Have you ever heard someone talking about something they want to do to their home and you cringe? I often think my friends think I'm off my rocker when I talk about the outlandish things I want to do to my home. But if you are a risk-taker, then just go for it and go all the way. If you aren't, stick to your safe-ground and don't push the envelope. Half-assing it ('scuse my French) will always show. Do what makes you feel good, and is within your comfort zone. But if you are looking to make your mark, put all your chips in!
Where people get into trouble is taking some risks in an otherwise low-risk environment. The lack of confidence in their risk will always show through. The wrong piece of stylized furniture in an otherwise Pottery Barn house. Or a bad paint color with really classic or traditional furniture.
There are some rules of thumb to keep in mind when looking to make an impact in your home. Remember Mom's post on the BRAGG theory? There are some elements that make or break a room. We call them the Holy Trinity. I know, I know… it's just decorating. But these things can really make you say 'oh my GOD' when done right.
First up - LIGHTING.
This is true of all of these categories, but lighting is especially worthy of spending a bit more money to get just what you want. Even if it means making sacrifices in the budget for other areas, lighting is supremely important. Lighting is one of those things that can be extremely costly, especially if you have a lot of fixtures to replace. But choosing impactful lighting will increase the allure of your space arguably more than any other element of decor.
|Jan Showers is famous for her murano lamps and fabulous lighting in her interiors|
Numero dos - RUGS.
So many crazes out there like over-dyed or the Beni Oushak trend. But whatever you are into, spend a little bit more to get a quality rug. It will make all the difference in the way it 'wears' and how much impact it has in a space. Poor quality rugs shed and pill and show wear much easier than ones designed to weather the test of time. And one of the biggest mistakes I see people make with rugs is SRS. Small Rug Syndrome. We all make this mistake at some point. And after a while, it nags at you that none of the corners meet the furniture or the walls and eventually you bite the bullet and upgrade to the bigger rug. There are far too many 5 x7 and 6 x9 rugs in large lofty living rooms. And maybe that's a function of the number of those size rugs being sold in the big-box stores. The pocketbook takes a huge hit on a custom or large room rug, but just make sure your rug grounds your room and fills the space its meant for.
Occasional chairs and dining chairs are some of the most sat in when company calls. They are also the most noticeable. And there's nothing worse than an uncomfortable chair. Saving your pennies for a few more months will be well worth it in the long run when you avoid the Ikea chairs and splurge on the real hardwood framed chairs. I regret my Ikea Parsons-esque dining chairs every night while we eat dinner. They always creak and shift and the legs often loosen. Oddly though, the Lucite Ikea chairs I have intermixed are not as bad as the cheap softwood Henriksdal chairs we also have. A chair is all about sitting. Sitting should be comfortable. Not rickety or unstable.