As an interior artist I noticed that many of my conversations end with the other person saying “Oh, by the way…” what would you recommend I do to update my kitchen, or create more space in my family room, or make my living room more functional? It never fails; people always want to know something that will help them make some part of their home or office more of what they dream for it to be. Those questions are the inspiration for my column “Oh, BTW…” Helpful Tips For Your Interior Design Projects
My column will focus on questions that I have received from readers like you, as well as people whom I meet in my day-to-day work. It’s my hope that the suggestions in my column will help you with décor, organization, and customization that you can use in your everyday life. You will find that most of the tips can be used in many rooms of the home or office, not just the room in question.
At the end of each column I will provide you with links to some of my favorite local and online shops and websites. I would like to invite you to send your interior design questions to “Just Ask Regan”. One (1) question will be selected and featured in an upcoming addition of “Oh, BTW…”
Oh, BTW…, “Can you give me some tips on updating my living room?”
J. Gulden, Washington DC
Here are a few things you can do to make your living room a room to die for.
Select A Style: Make the room a reflection of you.
Have you ever walked into someone’s space and said WOW, I love this look, and then go and try to create a similar look for your space with disappointing results? That’s because the style you loved so much in someone else’s space may not translate the same in your own personal space.
Select a style that fits the person you are and the person you aspire to be. When coming up with a style for your living space it’s always good to remember to think outside the box, but outside your comfort zone. If you like neutral colors like beige and gray then upgrade you color palette to rich, sophisticated neutrals like chocolate brown and a gray that is more along the lines of sterling silver or platinum in color.
Walls, Windows and Floors: The foundation of your space.
Select wall colors, window treatments and flooring that tie the room together, not break it into pieces. Be it modern or traditional, these three elements should unite the rooms overall style. Use similar colors and textures with each of these elements. Silk curtains? Consider going with area rugs that have a little silk in them, against high polish dark wood floors, and a wall color that offers a little texture in the finish.
Assess Your Furnishings: Too much or not enough.
Determine whether or not you need to remove some pieces or invest in some new ones. The furniture in your space should be in line with the overall scale of the room and should offer form as well as function.
Find The Room’s Focal Point: No focal point…create one.
No matter the size or shape every living room should have a focal point. If your room is basically a box with windows create a focal point with seating arrangements, large pieces of art, a dramatic mirror, or a stand out piece of furniture, then build your furniture placement around that focal point.
Balance: It’s not just important in gymnastics.
Have you ever been in someone’s living space and felt really uncomfortable? It seemed odd to you because you like that person, and you even think they have a lovely home, but for some reason you are never really comfortable in their space.
If that has ever happened to you, it could be because of an imbalance of furnishings and accessories in the space. Just like people respond to color and light, balance in a space can affect how you feel in that space. Too many accessories, bad lighting, and colors can all affect the balance of a room. Scaled pairing and grouping in a space can create a relaxed, balanced effect in a room.
Custom Taste: On a retail budget.
You do not have to have an unlimited budget to get a customized look to your space. While designer furnishings can be pricey, you can find custom accessories that are amazingly well priced. Things like pillows, lampshades, and artwork from budding new artist can be one of a kind items that give your space that custom feeling without breaking the bank.
Visit these links and let your creativity flow!
Email your interior design questions to [email protected] Subject: “Just Ask Regan”,
and we may select your question for an upcoming addition of “Oh, BTW…”