What went wrong in this beautiful room?
Interior Design is supposed to be all about creativity and personal expression. But as much as we look for inspiration and what to do, knowing what not to do is just as important. Today, I’m going to critique a beautiful room from Southern Living Magazine talking about what works and what doesn’t.
First of all, this is an expensive room designed by a prominent designer. So I’m sure that I’m about to make a few people mad. But, I need an omelet, so here goes with breaking a few eggs.
Cream and blue are certainly classic colors and there are great architectural features and scale here. There’s nothing awful here, just some things that could be better. It reads timeless but in an 80’s cliché way. If the requirement was to create a relaxing room, then the designer met that feeling. Unfortunately, I think relaxing fell into sleep inducing.
The first change that I would like to see here is more texture. Monochromatic rooms have to rely on texture and dimension to create interest. A good room design should have combination of wood, soft goods, metal, stone and glass. Here, there is plenty of wood and soft goods with just a smidge of stone in the ceramic lamps and the brick fire surround but there isn’t any metal or glass. A metal table with a glass or stone top would be a great change along with a metal or crystal light fixture. The fabrics are all the same texture as well. Where are the velvets, shag or silks. Even the carpet’s low pile doesn’t create a different feel.
Another suggestion I would make is to bring in another color. Everything is cream and the same soft blue. If the monochromatic design is hard boiled, bring in another shade of blue. But a beautiful fuschia or even the color of the year, coral, would be a great addition. Different patterns are also crucial to a successful mono chromatic room. The floral is used everywhere, even on the chandelier shades! The stripes disappear into that floral and the pattern on the rug is so tonal that it barely registers.
But, my biggest complaint concerning this room is that there isn’t any personality here. This room could be in any model home or hotel sitting area. Where is the homeowner? Adding the changes that I mentioned above could go along way towards adding some personality. But I’d also like to see some interesting artwork or collections. One of my major rules is that each room should have 1 thing that just makes you smile. While this room is beautiful at first glance, you see the whole room in one glance. There isn’t going to be a moment where you think "Ooo, I haven’t noticed that before!"
So when you look at your own room or an “inspiration” room, think of it more as a starting place where you can add you own life and personality instead of the end result. If you follow some of these suggestions you will create an amazing space.