We girls are experts at playing up our good features and camouflaging our weaker or less desirable areas; for example, if you have great legs, then you know that you should wear shorter hem lines and show off those great gams! Show off your best assets and downplay, minimize, and disguise areas that are less than your best features.
Positive vs. Negative
Our rooms are no different; we need to identify a room’s best and worst features.
The bones or the architectural features of the room (unless we want to jump into a much more expensive scenario- affectionately called renovate) are details that we are generally stuck with – the location of windows, doors, ceiling heights and wall layouts. After identifying all the positives and negatives of the space, we can then plan a décor that will highlight the good bones and downplay or camouflage the lesser qualities of the room.
Clear out the room! I know it’s a lot of work… but everything worth having comes with a price.
- Remove all the furniture.
- Take down the window coverings.
- Roll up the area carpets.
Basically, get the room naked. If you can’t take out everything at least remove all that you can. Clearing out all distractions will ensure that you can get a good look at the room’s bones.
Analyze the Best and the Worst
We need to analyze the room, right down to the bones. Make a list. Start with the floor and work your way up to the ceiling.
- Does the room have great moldings a beautiful view?
- Is the window large enough and is it centered on the wall?
- Are there enough windows?
- How about the fireplace or any built INS? Are they attractive and balanced?
Next, peek at the ceilings:
- Are they too high? Too low?
- Are they decorative?
Is there a great light fixture hung from the ceiling?
Lighting is one area that we need to take a thorough look at:
- Are there enough lights – ceiling, wall and valance lighting?
- How about plug ins?
Problems To Disguise
Make notes of any registers that may need to be disguised. For example:
- A ceiling that is too low or too high.
- Poor flooring.
- A window that is situated off centre.
- Also, note the proportion of a space. Classic architecture is defined in thirds. If an area is out of balance we will need to make a plan to visually increase or decrease its apparent proportion. Be confident that all the room’s weaknesses can be corrected or disguised during the decorating process; we simply need to plan for it.
Planning IS the key to Success
Without a plan to build upon, all the great features that a room already has may be under-utilized and a negative may become accentuated. Successful rooms have had their bones analyzed. It’s like dressing a friend without noting her body type and all her assets. Skipping this step means no one wins and we perform a great disservice to the space.
Invest the time and make the effort to get to know your room’s bones before you plunge into your styling project. Good bones are essential for lasting beauty!