Layer Five - Verticals
YOU NAILED IT
You paid enough for your space, put every inch of it to work. Address the vertical, use that unused and often neglected wall space between the floor and the ceiling. In other words, express yourself!
“If a house is made of walls and beams;” and “a home is built with love and dreams”, why do so many well-loved and well-intentioned projects become nightmares? Does this sound familiar, “I did it my way and my dream became a nightmare?”
Could be, you haven’t “NAILED IT”. Think of it this way, if home is a shelter from storms, the walls are the guardians of grace. As a designer, an unfinished, neglected blank wall is a sad and unnecessary thing.
There are many reasons to access the vertical space in your room. Below are just a few.
1) Art is fundamental to defining who you are. It makes your space your own. Where else can you show off the things that bring you joy. Nail ‘em up!
2) Art will take your room to the next level. Are you ready for the ride? Are you ready to step up and create a space that really pleases the spirit and the soul and at the same time tells all of those who visit how truly savvy and awesome you are? Visitors probably won’t consciously realize the true greatness of your space, they will only bask in the glory of your goodness and think, how did she do that?
3) Art shakes up the interior. It can turn the wall where the beautiful sofa, that usually seems to cost more than it should, sits, into a masterpiece, a symphony. How often have you placed a beautiful sofa in your room only to have it melt into the wall? Art and wall hangings can make your place sing with glory. Without a focal point the room can become bland, banal, and just plan boring, no matter how much you spend on the furniture.
What are the art rules? That is just the point, there are only a couple and they are S I M P L E.
1) Do not hang your art or any wall hanging so high that it loses all relevance to the room. (12-18 inches above something is the general rule)
2) Do not spread it art out. If you only have a couple of pieces they will not fill the room no matter how far apart you place them. Remember, there is safety in numbers. Keep ‘em together and keep ‘em strong.
Above all have fun. If you love it use it. If you fall out of love or grow beyond it, we all know this can happen, remove it, sell it, or share it with someone.
This is your space, express yourself!
Layer Four - Lighting
Bright lights bad vibes?
It could be because you are in the spotlight. Take the living room test. Think about your living room. Does it shine as the star of your home or is it so bright you cannot stay in it for too long?
Lighting influences your emotions. The brighter the light the more intense the emotion. Think of it this way, bright lights lots of fights, softer light all is right. This is especially true for the rooms of your home where you want to have a soft place to relax and unwind.
It has been said that emotions, like wrinkles, are harsher under bright lights. Studies suggest that emotions are experienced more intensely under bright lights, possibly, because, light is perceived as heat, and the perception of heat can trigger emotions.
Quick question, who wants to live in a hothouse that magnifies feelings and wrinkles? No one I know of, maybe a lizard with good botox, but that is a discussion for another time.
Back to LAYER 4, Lighting. Design circles agree that there are three types of lighting required to complete a room. That’s right, required, not recommended.
The first is ambient lighting. This is the soft “natural” light that comes in from windows, doors and ceiling lights.
Windows and doors can give a room daytime zing. Beautiful sun beams streaming through the windows and French doors creating warmth and beauty, washing the room in a warm glow, and quite possibly fading very thing in its path (but that is another design discussion). The ambient lighting for this discussion is commonly called the ceiling light. There are several types of those.
A flush mount ceiling light is like lightening, it blazes in the night from an isolated switch on the wall. Casting harsh, odd shadows on all the objects that fall in its path. This is the cruelest of all lights. Floors and furniture reveal the soils and stains that are cleverly hidden in the light of day.
This unrelenting source of energy in addition to revealing all that is hidden can also add years and pounds to unsuspecting victims who happen to sit or stand under her intensive gaze. Note, the extra five pounds that is so cleverly hidden during the daylight hours is unmasked even the for savviest of dressers.
Dimmers, recessed lighting, chandeliers and wall scones. While overhead fixtures can act like the cruel masters of room light, a dimmer can tame that mean revealer of all secrets into a benign and even affectionate fixture.
The second sister is task lighting. She is a remarkable addition to the room. Not only does she bring a warm downward glow enabling those who bask in her light to read, visit or work on the computer, she can bring beauty into the space, adding value and definition to the overall look of the room. And as is so often the case with the middle sibling her value is often overlooked. She can be so accommodating offering a three-way switch that will let the user have the light strength needed for the task.
Finally, there is the baby sister, accent lighting. Like all baby sisters, she is the favorite. She brings elegance and grace. Unlike her second sister, who casts warm downward light, this sister is upwardly mobile.
Her focus is to point out and shine on the interesting pieces in the room, a piece of art, interesting architecture or to disguise any architectural flaws in the room.
There you have it the three sisters, each brining something vital, functional and beautiful to your space. Step into to the light, enjoy.
Layer Three - Tables
I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE! CAN YOU H E L P ME?
That is what one of my darling customer’s said recently. She couldn’t take it anymore.
The problem was a BLR (Bad Living Room Relationship).
Her living room had failed the living room test. And she and it were now in a bad relationship.
She was so frustrated. She said, “My living room is all brown, it doesn’t work, and I JUST CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE.”
Turns out the room was monotonous. It was all the same color, brown; and the tables, lamps and accessories were not helping relieve the drabness or the boredom. That is one of the main issues with relationships isn’t? You just get bored and things get tedious. Her living room had worn out its welcome. It was no longer bringing anything to the table.
What she wanted a GLR (Great Living Room Relationship). So, we got to work, to create
room that was super G so she is could enjoy a GLR (Great Living Room Relationship).
After we had visited a while, she realized she had held onto monotonous brown because it felt safe, but it was not loving and hugging on her. It was not giving her the quality relationship that she deserved. It had to change.
This is what happened next. We stayed with earth tones, that is the name for brown when you spice it up, and we did just that, we spiced it up. We brought in some happy, brighter colors to give some zest to the space. We added some excitement, SPICEY!
Now, you would think that would do it, right? It is a great start and upholstery is layer 2, but here is how layer 3, the tables, did their part to create a G space.
Tables are considered the FUNCTIONAL layer. They work hard. They hold drinks, phones, remotes, lamps, books, feet and sometimes, even work like a chair.
Rule #1, most rooms NEED a coffee table. It is the centerpiece. It brings everything together. It should not be closer that 18” to the sofa, after all, a good relationship gives you room to move doesn’t it?
Rule #2, the upholstery, sofas, loveseats, and chairs should have a table nearby, (a side table that is). Also, always remember, one height doesn’t fit all. Rule of thumb, a side table works best when it is no lower than an inch or two below the arm of the seat next to it. You do want to be able to reach out and touch in a relationship, don’t you?
Rule #3, you can mix and match the tables. If your room already has a lot of wood, mix in a metal or glass top table. They will bring in the energy you need to keep the monotony away. Plus, glass top tables are very practical in a room, you can just wipe the spills away...(don’t you wish you could do that in a human relationship?)
Well, that’s what we do, and we sure have created a lot of beautiful rooms in the process jlapoam. (JUST LIKE A PICTURE OUT OF A MAGAZINE)
Layer Two - The Upholstery
The topic is RELATIONSHIPS.
Are you in a good relationship with your living room?
A living room that loves and hugs on you and your family will help any relationship issue, won’t it?
Think of it, pleasing place to go to celebrate victories, a comforting place to mourn losses, or a great spot that says GOOD MORNIN’ or WELCOME HOME.
I was working with a darling woman the other day; she is redoing her whole life, making a clean break and building a beautiful, new relationship, one that will be fulfilling this time. (The last one was not so fulfilling).
So, what does this have to do with decorating and redesigning a living room?
Take the living room test.
It’s easy – go into your living room and look around and then go to a mirror, if there is a smile on your face – then everything is just right, but if there is a frown – it is a bad relationship.
To fix the pain, it may be time to start over…
Layer 1 is the room itself – doors, windows, floor, ceiling, etc. (the givens for this conversation).
If the room itself, LAYER 1, is the bone structure, then LAYER 2 is the muscle.
Layer 2 is the UPHOLSTERY and it is where we begin for all of you in a BLR (BAD LIVINGROOM RELATIONSHIP)
– SOFAS, CHAIRS, LOVESEATS, SECTIONALS (more on sectionals later)
The largest piece in the room is generally the sofa, and it can be very bossy. Pick the cover with care, after all, like your mother always said, a tiger cannot change it’s stripes and neither can your sofa.
Think about the number of seats you need, LOTS of people or just a few? LOTS of people and the room needs to be very intentional, and planned. One to two people everyday much more flexibility.
Five people everyday – prescription: sofa, loveseat, two comfortable chairs, or two sofas and two chairs, or a sectional (more on sectionals later).
Build a fulfilling relationship with your living room; make it “just like a picture out of a magazine”.
La-Z-Boy Gulf Coast, Mobile, Spanish Fort, and Pensacola.
Visit our website www.marksinteriors.com
Let’s talk BLR, Bad Living Room Relationships!