There’s always that one room—you know the one. It could be a powder room, a bedroom, an office, a hallway, or just a weird corner. Regardless of its size or location, the one thing you know for sure is that it isn’t working for you. You want it to change. You’re just not sure what that means or where to begin.
No, I’m not about to tell you what to do with it. I am by no means an expert; I have found myself in your predicament more than once. Typically, my fix was calling my sister and brother-in-law for guidance. I’ve called them for help for something as simple as a colour choice. (At least, I thought it was simple!)
I can’t offer up their phone number, but I can tell you that getting an outside opinion is never a bad idea. But who should you call?
I called on Kelly Porath. Kelly is the force behind Blue Rose Interiors, a Winnipeg-based interior design firm. You may know Kelly from her segments on CTV Morning Live with Terri Apostle. I presented her with a hypothetical situation.
You have a great office space, but more often than not you find yourself working at your kitchen table. You have come to the conclusion that your office is simply not conducive to getting work done. It never gets direct sunlight and its decor doesn’t help. In fact, you think that it makes the room feel even smaller.
You want that to change. After all, the idea of having a home office is one of the reasons you chose this apartment in the first place!
With this scenario in mind, Kelly provided a few pointers to solve your office dilemma.
Dark colours absorb light and light ones reflect more light into the space.
Never pick your paint colours in the store.
Walk around the space, holding your paint sample.
Consider painting the entire room a single colour to unify the space, making it feel larger.
Use a neutral colour as a backdrop, and then use accent pieces to bring in colour.
Reflective surfaces make a space feel larger. A mirror can make the walls feel as if they have moved out. Having said that, how you position a mirror is very important. Be aware of what the mirror will reflect and don’t install them too high. If hanging a mirror over a sofa, position the mirror so its bottom edge is 6 to 9 inches above the back of the couch. The mirror’s size should be proportional to the size of the room.
In general, people will not spend time in a dark room. They’ll instinctively move to a well-lit room instead. No surprise here; you’re living that reality now!
Begin by considering the ambient lighting—the natural light entering the space, as well as any artificial lighting that may already exist. When decorating an office, consider task lighting. Task lighting is the light needed to perform a certain task, such as reading or working on a desktop.
Finally, make sure to use a combination of table and floor lamps in order to balance the lighting.
The key to a well-styled room is to make sure that your furniture is proportionate to the size of the room. If you kept your favourite furnishings in your most recent move, ask yourself how well they fit your new home. Remember they were purchased to fit a different space. You may need to purchase new pieces that fit your new space.
And finally, avoid “small item-itis.” Visual clutter makes a space feel smaller. Simplify, simplify, simplify.
Thank you, Kelly!
Kelly provided some great tips to get you back into your hypothetical office. Many of her tips can be applied to any decorating situation!
While browsing Kelly’s website, I came across this insightful line: “Your environment shapes your thoughts, feelings, and motivations.” That struck a chord with me and has made me appreciate even more the guidance that I have received over the years from my sister and brother-in law. It also really made me appreciate the value that a professional like Kelly brings to the table.
To learn more about Kelly and the Blue Rose Interiors story, visit blueroseinteriors.com or find Blue Rose Interiors on Facebook.