Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Decorating 101

Happy New Year!

The holiday season is behind us and we look forward to a new year to spruce up our interiors and start a few new design projects.
Decorators know that design projects can involve a lot of decisions and we often follow a few basic guidelines to help us make those decisions.

Here are a few commonly asked questions and their answers to help guide you through your next decorating project.

"How can I spruce up my front entrance way?"
In the front entrance way, use a console table with a tray or bowl to set down mail, change, and keys. Wall hooks are a great place to hang coats, hats and bags.
Place a mirror above the console table for a quick check on the way out the door.
Flooring in the entryway should be easy to clean and wipe. A floor mat can introduce colour and pattern to the space.
A  beautiful pendant light in an entranceway can make a great first impression while introducing your personal design style.
Finally, a chair or bench to sit down and put on shoes on is always useful.

"What height should I hang my pictures?"

Art (unless very large) should be hung above a sofa , chair or table.
Hang your art 6-8" above your sofa or 8-10" above a table.
Another rule of thumb is to hang art 57" from the floor.

Try to keep pictures all at the same height in a room to keep the eye from moving up and down throughout the space.

"What size area rug do I need for a room?"

Typically, a room looks more pulled together if all legs of the furniture are the rug, but this is not always necessary.

In the family room or living room
A good rule of thumb is approximately two feet of bare floor showing all around the area rug.

In the dining area
An area rug should extend beyond the dining table by 18- 24" on each side to allow the chairs to sit on the rug even when chairs are pulled out from the table.

In the bedroom
Approximately two feet of bare floor all around the area rug. For beds that are not centered in a room , place a rug at the end of the bed or side of the bed.

"What is the rule of thumb for hanging Drapery Rods?"

If there is 12" or more between the top of the molding and the ceiling hang the drapery rod halfway between the window frame and the ceiling.
If there is less than 12" between the top of the molding and the ceiling hang the rod right below the ceiling or crown molding.
If you have a low ceiling it looks best to hang the rod right at the ceiling.

"How high do I hang my dining room light fixture?"

A dining room fixture or chandelier should be in proportion to your table and the room.
A fixture diameter of 24" to 30" will suit most typical spaces.
The fixture should be hung 27" to 36" above the tabletop and minimum of 6" in from the edge of the table.
A dimmer switch creates low lighting for dining and can be turned up when extra light is needed.

"How should lamps be placed in a room?"
Living room
When placing a lamp on a side table, the bottom of the lampshade should be at eye level when you are seated or approximately 40"- 42" from the floor.
In the bedroom the bottom of your lampshade should be even with your shoulder when you are sitting up in bed or 20" from the top of your bed.
Home Office 
When sitting at a desk minimum 15" to bottom of lamp shade or eye level.
Floor lamps should be 40"-42" from the floor or eye level when seated.

Happy decorating!