Happy New Year!
Another New Year is upon us and I’m itching to come up with some New Year’s resolutions. Nothing inspires me more than a fresh start and a new page.
I’m definitely more successful at sticking to some resolutions (like the opening of Village Antiques, almost a year old now!) and not so much to others (like losing those last five pounds of baby weight!) But I simply adore looking forward to a new year and thinking of ways to improve my family’s life as well as inspire you when you visit our store or read our blog.
So I must make a confession, I’m much like the cobbler whose kids go barefoot. We spend so much time creating fabulous interiors and helping customers enjoy our beautiful inventory that when I get home, I’m pooped! And sadly my own house suffers from lack of attention. So this year I’m resolving to finish decorating my house – and I’ll be sharing the process with you, so you can see how to create a room from start to finish, incorporating antiques and new furniture along the way.
Where to Start
As a designer I’ve been collecting pieces over time and they are now finally coming together. I’ve always had a plan, but have patiently waited for all the right pieces to put it all together.
If you’re starting fresh, the best thing I can recommend is to put pencil to paper and really understand your room dimensions. Every room that looks and feels effortlessly designed follows one of the main principles of good design: scale – meaning everything fits as it should. If you measure your room carefully, you’ll be able to shop for furniture in the right proportions and avoid making costly mistakes.
Once you have your basic space sketched out, it’s easier to find a starting point. Often you hear about people finding a special piece of artwork or a gorgeous antique while traveling, and then building a whole room around it. But what if you don’t have that ‘inspiration piece’?
My favorite place to start is the floor – and then build up. Personally, I am a HUGE fan of beautiful antique style rugs. I love muted, pale colors but bright, vivid colors are lovely as well – whatever inspires you! This will set the tone for your entire room, suggest the colors you should work with and help give you some direction.
Here’s a tip: When I choose a rug, I’m always considering which direction we are going in with regards to fabric selections. If we’re going to use a multitude of patterns, we tend to prefer a more subtle pattern and color palette on the floor.
Here a few rugs that I might pull for a project.
Which size fits?
Once you have your room dimensions you can determine what size rug you might need – a little 8′ x 10’, a 9’x 12′ or a even a larger 14′ x 17′. Measure, measure, measure! One of my design hallmarks to make sure the rug goes under all of the furniture – even if it is just underfoot. So see how a rug fits into your room and how much of your floor you like to reveal.
Some designers insist on covering up all of the floor with seagrass and then placing another rug on top. For me, it depends on what’s underneath. I love long plank wood boards and antique limestone and don’t like to cover them up.
So one of my ultimate favorite rug styles to build up from are beautiful Turkish oushak rugs. I especially love genuine antique ones or ones that appear to be antique.
Here are a few examples:
Another great floor covering is a Dhurrie, a kind of woven rug that is made out of natural fibers like wool, cotton, jute or silk. Though dhurries originate from India, they have been used in such widespread ways that the product has evolved from a fairly basic, ethnic floor mat to an uber-sophisticated contemporary floor treatment.
However if you’re not a fan of so much color prefer something less bold, keep an eye out for a simple sea-grass or jute rug. Natural fiber rugs provide a beautiful, elegant backdrop with less pattern but great texture. See the floor covering in this photo, this is what you might expect of something like seagrass or jute.
So if you’re clamoring for a fresh start in your design decor this year, follow along as I share a few design tips with you on where to start and how to put together a great room. And be sure to share any Before and After pictures of the rooms you’re working on!
Wishing you a Very Happy New Year!
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