Clarisse Ringwald of Clarisse Color Creations starts with simple tips like these and moves as you are ready into defining your own fashion personality and style. MORE!
Dazzling and Sophisticated Lighting for All Your Needs and Wants. Join our private tour and learn about the best use of the different kinds of lighting to enhance your environment. In addition, we will visit UnderFoot, Splash Media and Donna Decker Design. And it’s FREE to enjoy! RSVP required. MORE!
One of the most exciting parts of my work is walking into someone’s home (usually someone I don’t know) and improving the way they live. This can happen simply by listening to what they need from their personal spaces. It is even possible to add a room without construction by evaluating how the room is being used and what might be missing. We often discover that there is duplication of purpose. Here are two such examples.
A dynamic young businesswoman asked me to consult on her new home. Since she preferred to work at home as much as possible, she chose the front room as her office. Energetically, and from a feng shui point of view, it is the best location because it is beyond the front door and attracts business. There was one challenge: there were French doors, so you could see into the office upon entering the front door.
For efficiency, she needed a great deal of equipment – including two printers, fax machine, copier and computer with a large screen, which was not attractive. She also needed a large TV, which created a problem because the furniture could not be pushed against the wall. Plus, there would be wires everywhere.
Considering the rest of her home, I noticed the bedroom next to her office that she indicated would one day be a guest room, but was last on the list to decorate. I asked her if she would consider putting her office equipment in the guest room, which would give her a less cluttered, more attractive office. I added that she could also put a small desk in there and use it when someone worked with her at home. The bonus was that she could write it off too. She was thrilled and I left her with thoughts she would never have imagined herself. The obvious is hard to see when we are so close to it.
Example 2: A family had moved here from the east where they had a two-story house. They weren’t used to all being on the same floor and felt they were living on top of one another. We began by rethinking their living space which had duplication of function.
Since the kitchen had a large eating area, the dining room was seldom used. They enjoyed their living room but didn’t use it often. The family room didn’t feel right because it was wide open and this created noise from the TV.
To make the long living room cozier, they had pushed the furniture to one end. I suggested they place their dining table, which they used only four times a year, into the other end of the room, combining the living and dining rooms. The existing dining room could then become a library type room, where they could add computers for the children. This would allow them to monitor their children’s computer use as well as having comfortable chairs for reading.
To reduce the noise pollution from the TV, I suggested they turn the family room into a theater room by repositioning the TV and adding draperies at both ends which where open to muffle the sound.
The family was excited by the changes and most importantly felt that their home would now better support their individual and collective needs.
Think about what YOU need from your home because the rooms don’t care how you use them. Rooms have no feelings, YOU do!
Why are women expected to know how to decorate a home? Traditionally, when a woman gets married she is expected to be the one to decorate the home. Even before she is married, she may feel the responsibility to be the homemaker and therefore the family decorator. Bachelors are considered inept in this area and always seeking help with buying and making furnishings decisions.
Well, this isn’t true! This has not been my experience in my practice. In very many cases, the husband has been very involved and in several cases taken over the project and worked mainly with me. I am not sure why, but one answer may be that I always engage the husband and actually insist he be part of the first or second meeting with me. Once this happens, he becomes more comfortable and the mystery of decorating is dissolved and the fear becomes minimized or completely removed. He is now experiencing the process and therefore appreciates his wife’s efforts and feels important to her and to the process.
I have seen it many times: connecting in this way strengthens relationships and brings couples closer. Contrary to what sometimes is said – that building a home or decorating can be stressful – when everyone feels important to the project and that their input is valued, the project improves and so does the relationship.
There is another benefit. This collaboration has also proven to result in a distinctive design outcome because both people bring their taste and style to the project resulting in a one-of-a-kind blend that is unique to the couple. I like to call this 1 + 1 = 3. They have now created a “look” that is solely theirs. We don’t want to live in someone else’s taste and style, particularly if we really don’t like it, but when there is discussion and we bring in the three elements of the Bajaro Method: understanding, accepting, allowing; then there is harmony and the project can move forward. It also results in a happy outcome when the project is completed. It will eliminate mistakes and needless expenditure.
On the other hand, the single person has the opportunity to totally express themselves in his or her most personal environment – the home. It’s important before beginning to make decorating changes or choices to explore your taste, separate from what you grew up with or have become influenced by through friends or media. Then you can create an environment that is truly yours and in which you feel connected and comfortable.
The most important thing to remember, when decorating for yourself or with someone else is that it has to “feel right” and to recognize when it doesn’t. You may not know why, but your feeling is real and you must listen to it. If it feels right you will love your design choices and feel happy living in the space you created.
Always remember, rooms have no feelings, YOU do!
You don’t have to go to the Antiques Roadshow! We have J.Levine Auction & Gallery. For special finds, appraisals and fun! MORE!
David E Adler Fine Rugs announces their new location at 7000 E. Indian School Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85251. Come by for a visit! MORE!