The Tools That Build Beautiful Rooms

joy of nesting

Balance, rhythm, emphasis, proportion, unity, light, color, space, form, line, texture: If you were to explain why a space is appealing to the eye these would provide you with a language.  I call them tools but design course manuals call them the principles and elements of design.  

The picture of my garden roses in a vintage vase portrays color and vertical line. Vertical line imparts formal feelings and drama.
So much of what I do is instinctual, for instance I would be loathe to put skirts on client sofas and chairs in a small room. I know instinctively a small room needs an airy feel to enlarge it visually and that can most easily be accomplished by using seating with out skirts. The above room is a good example of that. What is clever is that the designer used draperies in the doorway which provides a vertical line thus imparting a feeling a drama and formality. The choice of colors is also very imaginative. Photography often changes a room’s color but it appears that this room has blue walls, gold curtain panels, and a pale lime green on the sofa.  
Don’t you love all the multi-color rooms we’ve been seeing this year? They bring to mind European design greats such as Jacques Grange and Alberto Pinto.
The room (above) is a great example of line and balance. You see symmetrical balance on the fireplace wall with it’s flanking built in shelving which imparts formality, yet the lines of the room are mostly horizontal which gives the room it’s restful and casual feel.
The room above is very simple. No doubt the designer meant it to be restful with the taupe and white color scheme and lack of color contrasts. It has mostly horizontal lines (sofa, chairs, low tables). The zebra print chair is a nice touch and I love the sofa and occasional table.  I could recommend built in bookcases when time and budget allows. And perhaps a little more scale in the desk and it’s chair.

The foyer above has a simple yet dramatic appeal. This is an effective design scheme when you are “playing up” dramatic architecture, art, or furniture. It’s a good example of why dark colors can sometimes work in small spaces. The lack of light gives it a mysterious, moody feel as opposed to the light filled foyer below which is open and bright with rustic touches. I love the textures: slate floors, oatmeal woodwork, white washed table, and linen slip covered Parson’s chair. It’s like an Anglo version of Axel Vervoordt’s style.

Color, light, and symmetrical balance are evident in the view of this room above. You also see vertical line (formality) in the candlesticks and horizontal line (restful, casual) in the sofa and cocktail table.

Color is in. Neutral color schemes are not as popular as they once were but are still hanging on. The good neutral room designs rely on texture,scale and sometimes contrast for oomph. They are much harder to design than rooms with color. Color is an easy, often inexpensive way to provide excitement to commercial or residential projects and visual display installations. A few red accessories in this neutral color scheme keeps the design from becoming boring. The million dollar view doesn’t hurt either.
The room below has good examples of space, form, proportion, and unity. Proportion can be seen in the ceiling height and architectural molding. Unity is seen in the classic furniture and fixture and how it relates to the room. I love this update of traditional and classic. Many of the elements of this room are obviously from another time and era but the way it’s been put together is very current.
I love the Moorish feel of the built-in unit, the Moroccan tea table, and the Indian inspired print of the chair. Mind you the elements in this room only hint at Morocco but they give the room style. The view of this room is subtle in color and is relying on line, proportion, and scale for visual interest.
The outdoor room below has a crisp feel with the striped pillows and raffia seating. It’s relies on texture and unity. Texture from the trees and plants and furniture, unity from the coordination of the various furnishings. 
The appeal of this room is in it’s texture and proportion, or scale.  I love the height of the cabinet which fills up that large wall nicely.
This scheme is appealing because of light, contrast, and proportion. Color was not needed: the flooring and wall divider make bold statements without it. I love the sheen on the stone and lacquered dresser! This foyer has a modern yet retro style, a very popular look right now. 
I think what makes my breakfast room appealing to me is the warmth of the colors. The custom made valances mimic the arches throughout the house. That’s a Ralph Lauren floral I’ve used in several colorways in various client projects. The antique light fixture was refinished by my good friends Van and Melanie.

June 2, 2010

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The Tools That Build Beautiful Rooms

The Tools That Build Beautiful Rooms

The Tools That Build Beautiful Rooms