29.03.15 | Decorating with Flair

On any given night, I have at least 10 tabs open on my browser: One King’s Lane, Houzz, Pinterest(my personal favorite), Remodelista, Lonny…the list goes on. My fiancé and I are preparing to move into our new home, a great place in Chelsea with beautiful casement windows and modern finishes. Finding the place in itself was an adventure but now that we have it, and we’re both doing all that we can to make it our personal sanctuary.

Starting with a blank palette is as daunting as it is exciting. Raw space means endless possibility…. What color should we paint the walls and should they be done in matte or eggshell? What finish on the floors? Do we want a wallpapered feature wall? What’s the best color scheme for the master bedroom? Which art should be hung and where? Do we want to invest in renovations before moving in? etc. etc. etc.

Disclaimer: It’s important to know what kind of decorator you are. For example, are you a DIYer? Are you willing to spend hours hammering, measuring and cobbling together the dining room table of your dreams? I do not fall into this camp so as much as I would love to make my own tufted bed on a budget, it’s not happening any time soon and unfortunately, I can’t advise on how to do so.

What I can do, is share the knowledge I have gained over these past couple months and inspire you to create the space of your dreams. The most important thing is to decorate in a way that speaks to your own personal style, a home that doesn’t have a point of view is just a hotel room. I believe that decorating with flair all comes down to this one trick: juxtaposition, contrast and collaboration.

Mixing Styles: If you’re decorating on your own, lucky you, you don’t have to make compromises! I’m decorating with my partner and he has his own wonderful, distinctive taste and point of view. The retro banana leaf wallpaper I wanted for the walk-in closet didn’t mesh well with his contemporary, graphic aesthetic. We make compromises. When planning a space with someone else you have to find common ground. It can be challenging and sometimes its easier to start with the things you both absolutely do not like, and build from there. That being said, even if you were tackling your home decor alone, you still need a mix of styles, time periods, colors and fabrics to give your rooms texture and variety. It’s like putting together an amazing outfit: a brown suede boot looks great with a 60s inspired jacquard dress, and that look becomes even more interesting when paired with a crisp and classic denim jacket. It’s all about taking disparate elements and making them cohesive. Here are my 1o favorite juxtapositions to give any room flair:

  1. Masculine leather seating with fluffly mongolian fur throw pillows
  2. Bright bath accessories (in vivid citrine, bright orange, etc.) in a stark white bathroom
  3. Potted plants and greenery in a neutral modern living room
  4. Black and white photographs hung gallery style next to graphic screen prints and typography
  5. White scandinavian wood floors with warm brown furniture and a hide rug
  6. A mid-century modern mirror hung against artisan crafted wallpaper
  7. Gold art-deco lamps in a minimalist white bedroom
  8. Traditional tufted furniture in vintage fabrics like velvet paired with bold abstract expressionist art
  9. Retro Italian lighting in a room with industrial detail (like exposed beams or brick)
  10. Global accents, like Beni Ourain rugs from Morocco or mud cloth fabrics from West Africa, with slick mirrored furniture

I hope you find the gallery above inspirational, happy decorating! More on my Pinterest board.