Donna Moy-Bruno's Blog
Sometimes you just can't decide if you like modern, traditional, antiques, or transitional. The decision to choose one over the others is even more difficult if you've inherited family heirlooms with which you simply can't part. So, what do you do? Make a mashup that expresses all your styles!
Mix and match
Avoid the confining idea that furnishings need to match in order to “go.” A traditional sofa, Mid-Century Modern chair, an Art Deco table, and antique lamps can fit together as long as you remember and practice some of these "rules"—actually, they're more like suggestions since everything depends on what you own and want to keep.
- Size matters. You can blend nearly any style together in your eclectic home as long as each piece is of similar “weight” in the overall scheme of things. What is weight? The thickness of the wood, height of the chairs, balance of the materials, all contribute to how a piece dominates the room. A heavy traditional leather sofa might overshadow a fine antique table, so perhaps they belong in different places.
- Composition communicates. When everything in the room is modern except that one piece, it might seem out of place. Compose a balanced creation that has a few items from each era to make your design purposeful.
- Texture transforms. When mixing several wood types or finishes, find a unifying texture to tie the pieces together. Make your sofa pillows of a similar feel to your throw and tablecloths so that it pulls the look together. Or utilize disparate textures in similar hues to drive the narrative of the room.
- Metals magnify. Mixing metallics such as a metal and glass side table with natural wooden chairs and painted bookshelves makes layers in light and crisp, reflective and matte, to give your room depth and dimension.
- Color calms. As mentioned above, utilizing a similar hue or range of shades from the same palette pulls the look together while deliberate splashes of a contrasting color provide interest and draw the eye.
- Frame it up. To create equivalent mass to wall art, balance a large modern piece on one wall with a collage of smaller art in a variety of frames opposite. Spotlight a large framed mirror above a fireplace to add drama, or set it atop a Mid-Century Modern credenza to juxtapose eras.
Ultimately, your style is all about what makes you happy. If your pieces don't yet lend themselves to an utterly eclectic look, keep adding to your collection until they do. And if you're looking for an especially unique home, let your property specialist know what's on your mind.
Suzanne Caso gives us a guided tour of Avenue C Design, a unique shopping experience located at Eastleigh Farm in Framingham on Edmands Rd.
Everybody loves the feel of a new home, or in the absence of that, an old home with a new look. If you truly want to give your home a new look, you could try out some of these ideas. They are well within budget range and are sure to give your home that wow factor for at least a few more years.
- Change the covers on your sofas. Changing your entire chair and sofa set is guaranteed to change the look of your home, but if that's out of pocket reach for you, get new covers for your armchairs and settees. It does the work beautifully, even though the chairs are the same, they look different and previous guests might not be able to tell the difference. For an extra touch, rearrange the placement of the chairs around the house.
- Spraypaint your dining chairs If you have wooden or plastic chairs in your kitchen or dining area, then spray painting them will entirely not be a bad idea. You could decide to do different colors for different chairs and see how they look. If your chairs happen to have padded seats or upholstered in any way, you should call in a professional to do the paint job so as not to damage them. But a new color in your kitchen is definitely worth it.
- Add a personalized touch The difference between owning a house and making a home is usually that added touch of personality. Adding new photos and personal mementos around the house gives it a new look. The entire family could all go for a new photo shoot and hang up the pictures around the home. Alternatively, decide to change the frame of the current images you have up. Nothing is off limits. Let your home breathe "you" for every guest to see.
- Add wall art You might not be the most astute art collector, but you can definitely pick out a good piece of art, and good art is not always pricey. Check out your local thrift store or garage sales around your neighborhood for attractive pieces you can hang on the wall. Sculptures, paintings, ceramics, all will contribute to making your house take on an entirely different look. For more options on affordable wall art, check out auction sales and exhibitions at local art colleges near you.
Stressed out and wishing you had room in the budget for a trip to Hawaii? Take a vacation whenever you want from the comfort of your home by creating a home sanctuary. When you have a peaceful refuge just a few footsteps down the hall you can easily take 15 minutes to yourself to relax and take the edge off whenever you like.
Start by selecting your space. You can turn a spare room or unused corner of the home into your sanctuary. When choosing a place take the foot traffic and lighting of the area into consideration. For example, you may find it distracting of your new sanctuary is across from the bathroom your family uses frequently or if there is a harsh glare at sunrise or sunset.
Decide on how you’ll spend time in this area. While you may hear sanctuary and immediately assume it’s a space for meditation or prayer this can be a quiet place for you to do any activity you find soothing. This may be reading, painting, writing or even putting a puzzle together. Once you know how you would like to utilize the room you can add furniture that will easily allow you to immerse yourself in an activity. Consider soft lighting, a desk, rug, large chair, and any tools necessary for your chosen activity. This could mean adding anything from a meditation pillow to an easel.
Handy hint: keep what you do add to the room intentional and functional. To maintain a calming environment that is easy to relax in avoid clutter from finding it’s way into this room and taking over. Add plants to bring a touch of peaceful nature to the room and purify the air. Choose soft, neutral colors to decorate with. If you are using a corner of a room for your sanctuary you can section the area off for privacy with a room divider or bookshelf.
If you don’t have space in your home for a dedicated sanctuary you can easily turn any space into a peaceful area by turning on some relaxing music and lighting some candles whose smells you find soothing. If you’re open to redecorating you can take the above tips and apply them to your living room or family den. You can even get your whole family to join in by limiting tv time and scheduling a “calm hour” for everyone to take a break and just chill.
Don’t wait all year for a two-week vacation to relax. Bring the elements that soothe your soul to your everyday routine into your home whether with a hobby like building a puzzle or setting dedicated quiet time for the whole family. When you make it simple to take a timeout from the day it’s harder to put off taking the time to relax. Your health will thank you!