May 25, 2024
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May 25, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

I am often asked certain questions that seem like a theme, so I thought that I would address some of the more frequently posed queries.

How can I decorate around my gray sofa?

Gray is certainly an on-trend color, so how to incorporate it into our space with style? Well, first I would start with the existing pieces in the room. You can achieve a look that works with different types of furniture by staying neutral in the fabrics—gray can be the bridge that unites the room.

And speaking of fabrics, I like to work off the gray by using a variety of textures and different fabrics for a highlight. Gray is never boring if it is used as a background for your imagination to play. Don’t be afraid to go bold with a wall color or area rug!

Remember that there are blue-grays and taupe-grays and select your room décor accordingly. For cool grays I go for the blues and greens, while with a warm gray I prefer corals and golds.

How can I refresh my living room without breaking the budget?

Let’s start with something really easy: Change your pillow covers. Choose patterns to express your personality or pick solid colors for a polished look.

Next, I often like to simply rearrange the furniture. You’d be surprised what a difference this achieves in making your room look refreshed. Especially helpful is to float furniture off the walls, in other words, move pieces away from a configuration where the furniture is set against a wall so that the room looks like a box. Think rather of creating conversation areas.

And while you’re rearranging things, think of switching your artwork. Bring in art from another room and move pieces around. You can work back to your new pillow covers, perhaps, for a new color scheme.

Do check the size of your rug—is it large enough? One thing people often overlook is picking the right-sized rug. Make sure that your rug fits the space appropriately; ideally you want all the furniture to fit onto the rug. If not that, then certainly the front portion of each piece of furniture should be on the rug.

Next I check the window treatments. Do the windows enhance the space? Whether you prefer drapes or shades such as Roman shades, use this opportunity to bring pattern and color into the room. Do think of hanging your window treatments above the window to make ceilings seem higher.

I particularly like top-down, bottom-up shades with privacy lining, and you can even splurge and order these with a remote control.

Lastly, consider using small touches to bring interest. I have used peel-and-stick wallpaper on the backs of built-ins for some visual appeal.

What are some trends I can incorporate into my home?

I always make a distinction between trendy and on-trend. It may seem like a small difference, but it will keep you from making a potentially expensive mistake. Trendy ideas come and go; don’t get stuck with something you won’t love after the trend is over.

That said, trending right now are statement mirrors, which I helped select for a dear client’s living room. Retro and ornate frames for mirrors are “in.” Also still much-loved is anything ombre—the blending of one color hue to another, usually moving shades from light to dark—which creates a calming effect, as well as laying textiles for a cozy feel. Back in style in a big way are floral wallpapers, maybe because of our affection for the royals—think Laura Ashley. Keep the look in check by pairing florals with sleek furniture. Guess what else is back? Paper lanterns are in again for mood lighting. Our neighbor is an architect, and he has installed them with flair in his family room. And people are choosing to bring happiness into their rooms by purchasing bright and colorful accent pieces—just remember to buy what you will still love in six years!

How can I incorporate my outdoor space into our home décor?

Yes, due to the pandemic and working from home, more than ever people are focusing on utilizing their outdoor space as another room. I’ll start with the backyard, which can be adapted into a restful home office. Although I am only an amateur gardener, there are some ideas we all can apply. Use trees or lush plantings to provide some privacy. A small garden table and outdoor chair may be sufficient for your laptop and a beverage. Add an outdoor rug, which we did on our deck, along with some large pots of colorful flowers—they have lovely ones at Costco! I wanted some drama, so I bought a gold-colored fire bowl, much easier to use than a firepit. I even found some outdoor wall art at Wayfair; it looks so pretty. And also useful for resuming socializing is the front yard. I am a Southerner, so a lemonade porch is part of my background. This is when a front porch is used to relax with neighbors and sip a cool beverage. Use similar ideas as in the backyard: an outdoor rug, comfortable seating—how about a swing?—lots of colorful flowers in pots, some small outdoor tables, and maybe a string of lights, too. Email me for some great takes on lemonade!

As you can see, I really feel that it is possible to update our primary spaces without overspending. I am always mindful of budget, so let’s be in touch to see how I can assist you in your home.

Dorene Richman lives in West Orange with her husband Ron and their furry family. She is active in her sisterhood and in AMIT. Call her at 973-699-1462 or email [email protected]

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