beautifully decorated space not only functions well, it sets a mood
and reflects your style and personality. But homeowners often are
unsure how to combine design elements that will result in a room with
wow factor. Local experts weigh in on the design rules that are the
foundation for any well-planned living area.
Buy what you
love. Art should reflect your taste and be something that you enjoy
living with everyday, says Tory Folliard, who owns Tory Folliard
Gallery in the Third Ward. Fabrics and furnishings will change over
the years while the art will be with you for many years.
before the furnishings. Interiors are more interesting if the art
doesnít match the fabrics. "Itís easier to find furnishings
that go with the art than the other way around," Folliard says.
Mix it up. Donít
be afraid to mix the medium, color and sizes of art in your home,
Folliard says. Consider using different medium, such as paintings with
works on paper, and sculpture.
measurements. According to Mara Wierschke, a designer with Thomasville
Furniture in Brookfield, the first step in selecting the right
furniture is to determine the size of your space. If you want precise
dimensions, use a tape measure. Or measure your foot and then walk
heel to toe across the room to get a basic estimate.
according to function. Consider how you will use a room and arrange
your furniture accordingly. Create easy conversation in the living
room by facing the sofa opposite a pair of comfortable chairs. In the
media room, where watching TV is top priority, a sectional sofa offers
flexible seating and invites lounging.
conquer. For homes with open concept layouts, proper furniture
placement is essential to defining individual spaces. To divide a
large space, Wierschke suggests enlisting a decorative piece like a
folding screen. "You can also use area rugs to define furniture
groupings," she says.
Find a focal
point. A well-designed room always has a main point of interest ó an
element that is interesting and draws your eye like a fireplace or a
picture window with a fabulous view. If your space is lacking a
natural focal point, create one, says Marcia Klode, owner of Mille
Tesori Design Studio in Thiensville. "Highlight a piece of
artwork or furniture like an armoire or a flat screen TV," she
says. Another option is to paint one wall in the room a contrasting
No decorating technique can transform a room as effectively as the use
of color. "Color creates illusion and sets the mood," says
Klode. Not bold enough to dress your walls in rich reds or vivid
blues? Then keep the wall color neutral and accessorize with colorful
pillows, window treatments and art.
Lighting should be both functional and enhance your decorating scheme.
According to Klode, a well-lit room incorporates three light sources
ó overhead fixtures to brighten the space, task lighting like floor
and table lamps for everyday activities, and accent lighting (wall
scones, recessed spotlights, etc.) to emphasize decorative elements. m