This week’s installment of Why This Room Works comes from a local designer, Amie Corley. She’s located in St. Louis and has a very clean, light, pared down traditional yet sometimes eclectic to her designs. The kind that are right up my alley! You can see more of her work at amiecorley.com. The above space looks like it’s at the top of the stairs on a landing and serves as an office/study, what a great way to utilize a space that can often go unnoticed or unused. Now let’s get started!
1.Maximizing the space – Maximizing the use of a home and its decorating opportunities is one of the hallmarks of a well designed space. In spaces like foyers, stair landings, or corners that may usually go unused, using them as an opportunity to provide extra function or beauty in your home is key. You certainly don’t want to overdo it, or cover every available wall, as your eye does need room to rest. But, what you do want to do is see potential where you may otherwise see a “trouble area.” In the above space, the area could have been left blank. Or, a couple of chairs and a small table could have been placed there and no one would have noticed. But instead, a bold statement was made with built in bookcases and two areas for computers. Beauty, check, function, check. And although built ins are out of many budgets, the same effect could be created with retail bookcases, even those from Ikea. There are more ikea hacks than you can shake a stick at out there, a lot of which include bookcases. Here’s a great one from Apartment Therapy.
2. Color Scheme – As you can see, color is extremely important. And having an interesting and unusual color scheme can be extremely impactful if done well. The combination of blush pink, kelly green, and white is not something many people would think of. But, it’s clearly quite beautiful. And follows the guideline of 60/30/10 – 60% white, 30% kelly green, 10% blush pink. When in doubt, use the 60/30/10 formula for color schemes. That way you don’t have competing colors, ending up with no one winning and a confusing look. Let one color shine, and let the other two colors be supporting actors. And remember that color counts, and influences the look of the room, in even the most subtle of ways. The scoop of ice cream in the print above the computer on the right, the pink in the print above the computer on the left, the leather chairs, the bowl to the right of the computer, and even in the book title “things.” It’s the attention to detail that really make this room stand out.
3. Lines – This room uses lines incredibly well. The trim painted kelly green on the drawers, the lines in the zebra rug, the lines of the seat and back of the chairs, the lines of the arms and legs of the chairs, and even the lines in the books placed at the top of the bookcase. They vary in size, curvature, and level of boldness, but they all matter. And although the books being turned around may be impractical to some, it does provide a much more consistent, less cluttered look. You see the lines of the book’s front, back, and pages rather than a cornucopia of color from the book covers. If you like this look, but want to keep it practical, you could simply categorize each section, and place each book alphabetically. Allows you to keep it pretty, but also practical!
4. Glamorous Yet Rustic – The balance of glamorous (often times seen in how shiny something is) versus rustic is seen throughout this space. And it’s important to remember this when decorating your own room. Too much glamour can come across as well, too much. But, introducing rustic or matte objects keeps things down to earth. We have the strong shine coming from the arms and legs of the chairs, subtly balanced with the rustic baskets above. We have the gold present in two bowls and the hardware, but the matte and rustic look from the picture frames nearby. And the brass lighting overhead, balanced by the rustic look from the book pages underneath. This constant back and forth between shiny and matte, glamorous and rustic, really makes a room, well, shine for lack of a better word! Everything is kept in balance.
So, when decorating your home, focus on maximizing the potential of each space, look at possibilities rather than impossibilities. Remember the color scheme and 60/30/10 formula. Use lines both subtle and bold. And, if using a bit of a glamour in your room, balance it with a bit of rustic or matte as well.
Till next time, happy decorating!