Have you ever wondered why some rooms don’t look cozy and inviting no matter how well they are decorated? I’ve walked into many beautiful homes that show like models but have a sterile and unwelcoming feel to them. Whether you think you suffer from “model-home” syndrome or just want to make your family and guests feel more relaxed, here are a few quick fixes to make your spaces feel more warm and inviting.
1- FURNITURE PLACEMENT
Nothing…and I do mean nothing makes a room feel more inviting than the proper placement of furniture. First and foremost, furniture should always fit the function of the room and be grouped to provide for easy conversation. Group seating close together rather than spreading it out around the edges of the room. Never make people feel like they have to raise their voices even slightly in order to be heard.
Also, avoid configurations where people have to turn their heads more than 45 degrees to talk to someone else. Coffee and side tables should always been within arm’s reach of every chair so you can put down a glass or reach a book or magazine. Finally, deliberately angled furniture always makes a room feel more casual and cozy.
Layering is another way to create more inviting and comfortable surroundings for you family and guests. Adding layers of area rugs, throws & pillows and fabric window treatments all soften the choppy edges of furniture, flooring and windows and help create warmth. Never be afraid to layer a rug on top of carpet to create a “room within a room”. Rugs can even be layered on top of one another (depending on style) for an interesting effect.
Throws and pillows are a wonderful way to add softness and create a more welcoming space and can be changed with the seasons or your mood. They are one of the quickest and cheapest ways to change the look and feel of a room. And of course, no space is complete without window treatments that compliment the look, use and feel of a room. Casual living spaces and bedrooms can always be made to feel more warm and inviting with the addition of curtains or draperies. And don’t forget to layer your accessories as well. Lonely accessories create more of a gallery feel and are better when grouped together to create small vignettes rather than lined up like toy soldiers on your tables, mantel, bookcases or other areas.
Finally, proper lighting is key when trying to create warmth in a space. Nothing and no one ever looks their best with only overhead/ceiling lighting. Overhead lighting is most useful for tasks like cleaning, but it rarely enhances the warmth of a space. While dimmers help soften task lighting, you still should use a combination of lamps, canister lights, wall sconces, picture lights and even candles in every room.
4 to 6 sources of light (including windows) in a room which are evenly distributed gives you more opportunities to layer the lighting in your space and eliminate dark, lifeless corners. Proper lighting always creates a warmth and glow that is more flattering for you and your belongings.
You’ve probably spent a lot of time collecting the perfect furniture and decor for your home. Make sure your hard work shows to its full potential by following these tried-and-true tips. Placement, layering and lighting will help you take a well decorated space from ‘now’ to ‘wow’ in no time at all! Happy Decorating!