Decorating Tricks of the Pros
I am no professional when it comes to decorating. However, I have watched enough decorating shows and read enough shelter magazines to amount to a degree in the field. Here are some tips I have read about or seen repeatedly.
1. Hang ‘em high. Draperies hung high help a room look taller. This can be done regardless of where the top of the window actually lands. Many people make the mistake of hanging curtains in relation to the window. Instead, they should be hung in relation to the ceiling. Below is an example; notice how much taller and grander the second option looks.
2. Spread it around. Any color you introduce into a room should be repeated at least 3 times and spread around the space. While this “rule” can successfully be broken, it is a good rule of thumb to follow – especially for amateurs. Notice in the room below how turquoise is successfully introduced into a primarily white space. There are two turquoise lamps, a rug and a side table that all feature the color.
3. Hanging art is relative. How to properly hang art really varies from situation to situation. In general, however, it should be hung in relation to something else. When hung above furniture, it is best to relate the art to the furniture piece by hanging it no more than a foot above that furniture piece. When art is not being hung over furniture, it should be hung according to average eye level. This means the middle of the art piece should usually be about 5 – 6 feet off the floor. Lastly, hanging all art in a space at the same height will help to unify the space and create a natural flow for the eye.
4. Variety is the spice of life. When creating a grouping on a buffet, console table, etc., varying the height of the objects used helps make an arrangement look more interesting. Pottery Barn is particularly good at this. Look at how all items on the table below vary in height and visual weight.
5. Lighting is vital. No room should EVER have only one light source. In order for rooms to be well-lit, there need to be multiple light sources. There are four types of lighting in design – ambient, task, accent and decorative. The definitions are as follows:
- Ambient – Light that fills an entire room or space. An example would be an overhead light.
- Task – Lighting designed for a particular purpose like a bedside lamp for reading.
- Accent – Lighting that draws attention to an item or feature. This could include a light directed to shine on a piece of artwork.
- Decorative – This light source is not meant to actually light a space but to create a mood or feeling. Candles are the most obvious form of decorative lighting.
Every room should have more than one type of lighting, and living spaces usually look best when all four are incorporated.
Those are my tips. Have you picked up any pearls of decorating knowledge over the years? Please share.