Chic Happens

Decorating projects should be like a well-planned vacation. Instead of running around trying to see and do everything, spend your time, energy and money doing what really counts. And above all - enjoy the experience!

Hereís an example of how your list should read:

  • Find your inspiration. Perhaps itís a photo from a magazine or something as simple as a pillow.

Photo: Traditional Home Design, Amy Bergman

  • If you are using an area carpet, select that first. A rug with a busy or bold pattern will be the main focus of the room, while a simple solid colour wool will take backstage to other patterns or textures you introduce as illustrated in the photos above.
  • Once you have your carpet, assemble everything else using swatches and photos.
  • Next, select your sofa and chairs. I usually suggest large pieces (sofa or sectional) be covered in a solid neutral fabric - no pattern. This ensures that you wonít tire of your investment and allows you to change the toss pillows seasonally to refresh the look of your room. From there you can add patterned or textured fabric on occasional chairs and ottomans. Take photos of pieces you like and ask for fabric samples. Add these to your other photos and see how the room is coming together.
  • Now you can introduce drapery fabric. You donít have to shy away from patterned fabrics provided the scale is correct. In the House Beautiful photo above, they have mixed a small sheer check with a striped carpet and plaid sofa. Another option could be a large scale floral in soft grey/blue and white.
  • Start assembling toss cushions at this point. Solids, patterns and textures that will bring colour from the carpet and draperies onto the sofa and chairs.
  • Next, look at coffee tables and end tables, keeping in mind placement of all your furniture. Take measurements of the tables you are looking at and make sure they will fit in your space. Add ambient lighting. Again, take photos of what you find and add to your room plan. Note prices!
  • While you are shopping be aware of accessories but donít get distracted by them. Take photos of what you like but leave this to last or it will throw you off your plan.
  • Finally paint! Take all your fabric samples and lay them out in a bright area with natural light to see what colour you want to pull from the fabrics for the walls. Borrow a paint fan from your local paint store. Most paint stores have testers available if you feel you need to narrow down your choices by seeing them on the wall.
  • Lastly, once everything has been ordered and set up in the room you can start accessorizing.
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