As I continue to figure out this whole blogging thing I’m faced with the problem of when to post for max exposure. You’ll be amazed at how many articles there are out there on this issue and how contradictory they all are. Some say Monday’s though people who read on Monday’s bounce around a lot. Others swear by Thursday’s because people tend to stick around longer on a page on Thursday’s and then there are those that swear by weekends well because it’s the weekend and although the overall exposure is less, people will have loads more time to chill and enjoy your content. So you see my conundrum, it seems like I’ll have to figure this one out by trial and error so bear with me as I endeavor to. But for now, my first Thursday post as a follow-up to my last Monday post. Don’t worry it’ll be weekly at least. For this week’s post I thought we delve deeper into last week’s post on the four steps to designing your perfect room by focusing on what I consider the most important step, the Feelings step, and how to translate your “feelings” into your design. If you didn’t read the previous post you should check it out here first before coming back to this one.
So by now you know you want your room to feel like a spa, a Moroccan resort, or an L.A. loft, or you are still uncertain as to how to identify these feelings. Not to worry as this post will help clarify all your questions. To reiterate a bit, I’m using “feelings” in this context to mean the emotions you want to experience when you walk into your room. Do you want to be happy, do you want to be relaxed, do you want a feeling of nostalgia that reminds you of another time or a place you once visited? There are a million and one feelings and it can be challenging to identify the ones that most appeal to you so I’ll share two different ways to do this.
The simplest way is to just go ahead and list all the emotions that come to mind when you envision your dream room, and then if need be edit that list down based on the context/form of the room during the fun/implementation stage. Alternatively, if you are not very good at visualizing abstract things or you are unsure as to what emotional direction you want for your room, then we can use inspiration images from Pinterest or Houzz. I typically use this method with my clients and have them share those images with me via a board or an ideabook, depending on which site you use. Remember though when using this method, the goal is not to focus on the details in the room but instead on the overall feeling of the space because in the end we don’t want to duplicate someone else’s design but instead identify the characteristics of the room that appeals to us and then design our room to elicit those same characteristics or feelings but personalized for us. So while doing this exercise if you find yourself thinking “I like the rug but not the curtains” or “I like this table paired with these chairs” etc. you are on the wrong track. Continue searching for images until you find a room that you just absolutely LOVE irrespective of the individual items in it. Now try to find five to ten more of these rooms and then take some time to study and document their commonalities. These commonalities my friends, are the feelings that will drive your own design. I can typically identify a client’s preference from looking at five to eight pictures of their ideal rooms because a pattern naturally emerges. It is worth noting that kitchens and bathrooms are typically more difficult to characterize so I would steer clear of adding them to your “feelings” board or ideabook unless off course you are designing a kitchen or a bathroom.
Okay we now have the feelings or characteristics we’d like to see reflected in our room, how do we go about translating them into the reality that is our space? Through color and the style of our furnishings & decorative accents. In the case of color, I’m not just referring to the walls or paint color, although that’s an essential part of it too Instead i’m refering to the entire color scheme of the room inclusive of the walls, the trim, the furniture and any upholstery, rugs or carpers or any other flooring material, curtains or blinds and all other decorative accents. I cannot emphasize enough how much of an impact a color scheme has on the overall feeling of a room so before diving head first into your design I suggest you research the psychology of color to ensure that the colors you choose are in concert with the feelings you are trying to convey. You can do this by Googling the meaning of colors. A word of caution in applying your color scheme, unless you are going for a heavy, dark, rich, or goth look, i’d recommend that you air on the side of restrain when it comes to applying your “feeling” color. I personally prefer to keep the wall colors neutral introducing my “feeling” colors through furnishing and decorative accents instead.
In addition to color your furniture and decorative choices play a significant role in conveying the feeling of a room. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been called to design a space were the homeowner says I want my house to look and feel like this inspiration image but I want to keep my sofa, my coffee table, carpet and area rug but maybe we can paint that one wall (insert baffled face emoji). I like to believe I can work magic but I know I ain’t no magician! That said, i’m not suggesting you have to buy all new stuff to design your perfect room, but that you have to be realistic about your expectations and limitations in any design project. This reiterates the point of the third F (Form) in the design process. Figure out what furnishings you are inheriting with the room and then fill in the blank. As you work through this editing stage, remember don’t make it look manageable, instead manage the look.
If there’s anything worth remembering from this super long post, it’s that everything in your room contributes towards its overall feeling and look so be intentional with your choices and be mindful of your limitations. That said, please don’t be too literal in your translation of the characteristics/feelings of the room because after all design is an art not a science. Also when in doubt, go for the option that conveys the feeling to you and not the option that conveys the look to others because trust me they’ll get it if it’s properly done. On a final note, don’t forget your sixth surface, hint it’s above you, because it contributes as much to your overall look as the other surfaces in your room. If in doubt envision the 1970’s pop corn ceiling fad.
I personally believe that spaces, like people give off a vibe so make sure your space is giving off the vibe you want. Drop me a line in the comments section with any questions you may have. Until next week peeps.