What’s Wrong With This Picture?

When something doesn’t feel right in your home, sometimes you need to bring in a design expert. Luckily we provide that service free of charge in our series “What’s Wrong With This Picture?”

Studio 5 Design Contributor Lauren Oviatt diagnoses your design dilemmas, this time focusing on the great room.

Great rooms are great but can be the hardest to tackle when it comes to design elements like flow, order and overall visual appeal. Often they are SO functional that it’s hard to inject the “pretty”. Today Designer Lauren Oviatt is looking at a few of our viewers own rooms and giving her expert advice on how to take your rooms from good to great.

Give purpose to the space.
When you have a great room that combines more than one room or function, you have to give purpose to each space. A great way to to do this is by using an area rug in your dining room. This area is usually the central space and does well to have something that grounds it. Otherwise it can be a mess of table legs and chair backs. If you have a dining fixture hanging here, make sure it’s hung low enough to be part of your space (63″ inches from the floor)

Tidiness is key!
Because visually you are taking in three rooms at once, there has to be order and cleanliness or you’ll always be frustrated! It presents a challenge because it is the most trafficked and public space of the home, but if you can have a system of storage or organization, the room(s) will feel picked up and tidy.

Keep art low.
Make sure your art is relevant. Bring it down into the realm of conversation so it has a purpose in decor. I think if you’re hanging art over the sofa make sure it is less massive than the sofa but large enough to be complimentary of it. Keep the art low, like 10-12 inches above the back of the sofa, no matter how high your ceilings are.

Create a focal point.
Do something that will allow your eye to be drawn to the back of the space. Install some pretty drapery, hang a gallery of your favorite pictures or even paint the furthest wall, these things will draw your eye through the room and give it somewhere to land. Pretty rooms always have these great focal points.

Limit furniture.
Don’t overwhelm the room with too much furniture. Just because you have a matching sofa and chairs doesn’t mean you have to use them both. If your room won’t fit them comfortably then eliminate a piece. This will give you room to incorporate side tables, an occasional chair or some other decor elements that add layers to your room. This gives the room the ‘finish’ it needs.

Lauren Oviatt is a designer with Oviatt Design, 826 West Shepard Lane, Farmington.

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