The Art of Increments

Don’t think that when you set out to do one thing in a room that it will remain one thing. I know it is fun to tell yourself or tell your husband it is just one thing, but we all know deep down that it will be many things! A skill that I utilize to encourage my husband’s cooperation in decorating is “incrementalism”. This is a word that is usually applied to public policy, but it is just as effective in the economy of home policy. Not only have I been practicing incrementalism myself, but I have been helping my clients practice it for 20 years. Incrementalism is the practice of letting your husband know little by little what you are planning for the space that you are decorating. For example, you tell your husband that we need a new rug, and he usually agrees that yes, we could use a new rug. Once the rug is installed you casually look around and say, “I love this new rug, but I think new lamps would pop a bit more with the rug.” Of course, he knew this was going to happen, but he accepts it because this is the dance you have danced for years. Let’s peek into a living room that needed a pop of color by adding a rug and little by little it was incrementalized into a fresh new space somewhere just beyond the heart of The Villages.

  • New RugThe finished product, one year later, Living-rooms, Interior Design - in the Villages of Florida.
The new rug started it all and it is a pretty rug! The pattern on the rug is an abstract pattern that creates movement with the colors teal, crème, bright navy, and a hint of greenish gold. The colors in this rug blend into a stunning piece of floor art. Once the rug was in place it was clear that the room needed more refreshing.

  • Rug Pad
When purchasing a rug, don’t forget a rug pad. We installed a premium felted rug pad under the wool rug to extend the life of the rug. This is particularly true if you have tile floors. The tile provides a bit more friction to the back of the rug and the rug pad protects the rug backing as well as making the rug cushy. Once the rug was installed it was clear the room needed more color!

  • Side panels
The homeowner has always liked the pop of color that side panels add to a room, so we decided to add them. Each side panel was custom made from one width of 54-inch fabric. We found a fabric that had a highly repetitive pattern of royal blue ovals on white. The royal blue ovals were complementary to the pop of bright navy in the rug. The curtains were made 101” long. We wanted the curtains to hang high by starting at the bottom of the crown molding. They were installed on twelve-inch rods so that the inside edge of the curtain barely grazes the edge of the shutter trim. By hanging them beyond the window the panels cover only the wall making the window look bigger. The new panels made the old side tables look a bit dated, so the homeowner bought new side tables.

  • New side tables
The homeowner purchased two new side tables for the space. The tables are metal and glass and provide a light look to the space while remaining highly functional. We re-purposed one of the old side tables and the coffee table into sitting room. They look glamorous and fresh in their new space. The new side tables needed a pop of color instead of the existing clear glass lamps.

  • Lamps
The living room had four lamps in the before picture. We re-used those lamps in other rooms in the home. We brought two white lamps from the sitting room to reuse in the TV room and they worked great. The white really pops in the space. We purchased two lamps that coordinate well in the space to complement the two white lamps. The new lamps have a glazed finish the looks like the blue used in the side panels. Now that the back of the room was looking so good, the entry to the room looked a bit unfinished. We decided that the room needed two matching chairs at the entry to pull the color to the front of the room.

  • New Chairs
In the before picture the room has a recliner that matches the sofa and a zebra striped side chair. The homeowner purchased two new chairs that matched each other and coordinated with the room. The print on the chairs has a modern look and replicates the lighter blue in the space. All the blues have a bit of a purple tinge almost like a hydrangea blue. The two chairs look perfect at the entrance of the room and balance out the weight of the dark sofa and loveseat. The room looks more finished and inviting with the larger chairs. Now we needed a few pillows to finish the space and break up the black couch.

  • Pillows
Since the couch and love seat are leather it is hard to get pillows to stay in place. However, we chose large pillows and that cut the sliding problem down. We chose pillow covers that have blue coral embroidered on them and once again the blue hues tie into the blues in the room.

• One year later
The homeowner decided that she wanted a built-in stone fireplace. This beautiful built-in created a dramatic focal point that elevated the look in the room to a completed state. I love the simplicity of the stacked stone tile and I love the white color that pops against all the colors in the space.
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