Top Ten Rules for a Beautiful Room-
# 10 Rule: Use all of the room. Your room was made to accommodate you. If it doesn't feel right, it probably isn't. Your rooms are there to serve you for your pleasure.
# 9 Rule: Adding to #10 Rule, use all of the room, use all of the room in a color that sends you over the moon. Be careful and consider the color, you will be in this room for quite a while. FYI, living and dining rooms are updated every five to seven years, bedrooms a little more often. But even six weeks in a poorly painted space could make you very sad.
# 8 Rule: Do not be afraid of white space. (This is a term borrowed from printers) white space is often referred to as negative space. It is the space that allows you to see everything else in the room. In other words, don't give in to clutter, she is a buzz killer.
# 7 Rule: Go in feet first; be mindful of the floor. What is on your floor? Do you have a wonderful surface like beautiful hardwood polished to a high sheen? Do you have fabulous porcelain tile? Or, do you have a plain simple carpet that is so bashful it is hardly noticed? Consider the virtue of a rug, 8 x 10, more or less depending on the space. She can bring such joy. She can amplify the patterns in the room, bring fun, sophistication, and glamour or just quiet the space down. She has the ability to make or break a room, be careful not to overlook her.
# 6 Rule: Now, where are you going to sit? Can everyone see the tv? Can everyone see each other? Stadium/theater seating is good for theaters and stadiums, not for living spaces. Is there a lonely chair isolated in the corner? Get it away from there. Inevitably, you will have a gathering and the most socially awkward person will find a way to sit in that lonely corner all night long. What kind of party host are you to let that happen?
# 5 Rule: Do you have a place for your phone, drink, book, and glasses? Tables matter. Choose yours with care. The thing about tables, unless you dance on them, they are with you for quite some time, have fun with them. They come in so many styles and so many materials that it is hard to make a mistake. The largest mistake you can make is to not have one of these hard workers placed strategically in your room so that you don't have to use your lap as a table top. The second mistake is having a table too short or too tall, who wants to reach up or down when you aren't at exercise or dancing?
# 4 Rule: Light it up. Three action words lamps, lamps, lamps, nothing is more insidious than an obnoxious overhead light. Besides the fact that these ornery spots in the center of the ceiling can make you look old and color your skin gray, if they are too bright you will become fatigued. Don't forget your windows. Dress them for success. Hardware store shades and blinds are great for emergency privacy, dorm spaces and bachelor pads, real rooms need real window treatments.
# 3 Rule: Artwork, refer to #10, use all of the room. The average height of sofas and chairs is 40 inches. That means there is a lot of room at the top. The artwork is the breath of life for your space. It is also one of the only components that can be completely independent of everything else in the room. Art is your voice, use it.
# 2 Rule: Accessories, now this can be tricky. Only use those things that you love that are appropriate to the space. Remember rule #8, it also applies here. Never underestimate how sneaky Miss Clutter is. She will take over a tabletop or corner the minute your head is turned.
# 1 Rule: Go back to #10 Rule and live, live, live graciously in your beautiful space.
MID CENTURY MODERN
Have you ever not loved something, had to work with it and found yourself embracing the very thing you once hated? I have. For me, it was midcentury modern. Everything about the look and style seemed austere and standoffish. Even the art for this genre was geometric and muted. How was that supposed to be inspiring?
I never appreciated it until it became necessary to embrace it. Midcentury modern, or MCM, always seemed austere, bland and way too aggressive. Then I met the French version whose name is Moderne and voila, it was love. I mean L O V E. I found something that I could embrace.
Did you ever meet someone who on the first impression seemed beyond cool? The person whose intimidating presence first invited a denouncement on your part, mainly because the look was so cool you didn’t really understand it? You know the person who made the cool people you knew look Provencal? Then somehow you got to know that person, became familiar with the style and maybe even tried it out to see if it would work for you?
As you warmed up to that very fashionable look and attitude, did the style gain your admiration, and suddenly, the old you became tragically obsolete?
Well, MCM has those elements. For a 150-year-old movement, it certainly is enduring. The look seems to re-emerge when the climate gets tough. It made its first appearance with the industrial age and the robber barons. It reappeared after the first world war, the one that was supposed to end all wars. It receded during World War II, but so did a lot of things during that terrible time. Then, right after the war, it came back, right along with the station wagon and baby boomers. Now the Xers and Millennials have claimed it.
For me, French Moderne is queen, for you, it may be a more relaxed, existential approach with clearly defined geometrics and saturated color. One thing is certain, you do not have to have a turquoise or harvest gold kitchen to call your home MCM. It is a straightforward and uncomplicated look. MCM is playful, it doesn’t take itself too seriously, and isn’t that a relief?
Check out the recording from June's Keep It Simple, Summer Design Chat Sneak Peek livestream!