Whenever I design a show house room, I let the room speak to me first. What does it offer? What natural elements are there to work with?
For example, the 2011 Holly Hill show house had stone walls and high, angled windows that allowed natural light into the room and offered garden views. I immediately knew my design would use these elements to their best advantage.
The stone walls and greenery seen through the windows created a nature theme, which I expanded upon in a number of ways (you’ll find even more in the photos):
- I embossed a leaf pattern into the freshly-painted alcove;
- Fabrics on the furniture have natural textures;
- The floor covering is sisal;
- Pillows add a citrus accent;
- The custom-designed 250-gallon aquarium is living nature.
I also chose colors that would play off the tones in the stone wall, right down to the last detail. For example, the decorative nail heads in the chairs, the sconces, and the drapery hardware are a coppery hue taken directly from the stones.
One of the most important things to consider when choosing furnishings for any room is to keep them in proportion with the space. The Holly Hill room had pipes running across the ceiling in some areas, which lowered the ceiling height considerably. The chairs I chose worked proportionally with that section of the room while not detracting from the strength of the stone wall behind them.
Look around the room you’re decorating – does it have any special attributes that you’d like to use as a natural focal point, like a brick wall, fireplace or a picture window? If so, don’t introduce another focal point that may fight it for attention; it could become overwhelming to the eye. Instead, give it center stage and design your room to accentuate and enhance it.