Tuesday, August 30th, 2011...2:55 pm
A Lesson in Design with Robin De Groot
1. Faux-Finishing & Decorative Painting
Brilliantly executed and planned decorative painting can be a beautiful addition to a space when used as an architectural or design highlight in a space or to add a specific punch in a room in a controlled and well thought manner. However, knowing when to stop is the key to excellent design. Decorative painting is meant to be elegant and polished. Taking this technique too far will result in vulgarity, your room will look more like an acid trip then a sophisticated room. In other words… NO MORE SPONGE PAINTING walls or badly executed faux marble. This is DIY HELL.
2. HARSH Overhead Lighting
There is nothing worse than unflattering, overly bright overhead lights that make you feel like you’re being interrogated. Lighting is everything, it controls our moods, pinpoints key Design or architectural elements and allows us to enjoy our environments to their fullest extent . Use dimmers and
soft white bulbs in every room, including bathrooms. Remember, lighting shouldn’t wash down on you: It’s harsh and unflattering and not only will your room not be pretty… YOU WONT be either.
3. Seance Candle Clusters
A classic DIY mistake commonly made is over romanticizing with candles. a more balanced aesthetic is achieved when candlesticks are spread out around a room. Let’s try and avoid recreating Juliet’s funeral scene from Baz Luhrman’s Romeo and Juliet or an evening with Cher (while we all LOVE Cher.. only she can pull that look off) Candlelight, like open fires, has a certain allure — one of warmth and romance. To me, it’s most alluring when the light is spread around the room, creating a subtly romantic tone. In other words, separate the candlesticks and don’t create the Seance lighting alter UNLESS you really are going to have a seance.
4. Furniture Pushed Up Against the Walls
The worst thing to stifle conversation and create a stilted feeling to your interior Design are items spread around the perimeter walls of a room like your in a Dubai waiting room. I am often bewildered by the way people arrange their living room furniture around the outer edges of a room, leaving a wide-open space in the middle and pieces plastered against walls with all the seating too far apart. The answer is simplicity & intimacy. How can you have a good conversation when you have to shout across the room? I imagine the sofa talking to the chairs, the chairs talking to one another, inviting others to join in the conversation. Sometimes we forget the time we used to make furniture forts in the middle of the room to get close and speak in our secret clubs. well sophisticated adults can do this, on a more subtle note. Design your room with entertaining in mind and think how you can create arrangements that spur conversation and create a sexy and visual tension in the room. Think about how best to use every situation
5. Out-of-Proportion tiny Lamps
Lamps that are completely disproportionate sizes on either ends of a sofa makes me twitch. It creates an accidental off balance and suggests a tacky low budget for decorating. Try selecting oversized and bold lamps that work together. Don’t try to get too creative, as lamps are not a strong focal point in a room. Keep it simple, look for shapes that have a strong presence and if you are handy…you can actually
make them yourself with lighting kits from the Home Depot.
6. Karate-Chopped Pillows (also known as the Chad… I will explain that one another
Don’t make your living room pillow arrangement too formal with fussed-over pillows
with that hideously affected karate chop look. In the wild, that look would never
occur in pillow nature. Avoid creating the illusion that your living room second for
a funeral home. After all its called a living room. People live in it, so go ahead
make it inviting, put pillows based on where you see fit with only comfort in mind.
7. A Single Light Source
The key to good lighting is layering it at different heights. Don’t rely on only one kind of light source. This could create dark pockets in rooms where elements of design are lost. Mix a variety of overhead and floor or table lamps. Warm ‘pools’ of light draw people in and create intimacy. Don’t be afraid accent specific wonderful elements in your design and space.