I’ve got some quotes for you of what some designers think you should include in every design in every room:
Something living! Nothing injects a sense of life into what can be the least lived-in room in the house like a beautiful tree or plant. My two favorite trees are Kentia palms and fiddle-leaf figs. For something smaller, there’s always room for a maidenhair fern or potted ivy. A vase filled with branches or oversize leaves is a quick fix and will last a while. If the tree and plant thing feels too high-maintenance, you can always just put some tulips in a jar and call it a day.”
“Something very personal — an object, a painting, a collection. Things don’t have to be expensive, but it’s the personality that makes any room feel grounded and ‘real,’ not some anonymous space.”
“Candles, and lots of them. They conjure romance instantly.”
—Roderick N. Shade
“A tray. It makes a disconnected group of objects seem like a collection.”
—T. Keller Donovan
“Trays for coffee tables and ottomans. They keep the tablescapes contained in their own frame, of sorts, and add another dimension and texture to the styling. They also make it easy to lift everything off when you need more room for entertaining.”
“Candlesticks. I really love the bronze ones by Gene Summers, in varying heights. They layer the light in a room — and are beautiful objects in their own right.”
“The one accessory I really fight to put in every living room is a TV. Plasma, of course, and as big as possible. It makes people use their ‘trophy’ living rooms other than for the proverbial high holy days. And if you want to be chic when you have guests, program it to play Matthew Barney or some other video art.”
“Layers of cushions in tactile fabrics. I’m not a big fan of using lots of different colors in a room, but layering lots of pillows of different textures is an incredibly luxurious yet cozy look.”
“A stylish throw. A good quality throw can last a lifetime and adds a dash of color and pattern as well as comfort and a homey quality.”
In every room I personally think you should include…
…books. No matter how you choose to display them – from disorganized stacks piled on chairs to formal glass pained bookcases, books provide appeal that few other props can mimic. High tables, low tables, even the end of the settee can be ideal places to keep books. For character and warmth – no other ornaments come close!
…one black thing. Black creates depth and interest.
…and excellent lighting. Lighting has the superpower to make the people feel comfortable, to change and control their moods, or to give a certain feel to a room.
Who here has seen The Princess Diaries? Remember Anne Hathaway’s role where she portrays an ultra-nerd 15-year-old, Mia, only to discover that she is a princess as the granddaughter of the queen. (Played wonderfully by Julie Andrews, I might add). Great movie. Regardless, since watching this film, I’ve always wanted to duplicate something they did at the beginning of the movie- painting with balloons and darts. If you will remember with me how, Mia and her mom pinned paint filled balloons to a huge canvas and then commence to throw darts to pop the balloons to create a masterpiece. Well, my bucket list has one less item on it…
Granted, our canvas was a BIT smaller and we stopped filling up balloons with my lips starting tingling from too much acrylic paint exposure. (When I say “exposure” I mean “swallowing.”)
Therefore, in case you’re interested in wondering how you too can create a balloon art masterpiece, read on friends, read on:
Here are the materials I gathered:
-Various acrylic paints (To save money, I bought red, blue, and yellow and just mixed-up my own green, purple, and orange. I had to add some white to my purple too keep it from being too dark.)
-Darts (I could only find soft tip darts, so we had to improvise. See photo below…)
-LOTS of newspaper
-And of course, you’ll need your camera
Before we begin, be sure you’re doing all of this in a place where it’s okay to get paint everywhere as their explosions maybe far-reaching. Also, I’d recommend you wear clothing that you’re okay with ruining.
Okay, enough with the semantics, on to the process…We put tape on our board to protect certain parts of the board therefore creating a more-personal piece, but you don’t have to do this step.
Next, I placed my pre-mixed paints into Ziploc baggies and cut a TINY section of the corner of to create a piping bag of sorts.
Then we filled up balloons with paint and air. (Caveat: This is the hardest part because filling up a balloon with paint and air is actually quite difficult) However, after many paint-filled mouthfuls, I have some advice for you all:
1) Prep the water balloons by filling them with air one time before you put paint in them and then let the air out. This helps to stretch them out making them easier to blow up when paint IS in them.
2) Next, pipe your paint straight into the balloon’s opening with enough force to get paint down into the base of the balloon. (If you want a “runny” look, as opposed to splatter, fill your balloons with more paint and very little air.)
3) Now comes the hard part: blow up the balloon being very careful not to suck in.
4) Once filled and inflated, tie and pin to your board!
Now comes the fun part… Let the darts fly!
These are our “improvised” darts. Some call it ghetto, I call it creative genius. (A.K.A. Walmart soft-tip darts with taped-on push pins.)
Here is our finished artwork…pre-tape-removal. The best part is there is no artistic talent needed! (Just a high-tolerance for paint ingestion.)
We added our hand prints to make it a bit more personal too…
Con·trast n. /kon’trast/
“opposition or juxtaposition of different forms, lines, or colors in a work of art to intensify each element’s properties and produce a more dynamic expressiveness.”
Yesterday I was very surprised to receive this lovely reminder of spring from ProFlowers.
“Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten. Then when you hit puberty they take the crayons away and replace them with dry, uninspiring books on algebra, history, etc. Being suddenly hit years later with the ‘creative bug’ is just a wee voice telling you, ‘I’d like my crayons back, please.'”
― Hugh MacLeod, Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity
33 Ways to Stay Creative:
1) Make lists
2) Carry a notebook everywhere
3) Try free writing
4) Get away from the computer (kinda ironic to be reading this right now…)
5) Be otherworldly
6) Quit beating yourself up
7) Take breaks (They do it in Europe!)
8) Sing in the shower
9) Drink coffee/tea (check!)
10) Know your roots
11) Listen to new music
12) Be open
13) Surround yourself with creative people
14) Get feedback
16) Don’t give up
17) Practice, practice, practice
18) Allow yourself to make
19) Go somewhere new
20) Watch foreign films
21) Count your blessings
22) Get lots of rest
23) Take risks
24 BREak The Rules
25) Do more of what makes you happy
26) Don’t force it
27) Read a page of the dictionary
28) Create a framework
29) Stop trying to be someone else’s perfect
30) Got an idea? Write it down
31) Clean your workspace
32) Have fun
33) Finish something