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Over Coming Challenges

Have you ever noticed that no two homes have the same decorating challenges? I'm an interior designer and I'm always amazed by this. Typically speaking, your new home is nothing like the home you just moved from. The layout is different, the size of the rooms are different, the ceiling height is different, and these are just a few examples. Every home has its' own unique set of challenges that you need to address when you're decorating your home. Being able to recognize the problems and being able to come up with some solutions to address those challenges can be daunting but, with a little planning and some imagination you to can have a beautiful home. Meet my client's the Smiths (for privacy issues this is not my clients real names). The Smith's recently purchased a new home. Keep in mind that we just renovated the kitchen in their last home. In that home we had built a large banquette for seating and we purchased a really nice kitchen table and four chairs along with a small cabinet to display some of her aunt's dishes. Their table, chairs, and cabinet looked fabulous in the other home. They were the perfect size, scale, shape and finish for that space. Unfortunately, these items were not going to look good in the new kitchen. The size, scale, shape and finish were all wrong for this space. Keep in mind that the kitchen table and chairs were new, not even a year old. So we purchased a new kitchen table and chairs for the new kitchen and moved the other set to the dining room. Luckily, the Smith's are more casual in their approach to decorating and by placing the leaf in the table it fit wonderfully in that space. The cabinet that displayed her aunt's dishes we didn't have space for it in the new kitchen and it was just too small to use in the dining room, it would look lost. So we found another home for it in the house. This dining room offered several challenges for us to over come. This room was located in the middle of the house so there were no windows. A room with no windows can look and feel dark depending on how the walls are treated. This room was painted in medium shades of gray and it felt dark and gloomy. Second, we needed to find a way to incorporated some color, pattern, and texture. Window treatments are a great way to add color, pattern, and texture to a room. In our case we didn't have that option. There were no windows. So at this point we started asking our self how we were going to bring in some color, pattern, and texture into our room? Keep in mind that our chairs were all wood so there wasn't any pattern there. The obvious place to start was a rug and that is where we started. Third, this dining room is very open to the foyer and the living room and those rooms were painted red, navy and gray. So we needed to pick a rug that would allow us to change our color pallet but we needed at least one of those colors in it to do so. Navy became the color of choice. It would connect to the existing color palette and it would also allow us to change our color choices in the dining room. Although the rug helped by adding color, pattern, and texture, it just wasn't enough by itself. Adding tied on cushions to our chairs and an upholstered bench helped but that still wasn't enough. Wallpapering the walls was the key to solving our problem. It added color, pattern, and texture without making our space feel dark and gloomy. This wallpaper has a small leaf pattern that created vertical lines so that it makes our ceiling height look taller. Speaking of ceilings, check out the trim that we added to the tray ceiling it adds interest and it makes our ceiling height look taller as well. Fourth, our room needed more light. So, we replaced the chandelier for something a little less formal and it provided a little more light for the space. My client has always dreamed of having a china cabinet to display her china and crystal. That's another item that we added to the room. She owned all of the silver so we used it for our accessories. I felt that we needed to pull some navy and a few other colors up on the wall from the rug. So, we adding the botanical prints to the room. My client found a fabulous mirror while on vacation and purchased it for the space. It's a great addition because it helps to reflect more light back into our space thus completing our room. All in all we had several challenges to address in the dining room mainly due to the fact that we didn't have a window in the space. The lack of a window created several challenges. It made our room appear dark and gloomy. It forced us to look for different ways to incorporate color, pattern, and texture. This open room created a challenge on how we could change our color palette to a lighter and airyer color without having to repaint the foyer and the living room. Last but not least, changing out the chandelier to a larger one that produced more light and adding a mirror to help bounce the light back into the room really helped to add more light to our space. So you see, every home has it's challenges but with some planning and a little imagination you too can over come it's challenges.


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