Color, a seemingly straightforward topic, can actually be thought about in many different ways. It can be studied as science, as theory, as culture, as art. In light of this, creating a color palette for a room or project can be challenging but also very meaningful. Consider the implication the colors you choose will have on the project: However, there is no need to overthink your choices. Trust your instincts and keep the project fresh and whimsical!
I also live in a rented space and completely understand your desire to make it your own. There are so many fun things that can be done and I commend you for wanting to incorporate eco-friendly practices in the process. The first things to consider when making changes to a rented space are; the process of turning it back into a blank canvas when you move out and cost. Any alterations made should be easy to change back. Furthermore, anything costly should be removable so that it can be used again in your next space. That being said, there are still many creative ways to address your design and decorating concerns.
Dear Sofa Shopper,
Great question! Many people are confused by the disparity in sofa prices. I think the easiest way to understand the difference is to compare sofa shopping to shoe shopping. I recently went shoe shopping with my mother, and you would have thought she was buying footwear for the Queen with the indecision she exhibited! With the patience of a good daughter, I helped as she considered: Function, aesthetic, comfort, quality, durability, the statement they would make, and budget. A great pair of shoes will satisfy a balance of these priorities. So will a great sofa.
A good designer can tell the difference between a quality sofa and a “couch” with ease by looking at the frame construction, springs, padding, cushions and upholstery. Specifically, the frame should be made with a sturdy hardwood and feel solid and rigid. The best springs will be heavy-gauge, eight-way, hand-tied, coil springs supported by good webbing. The padding should be thick and consistent throughout the piece. Cushion density should be a minimum of 1.8 pounds per cubic foot for seat cushions and 1.2 pounds per cubic foot for back cushions. Fine upholstery fabric will have been tested and performed well in terms of durability and color fastness.
A good sofa can make a statement in the room in the same way that the perfect pair of shoes completes an outfit. However, it is important to also consider the function the sofa will serve in its particular situation. A home with children and pets, for instance, may not be the best location for an expensive piece of furniture. A good sofa, truly an investment, will stand the test of time. As it is worth sending a great pair of shoes to a cobbler to be re-soled, it is worth having a quality sofa reupholstered down the line.
My suggestion for someone in the market for any piece of upholstered furniture is to consider the cost-benefit ratio of the purchase based upon your own set of priorities and personal budget. Also, remember to have fun and look at things that are out-of-the-box from what you are expecting to choose. You never know what you may fall in love with. Also, if you start feeling overwhelmed, you can always take a break and go shoe shopping!
Good luck and thank you for your question!
First, I commend your choice to keep your grandparents’ furniture. There is something to be said for a classic piece that has a story…especially when it’s your own personal history.
The reality of trying to mesh your home’s aesthetic with pieces you would never otherwise select can be incredibly daunting. Are they antiques whose value will benefit by restoration? Could refurbishing bring a new lease on life? The former may persuade you to adjust your taste around these newfound treasures, while the latter inspires ways to transition grandma’s worn sideboard into an innovative media center.
Absolutely! When it comes to color palettes in a space, the sky is the limit! Beige and white have been a staple palette among designers throughout the years. Understanding the appeal of the color combination can be by the number of homes around the world that use this crisp, clean look.
However, one must use this pairing with caution. A well-trained designer knows to avoid drifting into the “Land of Beige,” and too much of a good thing can ruin a space. Take care not to select textiles and finishes that will drown out your space rather than promoting your vision. Find compatible hues to infuse a bland space with life and vigor. Why not ignite a monotonous space with life by using contrasting colors or even bold textiles? When designing with white and beige, prudence is wise, but with the right balance, you’ll be able to steer clear of the “Land of Beige,” and enter the “Land of Fabulous!”
- Heather Malcolm (DISD student)