Does your living room look like this “Before” picture? OK, then allow me break down the “professional” decorating choices of the “After” living room picture in a way that you and everybody else can understand! Ready, set, go!
  1. Think in Color Families. Work with a small color palette. Three colors in any one room is plenty in my book. In this case grey, navy, and green is all that is needed to bring the room out of the gloomy “Before” photo. Working within a streamlined color palette not only helps the room feel cohesive, but also helps to eliminate the chaos and calm the space.

  1. Fix Proportion Problems. Here the room’s windows are placed too high on the wall and are too small for the room. Make them appear larger and better suited to the space size by placing the drapery rods as high as possible, hanging art below each of the windows, and hanging four drapery panels to unify the three windows into one large one. Yes, it’s a bit of smoke and mirrors, but it works!

  1. Repeat, Repeat & Repeat. Use the three-times rule: repeat the accent color three times. Look closely at the “After” picture; navy is used once on the back wall of the bookcases, again in the throw pillows, and finally on the bench top and dining chairs. Bookcase wall, pillows, upholstery that’s three times!

  1. Do the Math in Percentages. In the “Before” picture the room is a boring, builder beige and brown. In the “After” picture the room is 70% soft grey (walls, upholstered sofa, arm chairs, and cabinetry), 20% navy (bookcase wall, pillows and upholstery) and 10% green (drapery panels and accessories). 70 + 20 + 10 = 100%. Easy-peasy math.

  1. Use White to Freshen Things Up. A brighter, creamier white (for the trim) will stand up better against the soft grey than the white used in the “Before” picture. Here in the “After” picture it’s used on the fireplace, the crown and baseboards.  Note that the ceiling color is painted in a lighter tint of the grey wall color, not just defaulting to plain white.  This is a sure sign that a professional decorator has chosen the room’s color palette. It completes the final “ta-da” of the room!

  1. Accessorize In a Way That Suits YOUR Interests. There’s no need to try for trendy, fashionable, or mainstream. Pull from the room’s color palette and proportions. Notice the accessories on the bookcases are grouped by the colors of the room. They also fit nicely on the shelves, not oversized but not so small that they get lost in the space. And yes, “less is more” when it comes to accessorizing.

And if you have no time or patience for any of these lessons, give me a call for a “Design Consultation”! Yes, I really do love decorating!