Room Remedies | Tips to Try

We all get stuck in ruts with our rooms.  We add and re-arrange and tweak and we just can't get it right.  Oftentimes the most important thing to do is to figure out what the problem is first.  If you've been in the room messing with it for awhile, you may need to take a break.  Take a step back for a day or two and then look at the room as a whole.  We get caught up in the little details a lot and don't consider  how the room makes us feel---the big picture matters!  So first, let's diagnose your problem.

Since not everybody has a giant house, a big complaint we often hear is that the room feels small.  We are big fans of selecting fewer items that are larger scale.  This method brings in high impact pieces that don't clutter up a space.  For example, if your walls are just a mess and your eye doesn't flow over them easily it can make a space feel smaller-- try re-thinking your art selections.  Do you have a bunch of small pieces of art or is there one piece or installation that your eye is drawn to.  You'd be surprised how 1 large piece of impact art can really tie a room together and ground it.  Sometimes, the only thing a room needs is more light!  Light makes spaces feel more open and airy and can help take away from that cramped feeling you get.  No, we don't suggest busting down the wall and adding more windows, but a large floor mirror can create the same effect for much less hassle and money!  Finally, since we're speaking of windows, consider your window treatments.  Low hanging, heavy window treatments can absolutely cramp and room and make it feel much smaller than it really is.  If this is the case for you, try mounting your window treatments further above the window.  This creates the illusion of larger windows and taller ceilings which equals a more-open feeling space.

Maybe you get the feeling that your space isn't inviting.  It feels too harsh and not comfortable or family friendly.  Take a look at the pieces you have.  Are the mostly wood pieces?  Do you have many softwoods in your space?  Softgoods do just that, soften.  Add pillows, soft drapery panels, rugs...all of these things will make a room feel more comfortable.  If you've done all that and need something more, try bringing in pieces that are a little more distressed and weathered.  These types of pieces will dress down a space and make it feel less stiff.  Swapping out some of the patterns you've selected can make an impact too.  More whimsical, free-flowing patterns are going to make a space feel more casual than harsh lines!

Or maybe you have the opposite problem.  Your room is too casual.  There's something about it that feels unfinished or incomplete.  Oftentimes this is where accessories come in.  Accessories--things like pillows, picture frames, art, and lighting can add up but they are worth it in the end!  You may just need a large rug to tie the furniture together or a coffee table or ottoman to ground the room.  If so, select pieces that have a little sheen or gloss---items that are more dressy will add an additional layer of texture that contributes to making a room feel finished.

Most likely, your room dilemma fits into one of these categories, so hopefully one of these tips will work for you!

Interior Advice | Adding Style to a Narrow Space

Last week we talked about dealing with small spaces.  This week we're going to discuss another design challenge: narrow spaces!  Narrow spaces could be anything from a small bathroom to a side yard.  This skinny areas can be found all over and can oftentimes be difficult to work with.  So today we're going over some different ways that you can make narrow spaces look a little less awkward and a lot more functional.

If we had to sum up the overall method we suggest you take when decorating a narrow space, it would be to follow the same rules of form and function that you would with any other space--however, you may have to pick and choose which of these are best to focus on in your narrow space.

For instance, you'll want a main focal point.  This is not any different from decorating any other space, but in a narrow space, you'll want to be careful to consider where that focal point is and how it makes the rest of the space feel--smaller or larger?

You'll also want to consider color and determine how the color effects the way the space feels.  In a narrow space, you'll likely want to select a color that opens the space up instead of making it feel more cozy.

Create a little bit of a distraction--this can be done in different ways but the main goal is to make people look at the room as a whole instead of focusing on how narrow it is.  Make sure the space has the layers and style necessary to hold it's own rather than just turning into a junk corner.  Odd-shaped spaces can have style too!

Don't highlight hard edges in a narrow space!  Make the room feel soft and open instead of harsh and square.  Go with more organic shapes when decorating instead of square objects.  This goes for art too--since what's on the walls affects the overall emotion associated with the space.  Pick something that appeals to the softer side of your senses.

Focus on the height of the furniture you bring in to a narrow space.  If you select furniture that is low and streamlined, you could be contributing to something called the "corridor effect" where a narrow space begins looking and feeling like a corridor because the furniture is too low.  Bring in taller pieces and vary the heights so that the eye is distracted from focusing on the shape of the room because it's moving over the varying levels of furniture!

And, of course, pay attention to lighting!  Consider the type of light you're bringing into a narrow space (LED, incandescent, fluorescent, etc)  and the location.  You may struggle with where to place lamps if there isn't a lot of room for tables, so narrow spaces often have hanging lights or wall scones.  Even though you may be forced to incorporate this type of lighting, it adds a little extra style and detail that will go a long way in the overall look of the space.  

There ya go!  Hopefully those tips help when you come upon that frustrating narrow little corner of your home that you just can't figure out what to do with.