When it comes to designing and decorating your home, you want to do it right the first time, and there is some advice given out often that, in my opinion, needs to be ignored.
It usually comes from a builder, a worker on your home, or a well-intentioned friend. Trust your gut, or better yet, hire a designer you can trust with one of the largest investments (your home) you will ever make.
So here goes…. A few pieces of friendly advice you should ignore:
1. Don’t paint your brick – If you have a new or cookie cutter brick home and you used the standard brick you see everywhere, painting your brick can be one of the best things you can do to make it look a little more custom. Yes, you cannot go back, but who would want to when it’s the mass produced brick you see so much of these days? Painted brick is so pretty to me and it is a great way to give your home a new, cohesive look. See how gorgeous this home is below?
It is the home of Milieu editor, Pamela Pierce, as seen in Veranda magazine. If you have not checked out Milieu, you must do so as it does not disappoint.
2. Using 6″ recess cans throughout a space– Heard of a swiss cheese ceiling? Yep, this is exactly what I mean.
If you must incorporate recess, use the smaller ones that provide lots of light from a small bulb. Yes, the smaller recess cost more than the typical 5″-6″ builder cans often speced, but the look far outweighs the cost. Use dimmers to soften the lighting, and use a variety of different types of lighting to create warmth and layering. Table and floor lamps that direct light in the living areas is best. It allows you to see things better, puts a nicer light on your face, and illuminates the colors and textures in your furnishings better.
3. Selecting granite over marble because you do not think marble is durable- This one is a BIG one and I am constantly having to educate my clients about this stone.
I can only hope I am aging as well as marble does, because to me, there is nothing prettier than a well worn piece of marble after several years have passed. I have had it in my house for almost eight years, and trust me, we live hard inuse my kitchen and bathrooms. And guess what? Do not tell my dirty little secret, but we are not the neatest group either.
The key is to choose a honed marble so etching wont take place if something hot is placed on it, and if you like red wine, don’t leave it spilled on the counter for days on end. If something does happen and the stain bothers you (which it shouldn’t- it’s called patina), the material can always be resurfaced.
4. Hanging artwork too high– Keep the center of your artwork at eye level or a little lower to create intimacy in a space. In a room where people will mostly be sitting, artwork should be hung a little lower.
5. Arranging all of your furniture against the walls– You never want to create a furniture arrangement that makes conversation difficult. If you have a room that is big enough, be creative and float your sofa and add a couple of sitting ares to the space. A sofa can look great off of the wall, so use open spaces to be creative and create intimacy.
What advice have you been given when it comes to your house that you wish you’d ignored? I’d love to hear from you so please share!
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Remember the post a few weeks ago on social media where we asked you for your favorite Alabama landmark?
We did so because Traditional Home asked us – and five other designers across the country- to create a virtual mood board on Pinterest of a room inspired by a local landmark. I chose the Vulcan in Birmingham, AL, and based it on the room below.
I recreated this room by adding a little iron by Lucy Smith, some Alabama artwork and fabrics by Arthur Price and Coleman Taylor, and a few Ethan Allen pieces. I included paint samples, fabrics, and accessories to create a classic design for modern life, one that embodies the Traditional Home “New Trad” aesthetic.
I was very honored this summer when, because of all of you and your votes, I won the Traditional Home contest among all of the Trad designers for 2014. I would be grateful and humbled again if you would take a second and vote for my board. http://newtradsweeps.com/ .
It’s quick , it’s easy, and best of all, you register with each vote to win a $2,500 gift certificate to Ethan Allen. You can vote once a day and voting ends December 20th.
Thank you, my friends. Let me know what you think!