How many times have you heard so-called design experts say, Dont plan your décor around anything but the rug, or Dont use light colors if you have young children or pets? or any other such donts?
Sometimes these rules are helpful, says designer Sally Morse, Director of Creative Services at window fashions leader Hunter Douglas. But often you’d do better heeding Pablo Picassos advice: “Learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist. All it takes is a little courage, and remembering that most anything can be fixed.”
Following, are some rules you can break with confidence:
DECORATE FROM THE GROUND UP
Its easy to see why so many think rugs are the best place to start when figuring out a rooms décor. They warm up a space, anchor a room, express your design personality and tie together the entire decorating scheme. But there are other equally appropriate places to begin.
If you have a large-scale painting that really sings to you, emotionally as well as aesthetically, start there. Work your color scheme around it, and choose furnishings that play it up, either reflecting it or contrasting.
You can also design a room around a collection, such as Delft pottery or contemporary art glass. Arrange the plates, vases, candlesticks and all on open shelves, and then capture their varying colors with the upholstery and perhaps a patterned rug. The key is to choose what is most important to you and go from there. Remember, there are many designers who say,
If you love it, you can make it work.
TECHNOLOGY IS ONLY FOR EXPERTS
Experts often suggest playing it safe when you decorate, using old, familiar systems. But Hunter Douglas knows how to integrate the most advanced technology into products youve been enjoying for years. And you dont have to be a NASA engineer to use them.
The Hunter Douglas Platinum App for example, operates the brands extensive collection of motorized window treatments with the tap of a finger. It can be integrated into existing systems or be used on its own for a taste of home automation at a fraction of the cost. It allows you to set your shades in motion all together or by room, at the same time or one shade at a time, and by scenes you can personalize and pre-set, such as morning light and movie night. You can even activate the timer feature to operate the shades while youre away.
Among the many products the Platinum App works with are the new Silhouette® A Deux shadings. Created to simplify life, they offer the sheer, light-diffusing beauty of popular Silhouette shadings together with an independently operated room-darkening roller shade affixed behind them for added light control and privacy. Two in one. Couldn’t be better.
WHITES NOT RIGHT FOR KIDS OR PETS
Morse disagrees with this, saying, There couldn’t be a better color for a familys furniture than white, if its done correctly. Have slipcovers made of durable, machine-washable denim or canvas make sure its bleach-safe and designed with zippers so they fit as snugly as upholstery but can be easily removed for cleaning. Not only do they stay clean, but white provides the perfect background for colorful artwork, fine pieces or the kids, and works well with nearly any style furniture and architecture.
UNITY IN VARIETY
No need to limit yourself to one style of décor or even one color palette as man y so-called experts extol. A mash-up of your favorite things, when done carefully and thoughtfully, can be fabulous. Start small and see what happens.
An alternative to woven woods and solar shades, Alustra® Woven Textures® is a good example of how you can use both the iconic and the innovative at the same time, a combination that Hunter Douglas is well-known for. Offered in Roman shades, roller shades and Skyline® Gliding Window Panels, the collection has new fabrics that range from Primitive, which exudes the weather-worn look of an old oceanfront cottage, to Urban, with a cross-grid texture that brings todays city blocks to mind.
ARTWORK AT EYE LEVEL ONLY
One of the biggest mistakes anyone can make is to hang paintings and photography too high or too low. The rule of thumb is to place it at eye level or the mean height for all the adults in the house. But at times, this rule can be broken to beautiful effect.
Small pieces can be massed together on a wall in such a fashion that the entire assemblage transcends into one extravagant pattern and the beauty is more in the overall spectacle than individual pieces.
Another time eye level need not be taken into consideration is when a huge piece is placed on a small wall. Better than wallpaper it can easily be changed and much more interesting, it needs only to be centered taking any furniture below into consideration.
There are so many other great rules to be broken, says Morse, and fall is a wonderful time to do it when change is in the air and fixing up our homes is on our minds. So listen to the experts. Then make their advice work for you in your own unique way. You might be happily surprised.
For more information, visit www.hunterdouglas.com or call 1-800-274-2985. Follow Hunter Douglas at facebook.com/HunterDouglas,pinterest.com/hunterdouglaswf/ and youtube.com/user/hunterdouglas. Download The Art of Window Dressing iPad app through a link atwww.hunterdouglas.com.