I can’t count the number of times clients of mine have shown me photos from a past Street of Dreams shows to illustrate a style or piece they want in their own home. They loved it. They photographed it. They want that look.
This is how the NW Natural Street of Dreams is known. It is a concept home show featuring the best of the best, the newest trends and fashions. While the homes are generally out of the average homeowner’s price point, they are still full of innovative design and decorating ideas for just about anyone.
As designers, we know it doesn’t always cost a fortune to achieve great design. Here are some great tips for do-it-yourselfers:
- Inspiration: Start with a great inspiration. It should be something that speaks to you. It may be a piece of artwork, a lamp, your sofa or even something not in your room. Build your room with that inspiration as a starting point.
- Colors: Blend your colors with tints, tones and shades. An exact match is great, but great design varies the color.
- Three: Think in thirds and 3’s. Here are examples: Choose three main colors that you ratio to a pleasing number. For example 60%, 30% and 10%. Place your accessories in odd number groupings too – you can accessorize with over 3 items, but keep odd number groupings in mind. Try a piece over your sofa, console, bed or a featured piece that is approximately 2/3 in width of the piece underneath it, or group artwork to achieve that size. Repeat a style and color at least 3 times in your room. If you like eclectic style, (blending several styles), try the 60%, 30%, 10% ratio again. Threes always work!
- Wall finish: Your wall color shouldn’t be the first thing you pick in your room. No kidding. There are thousands of choices in fabrics, case goods, lighting, area rugs and artwork. Don’t overcomplicate decorating by limiting yourself to one shade of green. It makes your shopping and gathering that much harder.
- Texture: Don’t be afraid of blending textures and patterns. What textures use use will create formality or casualness. They can cozy up a space and it is what creates a room with depth and interest.
- Windows: Don’t forget your windows! They need dressing too. If you are installing drapery panels, try 1/3 of the windows’ width on each side. We are back to that third rule again, aren’t we?
- Lighting: Most rooms don’t have adequate lighting and it is an essential piece of well designed spaces. Create layers of lighting with general lighting, task lighting and accent lighting. At minimum, I recommend my clients create at least 3 light sources that create a triangle in the room. (Don’t count an overhead light in this recommendation. ) After this, light up your bookcases, and use uplights for your large plants. When you are done, consider adding dimmers for a great effect too.
- Ask: Know when you need help and don’t be afraid to call in a designer or contractor. Time is precious, and we are trained to learn about you, what your needs are, and how we can help you get there. The Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Portland is full of great, reputable home builders, remodelers, interior designers and experts in every area of home improvement. We’d love to help.