Recently, Canadian House & Home published a great blog article, Styling a Room by Michael Penney. I completely agree with Penney; It’s the layers that make a room and pull it all together visually. In the before photo above, the living room has some nice design elements, but is unbalanced, uninviting and lacks a focal point.
The after photo below (via Country Living), shows what a little styling can do. As Penney points out, a few design elements haven’t change including the sofa, wing chair and wall color. Here are some principles and elements of design that come to play in this redesign:
Define the Space
The most obvious addition in the room is the striped area rug. In addition to anchoring the furnishings and defining the space, it also brings needed texture to the space. When purchasing a rug, it is important to find one that is large enough so that all your furniture fits (it’s okay if the back half of a chair or sofa are not on the rug, but the front half should).
Establish a Focal Point
New drapes, parallel furniture arrangement and artwork in a vertical pattern emphasizes the room’s architectural window and creates a needed focal point in the room. However, I would have added the same drapes to the adjacent window for a more balanced look. This leads me to my next tip;
Create Balance Through Scale and Proportion
The original room also had too much visual weight or mass. In the styled room, one wing chair is replaced with a lighter Windsor chair. Mixing materials can also help balance a room. In this case a metal coffee table takes the place of a wooden one (too many wood elements in the before room). Equilibrium is also achieved by the parallel furniture grouping.
Build Color Harmony
Pulling from the room’s wall color, solid yellow and green throw pillows are added to the sofa creating a more harmonious color palette. However, I would recommend at least one textile print for a pillow, window treatment or chair that pulls all of the primary colors in room’s palette together. Galbraith & Paul’s Donuts pattern in warm would be a good choice for this living room.
What elements of design helped you pull together a space?