Are you one of those people who find themselves somewhat dissatisfied with the end result of a much laboured over redecorating project? Do you hold an image in your head of what the finished room will look like, but find yourself just missing the mark?
If your projects never turn out quite as you imagined them, don’t worry. You’re not the only one.
But why does this happen? Well, often the problem lies with having too much of what you love. That is to say, sometimes we pick an interior design style that is to our taste but continue to use it relentlessly within the room; selecting furniture pieces with a similar tone and identical features, or perhaps extending a colour pattern into every item of furniture we buy.
The reason this mistake occurs so often (and happens to the best of us) is because rule number one of decorating tells us to pick a theme. Many interior design magazines suggest selecting a word or phrase which best describes your tastes and developing a style around that. (If you’re stuck for a theme, perhaps try googling your chosen word and seeing what styles pop up.)
Interior designers will emphatically insist that each item within the room needn’t relate directly to your chosen theme and this is advice we should all pay close attention to. The trick to developing a room with character is to find alternatives to your chosen style which balance well.
If you desire a clean, modern bedroom with white walls and pure white bed linen, rather than fill the room full of white bedroom furniture, look for something with a darker tone.
For example, a few carefully selected pieces of dark wood furniture can emphasise the crisp, whiteness of the walls. Furniture with an off white, distressed look, or with features such as light brown handles or table tops can also help to break up your chosen colour scheme and create balance within the room.
Finally, don’t compare your room to a show room! We often attempt to recreate what we see on screen or in print and this can be the cause of much dissatisfaction.
A home is to be lived in and often the images we see in magazines and online are rooms which have been carefully constructed and bathed in clever lighting. Each item, from the dining table to the sofa, chairs and even cushions or books on shelves will have been carefully considered. Real life is messy and disorganised, as we are sure many of you would agree.
In daily life, a lived-in room will not remain pristine with everything in its place. More likely there will be marks on the carpet from overexcited pets running in after their very muddy Sunday walk and magazines slowly accumulating on the coffee table, with a few children’s toys laying abandoned on the floor.
Don’t bend to accommodate style, let style fit around you. This is how you make a room your own and fall in love with what you see.