DOES A ROOM HAVE 4 WALLS OR 6?

OK, that’s a trick question.

Strictly speaking, most rooms have just four walls.

However, it’s important not to overlook the floor and ceiling – the other ‘walls’ in the room.

It’s what we call looking at the big picture.

So the correct answer here – you guessed it – is six.

Yes, whether walls, floors or ceilings – when designing a home, everything counts.

It’s the ceiling, though, that tends to get overlooked.

Other than a coat of paint, and a light fixture, you might be thinking what more does it need?

As with everything else, the details matter.

This means careful consideration of the paint color, specifically whether to go with a lighter shade, or dark.

Usually, the advice is to use a slightly lighter shade, especially if your ceilings are low.

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HOW TO BE A SAVVY DESIGNER

In the past few months, the hotel where I routinely stay in Asheville, NC, has undergone a complete overhaul – taking the newly remodeled lobby entrance from drab to “wow”!

At least, that was my first impression, upon entering the revolving front doors.

I thought the new décor was fun and vibrant, and instantly uplifting.

Later, I asked my fellow attendees what they thought, and the response was surprising.

“I think it’s ridiculous,” said one person.

“It’s stupid,” said another. “It isn’t safe.”

I saw immediately what was going on.

“Ah,” I said. “That’s the thing – it’s the difference between aesthetics and function.”

As an interior designer, I had initially observed the lobby from purely an aesthetic viewpoint.

But for those who’d actually been lounging in the chairs and sofas, their discomfort level was intense.

“The ottoman is too small & squishy for a big person,” was the explanation. “You could roll right off it.”

“Not to mention the chairs in the dining room,” someone else chimed in. “They’re much too small!

She predicted they wouldn’t last more than a year.

I was then reminded of the previous evening.

While seated in one of the deep, cushy sofas in the bar area, I had been acutely uncomfortable – unable to lean back against the pillows without my feet dangling off the floor.

My back was tired.

In other words, even though the aesthetic – or visual – experience might be a huge WOW, if the design isn’t also working from a functional – or practical – standpoint, then it has failed.

As an interior designer, these are the things I know.

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REMEMBERING THE TITANIC

As many of you know, April 15 marks the 100th anniversary of the Titanic’s legendary sinking.

It’s almost hard to believe.

Visions of this world famous disaster seem fresh in our minds – made all the more tragic by an award-winning film that brought it so vividly to life.

In commemoration of the Titanic’s epic tale, this month’s National Geographic magazine features a fascinating article, complete with poignant images that describe in detail its tragic demise.

I was particularly struck by the seemingly mundane, such as a gilded clock in seemingly perfect condition, sitting – luminously – in its final resting place atop a rusted old fireplace, deep in a watery grave.

Of course, that fireplace wasn’t always rusted, or old.

In its prime, this was a fireplace of stunning elegance, specifically designed to adorn a first class suite aboard the world’s most famous ship.

Imagine, if you will, hand carved mahogany paneling on the walls and columns, cut crystal chandeliers and tall, leaded glass windows – and everywhere, eerie signs of human life and a bygone era.

A microcosm of society was aboard that ship, represented by different classes and cultures. We’ve heard the stories, of course, of both heroes and the not so brave, and they continue to haunt us a century later.

What other treasures lie so deep in the ocean, lost to all eternity?

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DEFINING THIS PLACE YOU CALL HOME

For Christmas this year, I gave my husband this little footstool – complete with a ski scene.

My husband happens to be the skier in our family, and an avid one at that, and so – I couldn’t resist.

Does it fit our décor?

Well, not exactly – although, I did intend this footstool for our Family Room, the most relaxed and informal part of the house.

Plus, the furnishings in this room are fairly neutral.

Which, to me, means that pretty much anything can work in this space.

I also have in mind that this particular ski-themed footstool, is a seasonal item that will likely go into storage over the summer months.

I share this with you today to help illustrate a point, which is the importance of blending the personal hobbies and interests of various family members into the overall décor.

You needn’t limit yourself to just the children’s rooms, the home office or your kitchen.

These small, personal touches belong anywhere and everywhere that your family likes to hang out.

Because this, more than anything, is what adds to the warmth and comfort of this place you call home.

DOES A ROOM HAVE 4 WALLS OR 6?

OK, that’s a trick question.    

Strictly speaking, most rooms have just four walls. However, it’s important not to overlook the floor and ceiling – the other ‘walls’ in the room, or what we call looking at the bigger picture.

So the correct answer here, is – you guessed it, six.

That’s right – walls, floors, ceilings – when designing a home, every flat surface counts.

The ceiling tends to get overlooked. Other than a coat of paint, and a light fixture, you might be thinking what more does it need?

As with everything else, the details matter. This means careful consideration of the paint color, specifically whether to go with a lighter shade, or dark.

Usually, the advice is to use a slightly lighter shade, especially if your ceilings are low. However, a very high ceiling room easily lends itself to a darker shade – thus giving the illusion of a lower height.

As for the light fixture, choose something spectacular if you really want to play up the ‘wow’ factor!

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