The Secrets to Creating a Harmonious Home
October 3, 2012Posted by pamela |
Marin Mommies presents a guest article by Marin interior designer Hilary Sessions of Quarry Hill Design.
The kids are finally back in school and fall is here. Leaves, pumpkins, football and little ghosts and goblins will soon appear. This is a great time to spruce up your home for entertaining friends and family.
I often work with clients to see how we can make their homes more livable. Sometimes it is as simple as purging, organizing and reconfiguring furnishings. I recommend investing in good storage solutions, quality furnishings and well-edited accessories to complete the look. Here are a few ways to make your space feel more like home.
A set of matching baskets or storage bins is a great way to manage clutter.
It is amazing how neat and tidy shelves can look with mismatched items stored in matching containers. Large baskets are a great place to hide clutter when you need to speed clean.
The layout of a room is critical. Pick a focal point, such as a fireplace, and arrange your furniture around it. Whenever possible, go for symmetry and balance. A pair of chairs or matching lamps will create a unified look. When selecting furniture, look for items that serve a variety of functions: small benches, ottomans, cubes and stools are the ultimate multi-taskers. They can be used for extra seating, grouped together as a coffee table or hold board games for Scrabble night.
Cube ottomans are lightweight and super portable. You can move them from room to room to follow the crowd. Ceramic garden stools are the perfect place to set a cup of coffee and can add a nice pop of color to a room.
Treat yourself to some new throw pillows. This is an economical way to instantly transform a room. I suggest picking one or two accent colors and using them as highlights around the space. If you have a neutral sofa – add a fun fabric for a bright pop of color. Remember, pillows don’t have to match.
Look for fabrics that work together for a harmonious look. I like oversized 22” square pillows, they feel luxurious. For a clean Modern look try a long, rectangle lumbar pillow set at the center of a sofa. Oversized pillows in heavy-weight fabrics make excellent floor seating for game nights.
Carpets are another great way to instantly change to look of a room. In high traffic areas like a dining or family rooms, I recommend all-weather carpets. Many catalogues offer these in a great variety of colors, patterns and textures that look just like wool or sisal without the worry. Square carpet tiles are also fun, functional and eco-friendly. Try layering a smaller area rugs over wall to wall carpet or a larger sisal.
This can make the space feel cozier and more intimate.
Don’t forget the accessories! Adding unique decorative items to a space makes it feel special. As Interior Design icon Dorothy Draper said “Put in one controversial Item. It makes people talk.” Pick a few items that you love; candlesticks, vases, antique objects – anything that reflects your own personal style.
And for the finishing touch: try an arrangement of branches.
Tall branches arranged in a large vase create a dramatic effect. Change the branches with the season; colored leaves in the fall and swap them out for pine branches for the Holidays.
The secret to a harmonious home is creating spaces that are organized, functional and beautiful.
Hilary Sessions is an interior designer based in Marin. Her company, Quarry Hill Design, specializes in creating memorable and livable interiors. Follow Hilary on her blog at www.quarryhilldesign.com.