I love looking at decorating blogs and websites. But there is just something about being able to tear a page out of a magazine and glue it into a book to look at. It’s tangible. It’s memorable. I have a “scrapbook” of magazine scraps I have collected from my collection of interior design and home decor magazines. I like to write notes on the side of why the subject design works, or why I like it, or spin-off ideas that the design in the photo bring to mind.
This particular photo above of a living room with back-to-back couches made it into my design scrapbook because I love, love the layout. If you have a humongous living space and can’t figure out how to make it a cozy, usable space, then consider creating two living spaces just by simply putting two couches back to back in the center (or off center!) of the room and then sliding a sofa table in between. Hopefully you can have some sort of electrical outlet in the floor right beneath the table so you can add some table lamps. If that isn’t a possibility, then another idea is to install two pendant lights over the sofa table that hang down to the same height as table lamps would.
My new-to-me home has only one living space (in other words, it does not have a living room and a family room)…and the space is BIG. We moved from a house that had two living spaces and I had to figure out how to get all that stuff into one big room and still make it feel like it made sense. So I created four zones: the sitting area, the office, the piano, and the library. Take a look at the pics below. Basically, if you border the room with things that are fairly narrow in depth you can have outlying zones, such as my office and my library. Then, simply by putting the orange chair with its back to the couches, it created a little reading area for the library. The piano fit so nicely in the corner. The fact that the piano is white helps it to keep the space feeling open and bright. We love how it turned out! It flows so well and does not feel crammed in at all.
I’ll share one more magazine clipping with you for now. If your home was built in the 1970’s or even early 80’s, chances are you might have a faux rock fireplace wall like the one pictured below. Perhaps yours is still the dark browns and grays it originally came in. If it’s not in the budget yet to have them removed, or you simply just want to keep the rock but freshen up its look, then consider painting the rock the same color as the walls. This example shows them painted white, but I can even picture the entire room- rocks, ceiling and all, painted a lovely “New York State of Mind” (see paint swatches below photos). By painting the rocks the same color as the walls and ceiling you keep the interesting texture of the rock, but it becomes more cohesive with the room, making the room feel bigger and more updated.
I hope I inspired you today! Well, it wasn’t me- it was the magazines! Maybe you can start your own design scrapbook. Head to your local bookstore and pick up 4 or 5 home decor magazines and a blank sketch book and start ripping! By the way, my favorite magazines right now are Architectural Digest, House Beautiful, Magnolia, Elegant Homes, and HGTV magazine. But it’s time I re-stock up and check out some new ones too!