Bringing it All To Life
When coming up with a design concept for an entire room, it’s a normal part of the process for me to start big and work my way smaller. For example, I first make a furniture plan for the room, then list out each piece of furniture to source. For me, rugs are part of the furniture plan, and get selected toward the beginning. I then start working on art and lamps, making sure each part of the room has dressed walls and lit corners. Then I work on soft goods such as drapes and pillows, making sure they coordinate with both the art and rugs. Lastly comes accessories and smaller items. Even though accessories are often the last part of the process for me, they are a critical part of the design. There are ways to make sure that the entire room flows well together. Wanna know some of my secrets??
Kara's Secret Strategies
- Be very choosy about the rug you select for the space. Make sure the rug fits the quality level the client can afford, the durability factor for kids and pets, and don’t forget to use the colors in the rug as a foundation to build upon. Make sure the colors fit the client’s likes and dreams for their room. In some instances, it is nice to layer rugs to build interest and add texture.
2. When selecting soft textiles for the space, make sure that you have either a sample of the rug or a photo of the rug in good lighting. Find fabrics that coordinate with the colors in the rug. Use some solids, some patterns, and don’t be afraid to mix patterns. You want to basically draw the colors in the rug “up” in the space. Almost like you took a magic wand and tapped and twirled it, swirling the colors from the rug and splashing them about the room.
- Select art that will complement both the style of the rug as well as the colors in the rug. Art can be tricky to select because there are so many factors to consider. Size, style, colors, proportion, framing, etc. Sometimes when I can’t find what I’m looking for and have exhausted all avenues of searching, it’s not uncommon to either have a piece commissioned by a local artist, or just paint something myself! This piece below was part of a pair from a vendor that works directly to the trade and must be purchased through a designer.
- Textiles for pillows need to have a great mix of colors that can be found in the rug. But sometimes, a rug is completely neutral and has no colors. In that case, you’d bring in some color to the pillows anyway as long as it fits the room. But in most instances, I make sure to repeat colors, and even lighter and darker shades of the colors, that are found in the rug.
5. Lastly come the smalls. These are accessories, knick knacks, trays, greenery, real plants, books, frames, etc. This requires a good eye for shopping and several hours to spare. My favorite stops for these items are HomeGoods, Target, Pier 1, At Home, and Kirklands. I’m not trying to break the bank on the last bit of shopping, so I try to spend as little as possible on this part. But sometimes clients have a larger budget, in which case I swing by Sur la Table for dining place settings, or Ethan Allen for great lamps and accessories. This part is the biggest adventure! Just make sure to have your shopping list in hand and your travel path well-planned. Happy Shopping!