Saturday, December 21, 2013

Mood Board No. 1: Adding Edge to a Fussy Room

A good friend of mine recently moved in with her grandmother due to economic circumstances. Her grandmother's living room is quite fussy, with busy wallpaper and a large pink sofa.  Grandma told my friend she could modernize the room a little, but the sofa and the wallpaper had to stay.  My friend wants to add some black and some edge, but has very little money.

Grandma didn't want me to photograph the room for the world to see, so I'm using this room for the sake of discussion.  Sorry - source unknown.  Please contact me if you know the original source of this room.

Let's start by dissecting this room. Nothing is more groovy than a big, comfy, traditional sofa in pink. I got very excited when my friend told me the sofa is pink!  The wallpaper in this photo is about as fussy as grandma's. Let's face it - yuk. Sorry, but yuk. And that ornate mirror on top of that fussy wallpaper - double yuk. Now before you get mad at me, remember that's just my humble opinion. I don't like wallpaper (or mirrors). I know wallpaper's enjoying a resurgence, but I'm not sold. Take my word for it, if you cover your walls in something this busy you will get bored quickly. And if you ever have to rip wallpaper, you will be totally over it. I've had that particular joy. If you see a pattern you are in love with, a panel of wallpaper can be kinda cool framed, and a lot less permanent. Suffice it to say, wallpaper is not for those who like to change up their rooms often, you're better off painting an accent wall. Sadly, girlfriend doesn't have those amazing acrylic tables to work with.

So, my friend has little money and doesn't even know where to start. Luckily, I know where to start, and that's why she called me. Step one - clean the room.  Often when you are bored with a room, or if it is too fussy, it's because it has too much clutter. Fortunately, girlfriend's grandma is cool with clearing clutter. Once that's done, it's time for my simple equation, 3P + L.  That is, when changing or decorating a room, just add the three P's:  a pillow, a painting, a piece of pottery.  Then add a groovy and unexpected lamp. Simple. This formula can be applied if you are bored and want to change your room, or if you are decorating your room from scratch. If you're not into pottery, you can add a piece of sculpture. Almost any object you find intriguing can function as sculpture, but keep it to a minimum. Clutter just won't do.

Here's an example. Of course when preparing a mood board, money is no object. She wants to add edge, to make the room look more modern.  She like to add black, and a little masculinity and strength to balance the room that is currently too sweet. Love the pillows here. Adding a metallic pillow and a hot pink pillow is a perfect idea.  Bring edge to the room with art, by adding brutalist, or industrial, abstract art. Go big with your art. Opt for one large piece rather than a grouping of smaller pieces. A grouping of smaller pieces can make a fussy room look even fussier.  Painting by Ella Carty, lamp from Absolute Luxury Furniture, bitchin' head sculpture from Kelly Wearstler.

Now, of course these items are all too expensive, but act as a guide. We will be scouring the thrift shops. And don't forget, you can do wonders with paint.  Can't find a black lamp?  Buy a cheapy at the Goodwill and spray paint it. Can't afford large art?  Buy a canvas at the craft store and splatter paint on it. It's okay that it's not perfect, in fact imperfection should be embraced.  And it's fun to hang something in your home that you made.

I couldn't help myself.  I wanted to prove the point that this room would look so much better painted than with wallpaper.  You know I love me a gray accent wall.

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