At Gormans of Michigan, a popular retail destination for affordable, high-fashion furniture, shoppers are guided not to the most attractive pieces of furniture in the catalog or at the store, but toward a careful, creative decorating planning process that starts in the mind. Every student of interior design learns the rules of holistic, unified design, and every expert has them internalized.
If your design effort aims to produce results as impressive, you need to think holistically, too, rather than allow yourself to be drawn in by the attractiveness of individual pieces that you may see on sale. If you’re able to think of the big picture each step of the way, the results will show in an appearance of cogency and beauty.
Think proportion when you decorate
It’s simple enough a principle, if you think about it — large pieces of furniture only go well in large spaces. They also need large accent furniture. If you need to buy new furniture that goes with existing furniture, you should apply the rule of proportional decorating to what you already have. If it’s too large or too small for the space, you would do well to resolve to not use it, no matter how much you may like it. Buying furniture that matches the room’s proportions can greatly enhance the overall feel to be had.
There are two ways to achieve balance in decorating. You can either achieve it through perfect, symmetrical design, or you can work on a more dynamic plan. Perfectly symmetrical furniture placement can certainly create balance, but it can also appear static. It’s possible to achieve balance in more interesting ways, however.
For instance, if one end of a room has a large sofa, the other end of the room could hold small, light chairs, but have many of them. You can balance size and heft with number. Balance is important to the feeling of satisfaction that a decorating plan delivers, but it’s a can be achieved in many creative ways.
You want contrast
While stylish spreads on decorating magazines may favor monochromatic minimalism with little color variation across living spaces, such themes do not work well in real life. A break-free expanse of one color can energy-sapping. To bring in interesting variation is the more natural way to go. Not only do you need your rugs, floors and walls to exploit the effects possible with different colors and textures, you need furniture that creates a certain amount of contrast, as well. Whether you choose bold contrast or the subtle kind, it’s important that you try experimenting with color contrasts to help anchor the eye.
Harmony in decorating isn’t about making everything the same. Rather, it is about unity — using different colors and textures in a way that helps them work together for a bigger effect, than they would be able to achieve on their own.
Creating areas of contrast and harmony and contrasting color and texture can be a pleasing effect in general, but can still fall somewhat short. The problem usually, is that these effects are randomly applied. Patterns, rather than randomness, is the essence of beauty. The very sight of the casual or the unplanned can quickly take away from the potential of a decorating effort. This is where design rhythm comes in. Whether you need to work with texture or color, it’s important to use them in a way that makes it easy for the eye to discern a pattern. It doesn’t need to be subtle or complex.
A simple design that alternates colors across different areas of a room can be all it takes to bring in an appearance of beauty and sophistication.