3 ways to elevate a living space (to your space)
Practice can be brutal, but it gets easier with time. I am not here to tell you how your space should look like.
The space is yours; you will call all the shots.
Today, I am only here to provide you with a path, to help you alter your space to your taste.
We hate to waste time and energy. So, for spaces, it is good to make informed decisions.
I know this sound all serious. But think about it for a second, when we are well informed, we make better decisions.
We see clarity in the step we take with the knowledge we have acquired.
The track record of what we learn will help us discern what to toss out of our space, and what we should highlight.
We may not master everything yet. But nailing these two, theory and practice, will enrich our journey. These two things work hand in hand.
Personalized rooms are not built over night.
A kickstart to this journey, these three practical principles will rescue any space.
1. Develop your decorator’s eyes (see a room as a decorator)
No need to sweat it
There is a believe system where most of us think some people are born with some skills and talents.
This is a partial truth; some skills are more remarkable to people but most skills can be learned.
Anyone can learn any skills. It comes down to exposure and practice.
We develop our inmost decorator’s eye by looking at spaces. Yes, you are reading that right. It will take a run-through approach.
We should see this concept the same way we see skills, we use every day, such as swimming, biking, or driving.
These skills are perfected with practice. When mastered, we no longer think about it, it becomes second nature.
We don’t take these activities because we are trying to join a competitive sport.
We learn these knacks just because they are great to have, and we end up applying them in our life.
Swimming becomes a way of leisure, and driving we use it to commute.
The same way, we can learn to look at our space with a vision.
A skill that comes in with practice which we can use to make a space our space.
Trust the journey, it is all a process.
To develop the eye to view the space like decorators, and stylists, there are clever techniques we need to muse.
The same notion of practice that comes with swimming and biking can be translated to the space.
The more you look at spaces and identify the things that make a space work.
The easier it becomes to pin point what to highlight in our space, and detect things we need to incorporate to transform it.
Limit your vision, look at a space the same way you see a photo
Think of a picture you love, how is it structured?
There is something that draw you to the picture. Chances are it is the way the picture is taken, the composition.
The photographers constantly use the rule of third to take their shots.
Rule of third causes the photographer to look at the overall shot and put the capture under three segments, within the horizontal and vertical lines.
In a grid where these lines intersect, they place the photographed object. When done correctly, it catches the eye.
The same way, we can use the same concept in the space to see if the space is balanced and have harmony.
This helps us visualize the way we can position items in a room to achieve the right balance.
Treasure the room you see, learn to observe
Look at your space. Is the room conveying the right emotion?
What mood you want in this space? Are you able to identify the styles?
Immerse in what you see.
See other rooms, study what is working, the way the furniture is placed.
How many colors can you identify? How is the color working in the space? Does the space have an element of surprise?
What do you like about the space? Will the space feel unfinished if you remove an item from it?
What is working in the space? how do you feel looking at the space?
Just practice, gaze on images If something catches your eyes, ask yourself why.
2. Create a place for the eyes to land (a focal point)
A focal point is a star of the room.
Think of your space as if you are staring at a picture. A good picture is a picture that tells a story.
The image, the way that it is captured makes us pause and direct our attention (eyes) to focus on one specific element.
The same way, a room should give us the same feeling.
A focal point creates a sense of order, and it tricks the eyes to see a kept room.
Not everything in a room should demand our attention.
When the room is entered, what is the first thing we notice?
If we could rephrase this question differently, what is the first thing you want your space to highlight?
We can guide the eyes in the space. We tell the eyes where to land in two ways:
Highlight a room natural’s feature
We see this with architectural feature in a space.
A great place to rest eyes can be a fireplace, a window with a good view, a high ceiling which can be accentuated with a beautiful light, chandelier or a statement light fixture of our choice.
Other features we can highlight are exposed bricks, wood beams, built in shelves, and a staircase.
No architectural focus, manually create a feature in a space
When a place lacks a place to land eyes, we can create one with an artwork, photos, gallery, any sort of hanging, like mirrors.
These help us create a landing spot for the eyes.
We can create an accent wall, or add a mural to make a statement. We can bring in a drama effect with wallpaper or by adding panels.
A simple thing as an oversized furniture can also catch the eye.
Now look at your space, is there something that can catch your eyes?
Sometimes, it can be difficult to identify this when a room is already filled with items.
The best way to approach the space you want to decorate is to take a picture. Nothing fancy, just use your phone and capture your space.
Now look at the taken pictures.
Do you see an architectural feature you can highlight? Or do you see a spot where you can create something to catch the eyes?
If a room has lots of things on display, the action you need may be removing items to create an airy room to have a more cohesive space.
3. Create a visual map (a mood board) for the space
A little effort will not go wasted.
First identify your style. When you know your style then it is easier to collect visual images for the space that you want to create.
Knowing what you want to create dictate your image collections.
The concept of a mood board can be broken down in four categories: plan it, create it, experience it, and translate the findings in your space.
Plan it, cut the clutter
We will go with an elimination process. Create a list of the things you will keep and the things you no longer use.
Things that need a new home could be donated or sold to create a more functional airy room.
The room will breathe when you get rid of the things that you no longer use.
Create a list with three categories: must definitely keep, things to toss/donate, and treasure to sale.
You may feel attempted to skip this step. Let’s not neglect this. We could miss the opportunity to see what we can make of our space.
Removing clutter in the space reveals the room potential.
We all have things in our space we know we can’t stand, but we just haven’t gotten the courage to eliminate them.
If you feel like you have everything in order and the room is clear of the clutter, then proceed to take pictures of items with your phone.
Pictured items will be needed later on, we will add the captures on the vision board.
Create with emotions and activities
How do you want the space to make you feel?
What are you going to do in the space? Who will use the space?
Is the space for entertaining?
Is the place for relaxation? Is the space for watching tv? Is the space for reading?
Is the space for working? Is it a multifunctional space?
Answering these questions will direct your choices on the things you will want to see in the space.
If the space will be used for work, then you will need to incorporate a desk in the living room.
If you are going for entertainment, you want to create conversation areas where people can dialogue with ease.
A seating area around the tv, tells that the main activity in the space is tv watching.
A long comfortable sofa may translate to relaxation, a place to lounge after a long work day.
Determine how you will experience your space, check your closet
The quickest way to identify the color we want to live with is by looking at our closet.
What color we like? Which color is our go- to color for our outfits? Do we even have color in our closet?
What do we wear that uplift our spirit? Do we love to dress up? Do we have a more laid-back look?
Think about how the outfits on your closet makes you feel.
If it is a vibe that you love, bring this vibe in your space.
Select the color that are going with the emotion that you want to space to convey. Red to most brings energy in a room, but to other it can frustrate them.
Pick a color that speak to you from your closet, and build around that, because it is your space. warm or cold colors? It is your pick.
How will you characterize your style? Is it modern? Feminine? Masculine? These elements can be applied in the space as well.
Items with sharp corners are put in masculine category, and feminine are furniture with curves.
Think materials and textiles
Are you seeing smooth or rough things in the space? how are they incorporated?
How is it working with the space?
Smooth materials make a space feel comfy.
Bring in an ambiance with materials like metals, stone and textures that are either soft or rough.
If you know your style, start collecting images for inspirations to create a mood board to translate that vision collection in your space.
A home is what you make of it!
An inspired timeless space does not mean compromising on style.
It should show who we are what we value, and our taste. let’s learn to create rooms that move, and inspire us.