Design tends to encompass longer term plans like how a space is laid out and what finishes are used on millwork and tile. Decorating is often understood to mean the more superficial elements in a space, such as paint colours, toss cushions and lamps. They might be elements that are more likely to be switched out from time to time because they require little or no actual construction or labour to be done on a home but they are important.
The decorative elements in a space are often where much of the character comes from and they are also what personalize a space and can make it interesting. I would also note that they are often the most overlooked part of a room. The last 10% can can really pull everything together and is often glossed over at the end of a renovation when a homeowner is feeling like they just want to get their space back to normal. They're feeling pretty good about how things look and don't want any more disruption, but that's unfortunate, because decorating is what can take a room from "nice" to "gorgeous".
Every design magazine out there has at least one issue a year that talks about upcoming trends. Some are the longer-term trends mentioned in my previous post, but many are about what the "hot" colour is this season. Trying to keep up with that is a losing battle. There will be a new colour in three months, and only the most diligent fashion victim has the stamina to keep up with that. So, is there ever a time to pay attention to this season's colour or trend forcast? Yes, you should pay attention if it is something you like.
I absolutely play favorites in my own home. I have colours that I love to be around. I have accessories and fabrics that I get genuinely pumped about. It's only natural to feel that way if you are in this industry. We all have things we are drawn to and it's great to tease those out, figure out what they are and live in an environment that makes you feel fantastic. You can actually plan to shop for certain colours and looks at different times of year and you will have less of a hunt for what you love and more of a banquet of choices. When something I particularly like is in stores, I seize the opportunity to stock up because I know it could be years until that is readily available again.
Here are a few examples: If you love earthy colours, you are more likely to find them in stores during the fall. If you like sparkle and things like mercury glass, shop around the holiday season. Try and see items out of context (something you love does not have to be out only seasonally although they are marketed that way. Just make sure it isn't "themed" obviously). It takes a little practice, and if you need to, remove an item from a display and look at it on it's own. Is it a piece that would work in your home year round? Do you love it? Go for it.
I had a client who was looking everywhere for a navy blue throw but couldn't find one. I suggested she stop looking for the time being (it was winter) and check again in the summer. Many stores have nautical themes during the summer months and bright blues, whites and yellows are found in abundance. Come July, she had not problem finding that as well as a number of other missing accessories in the colour of her choice.
Everyone has favourite things. You might think you don't have preferences, but it's pretty rare that I can't want into someone's home and almost immediately figure out what those are even if they didn't realize it themselves. In my next article, I am going to talk about how to discover those things yourself, so you can more easily identify what will work for you and what won't.
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