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Take your time

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When seasonal Floridians arrive they often arrive running! They have three months to fit in home projects, golf, various social activities and many visits from family and friends to fit into their schedule before they head home. It is no wonder that decorating in haste can often make waste. I like to encourage my clients to focus on two rooms and get them as close to finished as possible, and the rest can wait until next season. Usually, the two rooms that we tackle first are the living room and dining room. Living rooms can be particularly challenging because furniture placement is the most important step; it is also the step that keeps homeowners stuck in analysis paralysis making it hard to move forward. Let’s take a peek at a living room in which the homeowners were getting stuck and a bit frustrated with furniture placement. However, once we configured the room everything fell into place for this Begonia model living room somewhere in the heart of The Villages.
• Eliminate the Dark One more shot of After straight on
The flooring in the home is on the dark side but very attractive. Likewise, the furniture is dark but very attractive. The furniture had a Tommy Bahama island feeling but was not showing well in its current configuration. The entertainment unit was placed between the two windows making it appear darker than it is in reality. This is a function of the human eye; when you look into the light the things in front of the light look darker than usual. We needed a new configuration.
• Furniture placement
We moved the entertainment unit to the wall opposite the slider. Now all the light from the slider shines onto the dark brown unit and will highlight the rich reddish tones of the wood. The entire piece looks lighter and the entertainment unit looks less imposing in its new place. Next we moved the couch in between the windows. The couch has light upholstery and will stay light even though the light coming from the windows is bright. Always purchase light upholstery when placing it in a space where light is shining in toward the room; this will keep the room looking light. We purchased a love seat and placed it opposite the entertainment unit. This made a nice L shape seating area in the room that was inviting. We still had room for another chair so we angled the printed chair inward toward the room and next to the loveseat. Finally, we were able to angle an amazing wicker and rattan chair in toward the room and next to the entertainment unit. The room looks bright and inviting with the new configuration.
• Rug
When we think of Tommy Bahama, we think of palm fronds, so we added in some palm fronds! The rug is a plush 8x10 wool rug with large splashes of color making the palm frond print really stand out in the space. Also, with this furniture configuration we have to have a rug large enough to cover the floor outlet.
• Art
The art between the windows must stay light so that it can be seen. The homeowners chose a picture titled Aqua Marine Dreams and it adds a sharp pop of teal to the space that looks amazing. The picture is large (60”wide by 40” high) because the space is large. We needed a complementary piece on the smaller wall above the loveseat and the homeowner chose a great blue heron in a watercolor medium. The colors of the bird picture work with the entire space to pull it together. Art does not have to match each other in style but it does need to have a color conversation with the space.
• Lamps
Usually in this room we need three new lamps but we decided to get two new lamps and wait until next season to replace the third. We chose glazed ceramic lamps in a perfect teal to tie into the picture and the rug! I love the golden base on the lamp because it ties into the brass lamp that we are re-using and will look great until next season.
• Side tables
The side tables were purchased separately but the homeowner chose elements that tie them into the current furniture. The tables have a woven shelf and they are wicker and rattan so they tie into the other pieces as well.
• Coffee table
The coffee table was purchased from an online retailer. It is made of stained seagrass that looks like a large version of wicker. The table looks great and is functional to the space.
• Nothing matches
If you want to have a bit of uniqueness to your space, try mixing and matching vs, matching everything. All the pieces in the living room come from different places and different manufactures but they all look great together!
• Next season
The homeowner plans to tackle window treatments next season. They are considering shutters with headers. This is a treatment in which the shutter is installed and then the crown molding team adds a header that looks like a cornice to the top of the shutter. These headers tie into the large white wooden cornice that is made for the sliding glass door. The windows will look visually cohesive even though they have different treatments.

P.S. –Attention, club presidents! We give free decorating seminars. Call and schedule your club today. Also, we are on-line check out our web-site at www.ruthdyer.com and you can always e-mail us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Call Ruth your full service decorator at 352-804-2056.

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