The internet and cable TV have taken interior design inspiration and aspirations to new heights. Along with this access comes undue pressure to measure up - "keeping up with the Jones'" on steroids. Fortunately, there are influential voices that sound the bell of reason and wisdom.
On of the by-products of all this access to ideas, knowledge and products is a rise in individuality - the expression of one's unique style and sensibility. Everything does not have to match, or "go" with everything else. Realistically, few of us will have the honor of Architectural Digest or Veranda doing a full spread about our homes, so achieving the "perfect" look or space is not a pre-requisite to having a beautiful and comfortable home that you love.
Lauren Conrad puts it nicely in her post " Interior Design: 5 Things You Should Know" - "Your home (or room) should reflect who you are. If someone were to walk into your home, they should know that it’s yours...What’s important is that you distance yourself from what the stores are telling you to buy." After all, you are the one living in the space, not the salesperson.
Trends come and go. What lasts is comfort, quality and a sense of well being that comes from being yourself - not a reflection of the latest fad or set of design rules. Leave the latter for those with the time and resources to adapt to the design whims of the moment.
There's a wonderful book by Sibella Court that is worth checking out - Etcetera: Creating Beautiful Interiors with the Things You Love. It provides unique inspiration for becoming the curator of your own style and creating evocative rooms full of texture, color, and imagination.
There's no need to impress anyone other that yourself and those with whom you live. What you do want to impress upon them most is that you have created a space out of love, a space that reflects who you really are as an individual and as a family unit, where everyone is comfortable being themselves rather than a cardboard copy of someone else's life and style.
Of course there are a few principles, like scale, balance and harmony, that you should be aware of in order to achieve a cohesive and eye pleasing room - but they are only principles that guide you as opposed to dictums that enslave you to often impossible standards for the "regular" family.
Where do you find inspiration and how do you adapt it to your own personal style without merely mimicking others'?
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Placing the correct size rug in your space is as important as choosing the right color or pattern. A rug that it is too small will shift the balance of the room unfavorably. A rug that is too big, especially in open floor plans, may put the area designations off. There are a few rules of thumb, but a picture says it better. Use these handy guides by Interior Designer Lisa Ferguson to make the best choice.