When it comes to designing or decorating your home, there are no hard and fast rules. No one can tell you that anything you’ve done is “wrong.” That being said, there are a few general principles that can help ensure a great result every time. It doesn’t take years to master these skills, they are merely a foundation for developing your own creative style, and doing it well.
Hang Artwork at the Right Height
This one is simple ergonomics! The average human eye level is 57 inches, so for optimal viewing, galleries and museums hang artwork so that the center of each piece is 57 to 60 inches from the floor. This eliminates neck craning, and ensures the majority of people have an optimal view.
In a room with high ceilings, you might be tempted to hang the art higher, but keep in mind that it needs to relate to human scale, not the structure’s scale. Stick to the 57-60 inch average.
Choose a Focal Point
Whether it’s a quirky light fixture, an architectural element, or a piece of artwork, every room needs a focal point to anchor it. Too many big, attention seeking pieces in one space can easily become overwhelming. Choose one focal point and design the rest of your space around it.
Below, the antelope patterned Karastan carpet is a showstopper on its own. In the second room, the fireplace is definitely a dominant feature. Both focal points easily dictate the neutral color pallets, the rustic light fixtures and the warm atmosphere. The linear composition of both, also draw your eye right to the center of the room and anchor it there.
Your focal point should be visible from one room to the next, connecting the spaces and making them feel like one open room. The best place for a focal point is usually directly across from the entrance to the room.
The orange chandelier in the dining room below is visible from the living room, and the horse painting in the next room is perfectly framed by the archway separating the two rooms. And they’re both perfect.
I don’t care if your deceased great grandmother gave it to you, if a piece just isn’t working for you, it’s time to find it a new home. Whether that means passing it on to another family member, or trying you luck in another room, you need to know when to stop. Moderation is everything.
While a floor to ceiling bookshelf filled with neat and tidy volumes may work, a smaller shelf packed to the gills with mismatched trinkets feels much more crowded and haphazard. Choose a unifying theme – whether it’s a color scheme, or something more unique – and make sure everything fits. If not, let it go.
Don’t be Afraid to Be Bold!
Remember, there are no rules, so make your own statement and have fun! Try something new, and if it something doesn’t work, try something else.
Try bold colors or dramatic flooring. Find anything that will make you happy every day, and go for it!