Who hasn’t tried at least one paint-by-number? I remember trying this classic moose masterpiece when I was a kid. Sadly, I don’t think mine looked much better than this one. In fact, I’ve never been very good at painting even by the numbers. Thank goodness, when it comes to decorating, the numbers work in my favor. In fact, here are some of my favorites. From ONE to SEVEN, these tips take the guesswork out of and might help fill in your own decorating blanks.
ONE: Arranging any space is easier if you narrow down to ONE focal point. Whether it’s a fireplace, picture window, piano or tv, picking a focal point to arrange around makes it easier to group furniture and helps a room make sense.
TWO: Even numbers, especially pairs of things appear more formal. Whether it’s a pair of matching wingback chairs, lamps, end tables or even TWO companion art pieces, duos work well symmetrically feeling balanced and more formal.
THREE: When deciding the color story for your space, think in THREEs. A trio of colors, even shades of the same color, add dimension and interest to any space. Start with a canvas or background color (usually walls). Enhance your background with a color that compliments it. That could be another example of the same color or a neutral. Finally, add a pop of color that is unexpected and seems to fight or clash with the first two. Following the rule of THREE when picking colors will create a dynamic color palette for your space.
FOUR: Most rooms have at least 4 corners. And your room is going to look and feel differently when seen & appreciated from each one. When you’re decorating, make sure you take a look at your space from as many vantage points as possible… preferably all FOUR corners of the room. The balance and layout of a room can look great from one side, but might look off from another corner. As you place furniture, add artwork and accessories always take a look at your composition from each corner making adjustments as you go.
FIVE: Even in formal spaces, most accessories look best when grouped in odd numbers. While pairs of accessories can be dramatic, odd numbers of accessories in varying sizes and shapes add visual interest and layers to your design. Grouping a tall, short, flat, round and an oddly shaped items is a great formula for accessorizing.
SIX: Great lighting is one of the most important and yet overlooked aspects of decorating. In order to showcase your decor and eliminate dark corners in your space, ensure at least SIX sources of evenly distributed light in your space. Natural light from windows in addition to overhead lighting and lamps all count toward your six.
SEVEN: Artwork makes a strong statement in any space. If hanging above a sofa, console table or other furniture, it should be ‘mated’ with the object it hangs above. The rule of thumb is to hang artwork with the bottom roughly 6-8″ above the back of the furniture piece. If your artwork is hung an average of seven inches above, you’ll insure perfectly hung artwork every time.
In many ways, the art of decorating is as straight forward and fool-proof as paint by number. Incorporating ONE through SEVEN , rest assured your space will look as good or even better than your favorite fool-proof art masterpiece.
Happy Decorating by the Numbers.