I love the make-over shows on TV. They are full of good ideas. Sometimes I can adapt an idea and make it work for me or a client but sometimes I just shake my head and hope that NOBODY takes the idea and does it for herself - my favorite ‘Don’t Do This’ idea was Hildy ‘s bathroom on Trading Spaces a few years ago where she took about 3 THOUSAND plastic flowers, cut off the stems and hot-glue gunned the flowers to the walls of a bathroom. I think she had forgotten what I believe to be one of the cardinal rules of decorating: Functional pieces must be functional. No matter how great it looks, if it doesn’t work for the people who live there, it isn’t a good idea. It could be that the ice blue color of the walls makes the room so cold it is very uncomfortable in the winter. Or it could be the overstuffed leather chairs are so large no-one’s feet touch the floor. Or it could be that the large screen TV is so big that watching it, looking up, gives everyone a kink in their neck. Far too often I have heard home owners say that the TV must be in one corner or against one wall because that is where the cable outlet is situated. I’m sorry but Larry the Cable Guy should not be telling you how you decorate your rooms and you most certainly should not be listening.
Of course there need to be some things in the home that are there just because you love them. William Morris said, over 100 years ago ‘If you want a Golden Rule that will fit everything this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful’. Things that serve a function should be functional, things that serve no purpose other than to be beautiful should be beautiful. Just because your Aunt Lil gave you that ’unusual’ lamp for a wedding present does not mean you must display it in your living room. Maybe that cushion cover was beautiful 10 years ago, but now it’s just plain old tired. It doesn’t have feelings. The feelings about it are yours, keep the memories tucked away but get rid of the tattered old cushion.
Pick a vision for the room. Do you want the master bedroom to be restful, peaceful, beautiful, calm? Look at each and every thing in that room and if it does not fit into that vision then it does not belong in the room. It’s really that simple but it can be difficult to separate emotions and objectivity.
Here is another instance of how a decorator or designer can help and save you time and money. We can look at a room objectively; we see a lamp, a rug and a cushion, not Aunt Lil, Mexico and the Market on Granville Island. We see what works together and what does not. We can help you define your vision and help you get started making your rooms special.