Gloria Dodge's Blog
Whether your room is larger or smaller, the wrong size furniture, décor, and accessories cause it to be a distraction to your peace rather than an enhancement. Rattling around in an oversized room with an undersized sofa and a chair or two makes one simple feel out of place. But cramming a small room with that oversized recliner and sofa doesn’t leave room for people at all.
Get more from your small space
Visually enlarge a small room by painting the trim, ceiling, and walls with similar but slightly darker hue or in lighter shades of the same color. Use the lightest shade on the ceiling, the darkest on trim and the medium tone on the walls. If the walls have architectural interest, enhance with an additional level of the same hue to give depth and definition. Keeping the color consistent throughout the room gives coherence to the look.
Scale the furniture to the room. In the smaller space, think low-armed side chairs and a narrow sofa. Or go for a grouping of chairs in a circle, mixing fully-upholstered with wood-trimmed seating to give interest. Remove bulky pieces that fill entire walls and replace them with smaller options. Rugs should fit under the furniture legs but not extend to the walls to pull the grouping into a unified ensemble.
Make furniture do double duty by utilizing a storage ottoman as a coffee table, or a low bookcase as a sofa table. For a cramped entryway, try a gathering of small mirrors to bring light into a dark space.
Go big or go home
In a larger space, you need statement pieces to ground the design. The use of a larger sectional, massive coffee table around which to gather, and an oversized reading chair transforms a large area into a cozy family room. Add side tables, sofa tables, bookshelves and other wood pieces that bring warmth and texture into the room.
A large mirror to draw the eye can fill a wall and bring interest to a windowless expanse and carry light into the room. Mirrors work great in large entryways as well by reflecting architectural details and light into large dark areas. Choose expansive artwork, a soaring vase, a contemporary sculpture to lend interest to your room and draw the eye into the room. Fill walls with larger-scale art or groupings to avoid them appearing empty. Add colorful cushions and throws to bring warmth and coziness to your home.
If your home is too small for your belongings and you crave a larger home, talk to your local real estate specialist to see what’s available to you.
There’s a lot more to interior design than simply picking out the latest trends in home decor. Design principles are also used to make the atmosphere of your home spacious and welcoming, and to make your home livable in a practical way.
In spite of the fact that most people will own a home someday, no one is ever really taught interior design. So, it comes as little surprise that so many people are missing out on simple techniques that can drastically improve their home.
In today’s article, we’re going to share with you some of the best interior design and decorating secrets to help you spruce up your home and make it more practical at the same time.
Low ceiling? No problem
Having a low ceiling can make it difficult to decorate and make your home seem spacious. One great workaround is to avoid tall furniture and seek out chairs with low backs, and bookcases that are wide rather than tall.
Omit hanging lights and ceiling fans and used recessed lighting instead to maximize your space and avoid having taller guests having to dodge objects hanging from the ceiling.
Finally, paint the ceiling white and remove crown molding to give the impression of openness.
Making small rooms feel larger
If you have a small home it can feel difficult to keep things uncluttered while still making sure you have everything you need. There are a few ways to make rooms feel more spacious that don’t involve throwing out your belongings.
First, add mirrors to give the illusion (literally) of space. A single or group of mirrors can be a nice decorative touch that makes a room seem much larger than it is.
Next, paint and decorate with mainly light colors or white. Dark colors will make a room feel smaller.
Lastly, take advantage of hidden storage space, such as tables with drawers underneath, and avoid putting decorations on too many surfaces. Filling the room up with objects will make it appear smaller.
The size of decorations matter
There’s a rule in interior decorating called the “cantaloupe rule.” It states that you should avoid using decorations that are smaller than a cantaloupe.
However, that doesn’t mean this rule can’t be artfully broken. A better description would be that you should omit several small decorations in favor of just a few large ones.
Create a color palette
When choosing the color of your furniture, walls, and decoration it can be easy to just choose whichever color you like for that object rather than what works well in your home. Try making a color palette to adhere to when shopping for these items.
Create a house-wide palette and a palette for each room. Stick to three or four colors that complement each other well for each room, and make sure they aren’t too starkly contrasted from other rooms in your home.
If you aren’t sure about how to design a color palette there are several free online tools you can use to help.
Have you ever wondered how rooms in magazines always seem to be pulled together in a way you just can’t seem to replicate? Spoiler alert: the secret sauce is the addition of greenery and fresh cut flowers. But don’t worry you don’t have to run out and buy bouquets of flowers each week to gain the same effect for your home. You can turn your new home into a green paradise all year long with these five easy to care for plants.
Aloe - A plant that’s easy to care for no matter how green your thumb, the aloe is a hearty plant that can survive a little neglect here and there. Note, though, that the aloe does do best in dry areas and while it can go without frequent watering you want to ensure it is in a pot that drains well to avoid root rot. A large aloe plant can add balance to a minimalist room while a row of smaller plants adds whimsical charm to a child’s room.
English ivy - Here’s a plant for the homeowner who wants a plant to add some decorative interest. As a sprawling plant, the English ivy will look beautiful draped along shelves or windows. The ivy is another easy to grow plant that doesn’t require frequent watering and will thrive with lots of light.
Rubber tree - Looking for something to fill a bare corner? Pick up a rubber tree to add life to the room. Its height allows it to make a statement on its own without a corner table to put it at eye level. This tree prefers indirect light and only requires watering about once or twice a month.
Peace lily - Add some beautiful blooms to a room all year with the peace lily. Not only does it boast beautiful white petals, it is also known to greatly improve air quality. This lily is easy to care for and can be coaxed it to bloom all year in a room with low light conditions.
Spider plant - Draw the eye upward in small rooms by hanging the spider plant from the ceiling. With proper care, this plant will eventually offshoot with “babies” that add more visual interest to its foliage with delicate white flowers. Another plant known for its ability for improving air quality the spider plant is easy to care for.
When choosing plants to add to a room don’t be afraid to get creative as you would with decor and take into consideration how well the color and shape of the plant matches the style of your home. Whether you reach for something to sprawl out over a sparsely filled bookshelf with the English ivy or fill an awkward corner with the rubber tree keep the flow of the room in mind. Happy decorating!
Why minimalism?If you're the type of person who lives in a "well-organized mess" and is able to function highly in this environment, maybe you don't need to strip things down. Or, if you feel the most comfortable in a busy room and are able to get more work done this way, maybe the busy and cozy office environment works for you. However, the majority of people don't fit that description. We tend to do our best work when we have only the necessities at had. Having a minimal home office has numerous benefits. Aside from helping you focus and adding a spacious, pleasant atmosphere to the room, minimalism can help your room look more updated and modern (increasing the value of your home), and can help you save money once you start making only the most useful purchases for your home office.
Your office as a workshopIf you work on cars in your garage and nothing else, you'll probably only want to fill your garage with the right tools for the job. This is also true for your home office. We have a tendency of putting old and extra furniture and decorations from our house into the less frequented rooms, like a home office. Look around your office. Has it become a storage room for old pillows, lamps, or furniture? If so, this is your chance to get rid of some items to clear up the room. Unlike your garage, the tools for the job needed in your home office have been extremely cut down thanks to technology. Among the items that laptops and smartphones have made obsolete:
- filing cabinets--Google Drive and Dropbox can securely store all your documents
- calculators--your phone and laptop have these
- hole punches
- landline telephones
- bulletin boards
- desktop calendars and planners
Minimal decoratingSince simple living and minimalism are current trends there are a range of resources available to you when looking to revamp your home office. Some decorating tips to help you along the way:
- Shop modular. Modular furniture from stores like IKEA and VITSOE are great space savers.
- Keep your surfaces clear. Avoid the urge to cover your desk with items. That goes for tables, floors, walls, and ceilings as well.
- Think about color. Using bright colors for your walls and ceiling will make your room feel more spacious and minimal.
- Nature is your friend. Natural light and one or two plants will compliment any minimal space.
Choose your plants wiselyAll plants are different. Some flower for different lengths of time or even at completely opposite times of the year. When it comes to cut flowers, they too last varying lengths depending on the species. The time a cut flower lasts before wilting is called its vase life. The vase life is a hard life. But certain flowers withstand it better than others.
- Chrysanthemums (25-30 days) - They're not a flashy flower, and they don't need much to survive in a vase other than fresh water each day
- Orchids (10-30 days) - There are countless varieties of orchids available. Aside from their unique form and appearance, orchids can also be surprisingly hardy
- Anthurium or "flamingo flower" (15-45 days) - Flamingo flowers are a rare sight, and last quite a long time if maintained properly. But pet owners beware: they're considered toxic to dogs and cats
Preparing the vaseThe first thing to remember is to clean a vase thoroughly before you put flowers in it. Once clean, start to prepare your water. Plants need food too. If your flowers came with plant food this is the best option for preserving your flower. Otherwise, there are homemade recipes for plant solution that usually involve something acidic and something sugary. Lemon juice and sugar work well mixed with water. Or you can mix one part lemon-lime soda (not diet soda) with three parts water. Next, cut the flowers slightly longer than the length of the vase and pop them in.
Caring for your flowerThe job's not over once you put the flowers in the vase. The real trick to making flowers last longer is caring for them once in the vase.
- Trim a centimeter or less off of the stems every other day
- Add water as needed and refresh the water after a few days. Be sure to add your plant food solution as well
- The flowers themselves can be maintained as well. Most flowers benefit from being misted with water once every day or two. Others recommend spraying things like hair spray which acts as a preservative directly onto the petals. Though it seems do defeat the purpose of taking such care to keep the flowers healthy.
- Be sure to keep the flowers in a temperate place. If the flowers or water heat up or cool down too much the flowers could wilt