July 19, 2015

Start With the Floor

oriental rug
I learned a very good design tip years ago from a designer. Start with the floor and go up. It has served me well over the years and I have applied it for years and continue to apply the technique in our current house. 

We put down wide plank oak floors in our Georgian, because I wanted a new "old house." So...starting with the floor worked for me. As we purchased area rugs...and created rooms I usually began with the floor/rug. 

When we bought our current house we tore out the carpet, and installed hardwood flooring. I began with the floor for the base of my design. So, in reworking some colors in the front of our current house I am starting with the floor AND the recently remade yellow draperies. I am ok, because my rug also has yellow and white....plus several other colors. I am using the older rug as my new starting point. I just discovered that I have been overlooking the rug as great source of color inspiration. 

Here is my rug of many colors! It is a nice wool rug with great colors and great detail. It is not a huge rug...but for this room, the mama cave, that's a plus. 
Design from Floor Up

I began by laying things on the rug to see if the colors worked. 
I added a tan pillow. 
I have overlooked the tan in the border of the rug. 
I just always thought of it as a black rug. 
Once I started really looking at the colors in my rug I started thinking that I might like to work with the tan. 
Here is a gold pillow
...which goes with the yellow in the rug, as well as the black. 
The swatches are considerations for chair coverings. 
One is an ivory damask, and the other is a 
new fretwork design with gold squares.
Design from Floor Up
You may be able to see the colors of the rug better in this picture. As I put down each item, I began to think that I could make this tan-gold-black idea work.

I started gathering bits and pieces from around the house to see what would work with the rug and the rest of the room. 

Starting with the rug...I just kept putting accessories down and then pulling them back, depending on if they worked or not. 
If something "works" is completely subjective. What works for me may not work for you. 

Let's start the process!

decorating with plates
I think I can use this plate...
as there are touches of gold and warm rust. 
Plus, the the blue in the plate goes with the blue in the rug.
King Charles Spaniels
The King Charles pups work since they are black and white.
decorator pillows
More black and white.
decorating with black and white
The sofa sure looks different without bright pillows. 
Can I do this neutral shift? 
There are always self doubts!
decorating with green
Spring in the sitting room.
Since we will be entering a transition season in a few weeks, maybe these neutral tones will be a fresh change. 
arranging pillows
These pillows are from my first tour of the house. I find shopping the house to be a much less expensive alternative when you are constantly rotating things as often as I do. ha!
The pillows work well with the rug!
neutral pillows
 Next, I added two animal print pillows that have lived in the great room on the leather sofa. 
That's when I thought OK...looking good! 
Both the animal pattern and the touch of black made me like the neutral pillows better. Remember, I am just trying this neutral look to see what I can do... 
To see if "I" can decorate with neutrals. 
Baby Steps!
decorating with leopard
My pictures look like I have taupe pillows...but really there is some warm camel in both the animal print and the linen looking ones (from Pier One.)
coffee table vignette

As you know I am a "color" girl, but I am trying neutrals for a little while...just using things I already have around the house. 
how to use accessories in decorating
I am considering it a challenge to see how many different looks I can get without purchasing anything. 

I just need to look at what I have...differently. 
I need to be more creative with what I already own. 

Challenge on!

I will be tweaking things a little more in the mama cave. 

It was with some hesitation that I decided to cover the purple chintz chairs...but I have had that chintz look for far too many years.
My daugher would say...encough with the chintz!

I am on the upholster's list...so it is just a matter of time till I will have some new (old) chairs to show you. Oh wait...I have to decide on the fabric for the wing chairs. Soon.
There will be pictures! 
So remember to check back.

Today,I just wanted to share the process I use in creating a room. Give it a try and see if it helps you when you don't know where to go, design wise. If you are not using a rug...then start with a fabric you love. 

1. Start with the floor/rug, a rug that you love.  
2. Lay your accessories, pillows, and fabrics on the rug until you find the combination of supporting items that make you say...Ahhhh. Yes!
3. Place the selected items around the room to make the eye move from vignette to vignette. 

You can do this!

Thanks for visiting...

My Kentucky Living
My Kentucky Living

Hello, I'm Sheila and my house is a giant art project! I enjoy creating an environment where my family can feel safe, secure, and loved. We are empty nesters learning to slow down and enjoy life.

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