Most people think they have to push the furniture up against the walls. We often talk about it on the radio show – my rule is “No Wallflowers”. Pull the furniture away from the walls, so you can have an easy conversation with others in the room. Unless you are square dancing in the middle of the room, you can explore all sorts of options.
For example, this picture demonstrates how placing your sofas (or sofa / loveseat) perpendicular to the focal point can look fabulous. (In this case the focal point is the fireplace). How easy is that! Now everyone seated can have an easy conversation with everyone else in the room.
This is a perfect arrangement for a large family, or for people who entertain.
The Toll Brothers luxury builders know this trick. Notice how the seating is all arranged to the focal point.
When staging someone’s home for sale this is the trick I use all the time. I want to call attention to the home’s feature – whether it’s the view or the fireplace, a gorgeous piece of art or whatever…. And I’ve had clients say “we didn’t know the house could look this good! maybe we don’t have to move after all”. What’s the difference? You’re using what you already own, and simply rearranging for better flow and functionality.
In my recent staging workshop, one of the students brought me a picture of her family room. She had her sofa and loveseat perpendicular to the fireplace. The arrangement was open and inviting. I was so proud of her! And it turns out her mother had taken my Be Your Own Designer workshop earlier in the year, and had shared this tip with her. A family that decorates together, stays together, I say.
And now YOU know this tip. No wallflowers. Rearrange the furniture to highlight your room's best feature.
No matter how beautiful your furniture, no matter how luscious your paint colors, it does not matter unless you can see. Sufficient lighting in the home is essential to create a safe space, as well as a beautiful atmosphere. When I was in the theater the director would say that the most important job was that of the lighting designer. Again – it’s because if you can’t SEE anything – nothing else matters.
LIGHTING LAYER #1 - Ambient
Most of us know about the first layer, Ambient. This is general lighting. Basically, this is the overall lighting that makes sure you don’t bump into the furniture. You have to see where you’re going. When you’re walking into a dark room, you flip on a light – whether it’s overhead ceiling light, or a pair of powerful floor lamps, that’s the ambient lighting.
Overhead lighting also includes flush mounted or dropped ceiling fixtures….or that lovely chandelier over your bed. Make sure every single room has ample ambient light to adequately illuminate the space. Moving on to layer #2.
Most people stop there. But there is one more layer.
When it comes to lighting, use all 3 layers of light in your rooms. See your home in a new LIGHT.
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We all want to give back and pay it forward, but how? There are countless ways that you (yes, you!) can make a difference in someone’s life. You do not have to be Bill or Melinda Gates in order to make a difference. Here are some ideas and stories to get you started.
How can YOU give back this week? What small random act of kindness will you do? How can you lift someone's day? Leave your comment below.
Go out and be a light... at home, at work, and in your community.