Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Decorating Your Living Room- Part 2

Above is a storyboard that I came up with for our example open concept space. In it I have highlighted the fixed elements in the room and possible accent colours based on the pillow fabrics. Below I describe the thinking behind my choices.

Some things to note...
First- Before you begin shopping measure your space to make sure the furniture you find will actually fit.
Second- Have a budget in mind for all furniture pieces and only look in stores that fall within that budget.

Step 3- Choosing a sofa.

I suggest starting with the largest piece first i.e., the sofa. When it comes to a sofa, I suggest going with neutral coloured fabrics made of material that will hold up well over time.
Above is the The Stylus Lyric Sofa which would work perfectly in our example space and is available at retailers across Canada. The price is around $1100.00 depending on the fabric you choose.

Step 4- Selecting a chair.

In terms of chair(s), you want something that co-ordinates well with your sofa i.e., they do not have to match but it is okay if they do. This may be a good place to bring a new texture into your space e.g. leather or rattan.

Above is the New Havana Chair from Crate and Barrel which co-ordinates well with the example sofa. The price is $599, the cushion cover is 100% cotton and the wooden legs are in a deep mahogany finish.

Step 5- Area rugs.

Anyone can add an area rug- even if your room has boardloom. In that case, my only suggestion would be to use a rug that is either patterned (if your boardloom is not and vice versa) or a different material (e.g. rattan). I prefer when a rug is large enough that all pieces are at least partially (front legs) on top of it.
Above is the Egeby flat, woven rug from IKEA. The price is $89.99 for a 6'5" x 4'4".

Step 6- Tables.

When it comes to buying the tables for a room their are many ways you can go. My feeling is just to go with the styles you like that fit with the way you intend to use the space i.e., if you intend to do a lot of entertaining, you may want more tables with a larger surface area for guests to put their food and drinks.

Above is an occassional table similar to one found at Walmart (I was surprised too!). The price is $99.99 and it is made of solid wood in a dark espresso finish.

Above is the Hemnes coffee table from IKEA. The price is $199.00 and it is made of solid wood in a black-brown finish.

Step 7- Large and small accessories.

The accessories in a room are called that for a reason- they are the extras that help bring the room together and make it feel comfortable. My only suggestion here is to choose things that ;

1) you like

2) fall within your colour scheme

3) in addition to looking nice, serve a practical purpose e.g. a white throw blanket- looks nice on the back of your chair during the day but can be used to cover up with in the evening.

I think that pretty much covers everything...

FYI-This was the most time consuming poste I have written to date making it very obvious why professional designers exist.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Decorating Your Living Room- Part 1

I have read enough magazines and watched enough shows to know that their are a few key steps/elements to successfully decorating a space.

Lets say, for example, that your space is an open concept living room/dining room and kitchen with a taupe wall colour (which you love).

It has 2 flooring types- carpet- that is in a similar but darker shade of the same taupe colour and ceramic tile.

The kitchen has traditional cabinets in a cream colour.
Step 1- Considering the fixed elements in your space (i.e., floors, walls, kitchen, etc.) find a colourful fabric(s) that you love which coordinates with all of these.
Everyone wants their home to have colour, but knowone wants to commit to any one colour for too long. The solution- colour should be brought into a room through elements that are inexpensive and easily changed e.g. pillows.

I did a quick search of the Jo-Anne Fabrics website and below are some of the fabrics that caught my eye and would go very nicely in our example open concept space.

Step 2- Draw a layout for your room considering what you intend to do with the room i.e., if entertaining is important to you, you should allow for lots of seating in your layout, etc. This can be a bit intimidating for someone with a completely blank slate, so begin by identifying the necessary pieces (e.g. sofa, chair(s), table(s), etc.).

Below is an example of a basic layout for the living room of our example open concept space.
Once you have established the basic pieces, you can then add the "accessories".

Now it is time to shop... to be continued.