Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Do It Yer Self Design

You'd think in the era of HGTV, home design magazines out the wahzoo, Bravo, information found aaaalllll over Google and so on, people would choose to highlight their homestead in the best possible light as not only a reflection of themselves but also of the vintage and location of the home. But some do not.

Of course, interior design can be incredibly extravagant so perhaps one may be hesitant to broach that subject or perhaps one feels defeated from the start and chooses not to cross that line in to what they may perceive as 'snobby design land.' Perhaps they choose to place all the chatchkas from yesteryear and the ones they are given at Christmas around in a form of guilted kindness.

Well, as an interior designer, myself I can tell you spending a crack ton of money on something may not necessarily get you style or panache -- actually, some of the most expensive things, frankly, are just garish and ridiculous. And if there are items in your home that you hate to look at but are there staring you down because someone gave it to you, get rid of it. Give it away - it's freeing. It's your house, you live in it. And there's my touch of snobbery for you.

So here's a quick lesson on getting what you want out of your house:
1. Pour yourself a cocktail or any relaxing beverage of choice.

2. Sit down in the space you wish to design in a far corner or appropriate vantage point - maybe on the floor even. My mother taught me this.

3. Drink up and think about how lucky you are to be in this world. Think about who you are in your core. Think about what you like about you. Think about how you like to dress, or how you would dress yourself if you could wear anything. Think about what mood you want to feel in a room.

4. Finish your drink. Walk away. Think about this for 3-7 days.

5. Search the internet with key words of how you want this room to function, feel and look like, and get some ideas.

6. Now, paint that room - remember it will look different after you load the furniture back in, so don't get too scared. Maybe the paint color comes from a color you like in a dress, a magazine, a hat, a flower. Just make sure it's not a sharp, violent color. Yes, color (just like lighting), can feel violent. My mother also taught me this.

7. Make yourself a realistic budget. Whether it's a hundred bucks to do a little sprucing up, or $1000 to really go all out.

8. Shopping: ok, yes, this has all the possibilities of being expensive but if your willing to do some leg work and stick to your budget, it can be one of the cheapest adventures you can go on. For example look on craigslist, ebay, etsy, yard sale it up!, consignment stores are great, non-mall home stores (gaaawd, how I loathe the mall), big trash day in your neighborhood (or someone else's), other room's in your house, your parent's house, other people that like to give things away. Hell, send an email to your peeps and tell them what you are looking for - they may just have it and not want it anymore, so lucky you!
My friend Katy just got an amazing little mail-slot-shelf-thingy from her hair salon! The thrill of the hunt and its successes can be addictive, so be careful.

9. Always remember the lighting. There should at least be three light sources in a triangle around the room. And depending on what your doing, remember wattage on those bulbs says everything.

10. Place the furniture first, then layer in your lighting and finds. Remember: like things go together and should be put in pairs or odd sets like three's, five's, et cetera and art is hung at eye level. But don't go overboard; simple is clear and lovely. Hey -- ta da! Enjoy your space!

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