Beginnings are always the hardest. When starting to decorate your apartment it is difficult to know how to start. We were told to follow 9 simple steps. And they worked, every single time. The philosophy behind them is to create a living space that feels unique, tells something about the owner, and mixes and matches pieces that you would never put in one space – if you are in right mind. Like that you can create a series of focal points that will visually overpower your ability to comprehend the space all at once. The place will be perceived as intriguing, unique and a bit mystic.
Photo by G. A. Huges
Step #1: Paint the room. Preferably with dark tones.
Paint the walls, floors, window frames, doors, skirting, ceiling . . . actually everything in the same color. It creates a sense of space and coziness. White is great, but dark, moody, sludgy colors are even better!
Step #2: Relaxed furniture arrangement.
Sofas, beds, cupboards and tables do not need to be placed right to the wall. Allow your space to breath, position them away from the wall and at different angles as it creates a more informal feel. Simple test if you have followed the rule correctly – you are not able to cross the room in a straight line without bumping into furniture ☺.
Photo: Abigail Ahern – blog
Step #3: Layers, layers, layers. Never underestimate the layers.
Taken it literally, this means those extra blankets and throws you pile on to stay warm. But it also means all the decorative elements you add to a room to create interest, texture, and depth. Whether layers increase your physical comfort, please the eye, or hide parts of a room that make you cringe, there are tons of reasons to go multi-dimensional. On the picture you can find best ways to layer throws, rugs, and other decor, to dealing with patterns, color, and fabrics. And do no forget different textures give space comfort and style.
Step #4: Play with proportions.
Take a walk on the bold side – create a magical Alice in Wonderland effect with oversized mirrors, lamps, side tables. You can also achieve it by contrasting the scale – placing a mirror that is far too big for the mantelpiece or a massive vase on a small table.
Step #5: Embrace imperfection.
The effect of this on the senses is ease. So go for off-kilter symmetry e.g., hang your chandelier way too low and off center; scatter a variety of mismatched cushions in randomly manner, arrange different styles of chairs around an old table, include lamps of varying heights (never matching nor color nor style), fill bookshelves with art works and vases.
Step #6: Ambient lighting.
Do not forget the importance of correct lightning. When doing it right can completely change the look and feel of a space. Different activities require different types and levels of light. There are three basic types of lighting: general, task and accent. All this combined will reflect in cozy ambiance.
Step #7: Create contrasts.
This can be achieved in variety of ways by mixing contemporary and traditional furniture, varying texture so soft fabrics contrast with hard bricks or wood, shinning surfaces appear next to rough ones. Use a variety of patterns, but if you do so restrict the color palate.
Step #8: Be brave and unexpected.
Allow about 10% of your decor to be fun. Embrace quirky items. Have fun with bold color.
Photo: Abigail Ahern
Step #9: Never forget the flowers.
Take a good survey of your home. Take into account the decor, color schemes, natural light, and possible display surfaces. If you are not a green thumb sort of person, or your life is on a fast lane – use the faux flowers. I know what you think right now – but pictures tell more than thousand words. (And yes, they are all faux.)
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