It's all about SCALE
Scale is not just what we dread Monday mornings or on January 1. Easily overlooked, scale is actually a good thing when it comes to the scale of your furniture, artwork and area rugs.
If you have a smaller sized home that’s a bit limited on space, then you do NOT want a ginormous sofa dominating your family room space. Big overstuffed pieces are too big for a cozy, smaller sized room. Conversely, if you have a huge space, then a tiny two seat love-seat with delicate little chairs will get lost in a cavernous space with soaring ceilings. See how that works?
If your family room / great room is a little on the cozy side, then make sure your furniture is a little smaller in scale. By that I mean, the sofa’s back isn’t quite as tall, and the visual weight is in proportion to your room’s size. I was in a friend’s home, and he has a stunning view, and the room was a comfortable size. Question - if that was your living room – and you have a jaw-dropping, stunning view - what size sectional would you purchase? If you’re tempted to get the overstuffed man-cave like sectional – the sectional on steroids – then think again. My friend purchased a sectional that’s smaller in scale so the VIEW is what draws your attention. Sofas and sectionals with a lower back actually make the room look even taller. The Cindy Crawford flip (pictured above) is a great example of exactly what scale furniture my friend purchased. It really works.
Whatever art you have above your sofa should be at least 2/3 the width of your sofa. Don’t have artwork? Then enlarge a favorite photo onto canvas. Another option would be to create your own art by grabbing a large canvas and releasing your inner Jackson Pollock. Or you could group a number of pieces that have some common denominator, whether it’s the subject matter, the colors or the overall feeling – Frame them in the same type of frame so that too unifies the grouping.
Where else does SCALE have an impact in your home’s décor?
When it comes to area rugs, the biggest question in people’s minds is “how big should my rug be”? And again, the answer depends on the scale. Scale of your furniture and the room’s size. My rule of thumb is buy a rug that anchors the entire seating arrangement. When the rug is too small, it’s floating out in the middle of the room. Not only does it look off, but it makes the room seem smaller than it is. You want your rug to be large enough. Ideally, the entire seating arrangement should be on the rug, but if you can’t do that, at least the front legs of every furniture piece should sit on the rug. This really anchors your seating arrangement, and helps the entire room to feel bigger.
Right Scale helps Sell
I love to peruse the real estate listings. I still love to see what homes are listed and how they’re decorated. I’ve noticed that the furniture’s SCALE also helps determine the home’s appeal. Lately I’ve noticed listings that have been on the market for months and months – and one of the reasons (in my opinion) is that the scale of the furniture is off. Most often I see furniture that’s way too big for the space. Or there are way too many pieces in a room. I found this photo above on the MLS that has that exact issue. It conveys a subtle message that the home is really too small. Subconsciously the potential buyers are thinking, "My furniture probably won’t fit here." You can't even walk through without bumping into the ottomans or table. (Note: Just removing the two ottomans would really help that room!) If you’re getting ready to sell your home, please consider the scale of the furniture pieces in your rooms when staging for sale.
Find out for yourself
I encourage you to go see some luxurious model homes in your area, such as the Toll Brothers. Look at the scale of furniture in relation to the size of the space. Educate your eye, so that you can do it yourself at home.
Scale. It's more than the thing we avoid January 1st.
It's a New Year, and time to refresh your home: 3 easy steps that cost you $0
Sometimes when we take down the holiday decorations, the house feels a little sad. We loved the festive decorations and there’s a little feeling of loss, when we take it all down. It’s not a letdown – but it’s a set UP for you to make some positive changes in your home. Let’s give your home some new life. You need a box, a towel, and a hammer.
Step 1: Let's go boxing
Look around your room right now. Is there anything that does not spark joy in your heart? For instance, if you’re in your home office – are there any books that really are not you anymore? If so, grab that box and gather the books you are going to donate. Move to the next room and repeat this process. Someone will appreciate these books – whether it’s the library, or the local thrift shop that benefits your favorite charity.
"HEY CLOTHES, COME OUT OF THE CLOSET". If your clothes are so jam packed into the closet that you always have wrinkled clothes, chances are you can let go of a few items of clothing. If this is you – get the grocery sack and pull out all the clothes you haven’t worn in the past 12 months. Pull out all the clothes that still have the tags on them that you never got around to wearing this past year. Eliminate all the clothes that don’t fit. Ladies, if you have a dress that’s a few sizes smaller than you are, clothes do not exist to shame you. Put all these items in the donation box. Guys, if you're in your 30's and still have high school tees, time to let them go. It’s a win win - Every time you walk in your closet, only have clothes that fit you and make you smile when you wear them, and the clothes reflect who/ what you are today. And you’ll donate to organizations that will benefit others with your old clothing. That is the first step - fill up a box (or two or three! ) and donate them.
STEP 2: Grab a towel. We're going to move some furniture.
Think about the room you had your Christmas tree, or your holiday decorations. Could that room use a bit of a refresh? You can easily do this by rearranging your furniture in a more conversational set up. If your furniture is pushed up against the walls, pull it out a little – ‘no wallflowers’. The towel under the furniture make moving furniture easy. (Or you can use Super Sliders, available at most stores. During January I'll have these on the Links page.) If you always have the recliner in that one corner, switch it up a little – and see how the room feels. If you have always had your room arranged straight on, with sofa parallel to the wall, consider changing it up by putting the sofa on an angle.
We were celebrating our anniversary at the Inn of the Anasazi in Santa Fe, and I noticed the little living area adjacent to the concierge was arranged on an angle. Something as simple as shifting the arrangement to be on an angle can dramatically change the look and feel of a room. Or if you have a kitchen table that’s square to the wall, try turning it 45 degrees. I encourage you to rethink your rooms, and rearrange – change it up. This step costs nothing, but can make the room feel brand new. That was fun. What's next?
Step 3: It's hammer time.
When refreshing a room, I like to take down every piece of art and reconsider where they are placed. Could you regroup your pictures / artwork in a new way so it’s more pleasing to the eye? Go ahead – take down all the artwork in a room, and look at your walls – it’s a blank canvas! Rearranging your artwork can completely revitalize a tired room, and again – it costs you nothing to do that. So many times we just throw artwork up to fill empty spaces. But if you’re more thoughtful about it – you will love the results.
The key is to group like with like – such as landscapes all together, or a certain colorway together. Perhaps you have different pieces all framed in a similar fashion – that’s your common denominator. Group like with like items together and you will be pleased with the new arrangement. (The example above shows how brightly colored art from different artists and genres can effectively coexist.)
Play with the artwork arrangement over your bed – try something different behind your sofa – and change it up. All you need is a hammer, and an adventurous spirit. If you have lots of family photos, instead of having pictures here there and everywhere scattered throughout the house. Gather all the family photos and create a hall of memories. I was at someone’s home recently who did exactly that and it looks fantastic. It’s a nice reminder of our loved ones every time you pass through that hallway.
There’s a medical bonus to this work. If you’re over 50, studies show that rearranging your artwork and furniture can help stave off Alzheimer’s – giving your eye a new arrangement to look at is good for you.
REFRESH YOUR HOME this New Year. All you need is a box, a towel and a hammer to refresh your space. Fill up the box with donations of that which you don’t need any more and know that you’ll be blessing someone else with your donations. Use the towel to slip under heavy furniture when rearranging for better functionality. And the hammer is for rehanging your artwork in a new way.
Here's to your New Y.E.A.R., Your Easy Affordable Refresh. It's not a let down, it’s a SET UP for you to give your rooms new life, at no cost.
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