Designing With Carol

Carol Collins

Coming home should feel like getting a big hug.

There are only subjective rules when it comes to decorating. Many confuse this fact by believing that there is a “right way” to decorating a space. What is light and open to one may feel hollow and empty to another. What seems cozy and “lived in” to another might seem cluttered and unsafe to you. Wherever you see yourself, what matters is the courage to work those realities into your design plans.

Creating a room that looks and feels good is not a mysterious process. The point is not to adhere to rules or follow fashion but rather to find what you like and incorporate it.

When putting together a room, start by understanding a few principles of composition: space – defining space and using it; color – determining mood and function; pattern – for character, depth and visual interest; texture – to give the space its “feel.”

Space is the essential defining consideration of a room. How much is there? How little? What is the quality of the space? What is the function of the space? Mirrors are magic when it comes to changing perceptions about a room’s space. Placed strategically, mirrors create the illusion of a larger space.

Color/Pattern: Color is one of the most emotional subjects in decorating and is very personal. Tradition has taught us that only certain colors are appropriate for certain spaces. But when coloring your world have no fear; the rules are few and the rewards are many. When deciding a color scheme consider what furnishings and art pieces will be used. Use your fabrics, china and art to help you. Pattern, with color, is one of the most basic design tools. No matter how subtle, patterns can bring a room to life adding character, depth and visual interest.

Texture gives the space its “feel.” All of our decorative treatments and objects in a room—even the amount of stuffing in the upholstery—add to the atmosphere of the room. Fabrics add softness; stone and marble convey a sense of weight and permanence and improves over time; brass, steel and wrought iron supply hardness and edge.

Great rooms begin with how you feel about being in them. Successful decorating involves making rooms feel as good as they look.

A home is really an attitude and a mind-set that is created physically by the choices you make. Your home should provide a sense of belonging and be a refuge that calms you, pleases you and makes of you no demands.

Tip: Patience – The challenge in decorating your home is likely to be both emotional and physical. Take your time in making your choices and selecting your possessions. Do not feel pressured to buy impulsively just “to fill in a space.” It’s your home you’re decorating, not a showroom.

And as always—Happy Decorating!