Every room needs a slap in the face!

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"It’s about knowing the rules and knowing when to break them" — Candice Olson

All of us have suffered from that debilitating whirlwind of decorator’s self-doubt. Just after the final pillow is placed and the last drape is hung, the volcanic eruption begins. The hot lava of emotion runs through our veins, and what should have been obvious to us all along, is now like a revelation — so tangibly evident… both your designed space and you are amazing!!

It is no secret that confidence is key to a successfully designed home, the projects where I have taken the biggest risks often yield the biggest rewards. As Candice Olson says “it’s about knowing the rules and knowing when to break them”.

I remember designing one holiday home and the owners had given strict instructions that no drapes were to be used in the space and no colors were to be put on the walls. So naturally, I put aqua drapes throughout the house and painted the walls black and turquoise. Much to my relief, they loved the space and the color awakened the sleeping architectural beast within the home, bringing out new life and exuberance.

So how do you gain confidence in your designs? First, take note from Geoffrey Ross, Co-Owner of Dransfield & Ross, when he said “every room needs a slap in the face”.

Want to awaken your sleeping dragon? Start with one fun unexpected thing in every room. In my house, it’s my florescent green life sized deer in my living room. A pop of colour, a peculiar vase or a patterned wall.

Regardless of what it is, be willing to defend it. Lay your body on the railway for it. After all, it’s your baby and you love it. Your home should be a reflection of the many facets that makes you a dynamic person. My most hated word in all of decorating is transitional, or in other words sheepishly safe. Don’t be strict with boundaries, or with styles. Mix contemporary pieces with traditional and mid-century with a touch of rococo frivolity. Your home should reflect the different periods and experiences of your life.

If you are not confident now, don’t worry, with a few bold strokes – and some healthy compliments — soon enough the hot lava of genius will be flowing through your designer veins.

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Ben Leavitt
2014-12-19
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