Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Working With Your Rooms Body Type

After answering two viewer questions on WFMZ 69 News (click here to see the video) this morning, I thought I would share them with you since they are GREAT questions:

Q: My living room is long and narrow.  What would you suggest to make it feel less like a runway?  I want to create a warm welcoming space. 

A: The secret to designing a fabulous space is to understand its body type.  That’s right-body type.  Don’t you choose your clothing, hair cut, and accessories, to compliment your body type?  I mean how many different cuts of jeans alone are there for you to choose from?   Well, once you understand your rooms’ ‘body type’, you will be able to layout your furniture and style it up to look fabulous!

For a long and narrow body type, the key is to concentrate on the wall farthest away.  That is your focal point and where you place your boldest color.  This will pull that wall towards you so it doesn’t feel like a runway. 

Here is an example of how to deal with a long and narrow room:
Look at the photo and find its focal point.  You would think the focal point should be the fireplace for its architectural interest, large scale and beauty, BUT for this rooms' body type, building that wall up with decor, color, etc. will only make the room feel narrower.  Instead our focal wall to work on is actually the wall farthest away.  We want to build it up with color and texture so it feels closer to you when you walk in.  
First position your furniture into a nice conversation area.  For this space I moved the sofa off the back wall and pushed it about three feet into the space because it was too far away to enjoy a conversation.  I took that opportunity to place two tall lamps behind it on a sofa table to brighten up the back wall and give it more life, again creating that pull into the room.

Try out a few colors on your wall.  See how your lighting affects it before committing to one, just like you would try on those jean options in the dressing room. 

Once your paint is up on this wall layer it with interest.  Use a gallery of photos and an inviting sofa to create an amazing focal point. 

Q: My home is broken up into small rooms.  I am so afraid of using color on the walls because I don’t want them to feel even smaller.  What can I do? 

A: For a small room body type, you want to push the walls away from you.  You can’t knock them down physically so here are some tricks.  You want to wrap the entire room in the same color so it equals the walls out.  But that doesn’t mean you should keep the room feeling sleepy.  Play with texture and pattern.  I love using horizontal stripes.  
In fashion, for many of us, thick horizontal stripes are a big no-no because they make us look wider.  BUT that is exactly what you want to achieve in small spaces.  Try large horizontal stripes (remember I did not say vertical-no no) all around the room like this one: 
Use two shades of a neutral airy color, or use the same color but play with the sheen.  Add an oversized mirror to reflect light and again create the illusion of a larger space, a large piece of artwork, an open and airy furniture with glass, high legs-not heavy feeling pieces, and a lightly dressed window.  Lighting is key but this time make sure you have tall lamps so the space feels tall.  The higher the lamp base the more light shines through.  Here is my rhyme to remember this:  ‘Between the shade and the base, there is more space.’ 

Don’t clutter up small spaces because complicated walls create confusion in the head in a small space and you may end up having queezy house guests.  They will be so dizzy from looking at everything going on and having no where to go with it.  Keep this in mind in bathrooms.

As part of my news segment I also discussed a DIY project I just completed-I will blog about it later today.
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