Q&A: You Asked, Courtney Answered
I recently posted on my Instagram and asked what some of my followers would like to learn more about in terms of decor. Thank you for all the questions, I heard you and created a quick Q&A to some of the more popular questions.
Q. How to decorate and place furniture in an awkward living room space?
While each space is unique and there is no perfect answer that fits every space, here are a few considerations before selecting your furniture.
First off, where do you want the main focus to be in your space? When you walk into the room are there any structural features that stand out to you initially or that you maybe want to draw focus to or away from? Things like, fireplaces, large windows, beams or angled ceilings. A great first step is to consider what you want to showcase and what you don’t. Once you’ve decided on what to highlight, select your furniture to help enhance these areas. I often see homeowners think their furniture needs to be placed along the walls leaving dead space in the middle of the room. Instead break the space up into sections by using a proper sized area rug and working with the focal points you want to showcase. Creative use of paint colour can really change a room as well when working in an awkward space.
Q. How to test paint colours in a room before painting the entire room the wrong colour?
Never buy a gallon of paint before you test it! What might look amazing in the store could look completely different in the lighting of your home. Select a few variations of the colour you are considering in a tester can. Be sure to paint multiple decently sized patches (with two coats) directly on the wall in different areas of your space. The light from one wall to the next can be drastically different at different times of the day. On that same note, allow yourself to look at it in the morning, afternoon and evening light. This may change your opinion on the colour especially if you tend to spend more time in the room in the day vs evening. Another good tip is to already have some key pieces in your decor like area rug or larger furniture in place to help make the colour selection cohesive to your decor. It is much easier to select a paint colour then change the colour of your sofa.
Q. How do I fill empty shelves without it looking cluttered?
If you have a bookshelf and it is filled completely with books and clutter, try displaying them differently than just the traditional vertical way. Place like colours together or place them backwards (I know crazy right) and try to create variations to display them. Stack them on top of one another horizontally and add in a few favourite pictures or vases as bookends to create some depth and character on the shelf.
I’d say two of the most important things are to keep the colour theme consistent and not to try to fill every possible empty space and everything else will fall into place. For an added touch add in a little greenery whenever possible!
Q. Tips for backyard furniture and decor ideas?
For this one I had actually created an entire blog post on backyard decor that I think might be the most helpful for you! Here is the link.
Q. How to create a home office space when you don’t have the “space” for one?
The rise of home offices has gone up drastically in the past couple of months with the COVID-19 pandemic. Some experts say the trend is here to stay when things return to “normal”. There have been a lot of inquiries on how to make a functional space at home that is organized and motivating but also remains professional for possible zoom or video calls. If you don’t have a designated office space in your home, the best advice would be to find a cozy corner with minimal distractions. When you have a TV right beside you it can be easy to turn it on and get distracted. Same goes for a kitchen in your site line where you often find yourself opening cupboards for your next “bored” fix.
Since guests are more or less unwelcome in our homes right now, if you have a guest room try rearranging or storing the furniture away to fit a functional desk and chair. If you have an unused closet space you can also turn your office into a “cloffice” (see image for inspo) For video calls, If you are unable to have a professional background of perhaps a bookshelf or a few art pieces then try a professional background, West Elm has released images to use as your background on Zoom. For more personalized or branded Zoom virtual backgrounds, Meerkat Marketing offers this service at a minimal fee and can be catered to your company’s logo or personal needs.
Q. How do I pick the proper light for my space?
Again, there isn’t a magic answer for every home and further consultation might be necessary if you’re looking for a specific location, but a rule of thumb to consider is to measure the width and length of the room in feet. For example, a 10 ft. wide x 15 ft length space, multiply the length together and that value in feet just changes to inches so 15 x 15 = 30 feet which means 30 inches. This is an ideal size of what your light fixture should be for that space.
The height of the installation will depend on the height of the room and location of course. A dining room light should sit nicely to illuminate your table setting, but not so low that you hit your head on it when standing up. A living room light should not block any site lines to a TV or focal point like a fireplace mantel.
It is important when selecting lighting for your whole home that they are complementary to one another but not too matchy. Typically the only area that would be matching are your hallway lights.