions to these practical problems are now exceptionally stylish and beautiful as well. Window treatments can also add movement or rhythm to a room and make it more visually appealing. An outside-mounted treatment can conceal an unattractive window frame or shape, make the window and room seem bigger and help move the eye around a room. On the other hand, an inside-mounted treatment can show off a window.
A window treatment that is a different color than the walls will break up a room -- your eye stops to look at it -- while one that blends with the walls makes it seem bigger. One of the best places to add texture is at the window; when the light hits a textured surface, it adds depth -- peaks and valleys, highs and lows. In short, window fashions can add that distinction, an element of surprise, as well as supreme function tailored to your specific needs.
5. Lighting: There are three different kinds of artificial lighting and, of course, natural light, which, with the proper window fashions, can help transform the look of a room.
6. Flooring: Select a type of flooring that best complements the room. The big word in flooring today is big. Wider planks and bigger tiles are very popular. Don't overlook items such as area rugs.
7. Walls: At the last Heimtex show in Europe, they showed flocked wallpaper again. You can also add style with color, be it paint or wallpaper. Remember that you can add texture as well with grass cloth wallcoverings, paint finishes and the like. Don't forget the fifth wall -- the ceiling. Don't settle for plain old white -- go for a light- or medium-toned color. Mix one-third of the color of your walls with two-thirds white and use it on the ceiling. Now you've breathed a bit of color into it for a beautifully coordinated look that is unique and different. Pearl paint finishes with luminosity or shine look exceptional on ceilings.
8. Hard Accessories: Use hard items such as mirrors, pottery, paintings, photos and glass around the room. Particularly when grouping photos, place smaller ones above the large ones to avoid a top-heavy, Dolly Parton look. Darker pictures should also be hung lower because they have more visual weight. Over a sofa, start your arrangement six to nine inches up from the back, and width-wise, go about two-thirds the width. This will make your arrangements more graceful and aesthetically pleasing.
9. Soft Accessories: Combine the hard accessories with softer items, including pillows, curtains, silk flowers, tablecloths and plants to create warmth. Make sure an equal number of hard and soft accessories are used in the room for a nice balance. Too many hard accessories looks masculine, too many soft ones look froufrou.
10. Personality: Add your own personality to the room to make it your own space. Show off your interests and hobbies in a creative way, using your own sense of style ... and humor.
Or view Hunter Douglas Window Coverings in the privacy of your home with one of our Window Fashion Designers.
To view more information regarding Hunter Douglas Window Coverings visit the Hunter Douglas website.
Hunter Douglas Inc., headquartered in Pearl River, NY, is the leading manufacturer of custom window coverings in North America.
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