One of the things I find most challenging about interior decorating is composition. It can be quite easy to pull together great basic foundations for a room – things like a great couch, a functional bookcase, beautiful window treatments, headboard, dining table, side chairs and lamps. Even identifying favorite art pieces and where they will hang is often simply dictated by wall space. Much of the time these larger pieces of the room are structured into the room by basic room shape, space available, where electric outlets are, etc.
Completing the composition of the room can often be overwhelming. I think this is why many people never feel like their home doesn't feel totally pulled together. After all this work, it’s time to personalize, accessorize and fill in a few little corners with just the right punches of color, variation of shapes and sizes to give the home a cozy, lived in feel.
It’s easy to go too bare or overboard. Getting just the right vibe can be a frustrating process. Here are a few things I find inspiring at this point in the process.
1. Look for inspiration from well composed vignettes. Go through magazines that cater to your personal style like Dwell, Elle Decor, House Beautiful. Check out regional magazines too - such as Coastal Living and Southern Living. There are many of these regional design publications available in bookstores near you. Visit websites like DesignSponge, Decor8, Stylizimo where they often have lots of additional content.
2. Create a file, digitally or with cut outs or copies of photos you love. I’ve have paper files, digital files and also a large sketch book of photos from catalogs I really love. It’s interesting to see over the years how these photos inspire my design. Sometimes I’ll go back and wonder why on earth I liked something I saved, but more often than not, what I loved five years ago, I still love the basics of today. Even things that may feel outdated now can be update to fit your current style today.
3. Gather up what you have and make an inventory. You may be surprised at what you have around your home that you can use. Choose items for the specific space you wish to compose (home office, mantle, bookshelf, kitchen window, coffee table, dresser). Look for a theme in these elements, colors that compliment and contrast each other. Choose items with varying patterns, shapes and sizes which will be most pleasing to the eye and round out the space best. See where you need to fill things in and make a list you can carry with you.
Next up, later this morning, I'll give you four more steps for pulling it all together. See you then!
Photo 1 Country Living magazine by Keith Scott Morton
Photo 2 House Beautiful magazine by John M. Hall
Photo 3 House Beautiful magazine by Julian Waas