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Design Trends: Four Tips To Make What You See Work In Your Home

Dec 20, 2007
This season sofas have sexy curves that invite you to sit. Geometrics are common in side chairs with styles ranging from big-personality contemporary to more modest mission pieces. Fabulous specialty or trophy pieces, like fur-covered ottomans, add a sense of drama.

So what about your home? Have you been bitten by designer room-envy?

It's likely that most of us have been in a "wow" designed room and wondered how we could make the same idea work in our own home? Well, with these four guidelines to help, you can become your favorite design star.

1) Use your senses

Determine what design features attracted your attention and made you say, "Wow!" Good design smacks you in your senses. It stirs your gut instinct.

Listening to your sensibilities clues you in to what attracted you about the "wow" space, and that understanding affords you not only the inspiration and but the confidence and positive attitude you'll use to get started on your redesign project.

Once you've determined that, make a plan as to what you'll keep and re-deploy and what you'll replace. Take the finished design picture with you everywhere so you are sure you can live with the room after a few days, and so you can match its contents.

2) Consider each element and create a frame for your canvas

Look at each element of the design you wish to recapture. For example, if you are recreating a whole room, start with the ceiling, walls and floor. Create the frame first. If you are focusing on a specific area such as your bed, start with the headboard.

One theory is the item which makes the most impact is the place to start. When the walls and floor are finished, or the headboard looks like the one you admired in the professionally designed room, you're ready to add other elements.

3) Balance and other important considerations

Designers achieve wow-factors because they have developed an eye for balance of proportion and scale of elements. Whether furniture or accessories, harmony of size and placement matters. Study the relationship of pieces so you can copy them.

Then consider colors, textures and patterns. This is what draws interest and eye movement through the room.

Does your room show a geometric chair with a patterned cushion? Can't find patterned cushions like the one in the sample? Maybe you can find ones with the same background color and patterns similar in scale. Whether custom-made, from the showroom, or salvaged from an antique shop, you're bound to find a close match with a bit of effort.

4) Finishing your version of the vision

Seeing your efforts come together is not only satisfying but invigorating. As you assemble the elements that inspired you, notice the details that complete the designer room. Small touches add distinctiveness. A vase of yellow tulips, a hand-beaded picture frame, and decorative lamp finials are examples of details that make a difference. Design is a process and each time you invest in a design project, you are learning.

When you are finished, take a snapshot of your project and compare it to the designer original. So how did you do?
About the Author
Jessica Ackerman, the author of this series of home décor articles, recommends trying decorative metal wall sculptures and exploring discount home décor.
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