Sometime, in the middle of all of those Pinterest daydream sessions, reality smacks you in the design face. I’m as in love with easy breezy modern décor as the next gal, but it’s sometimes a challenge to merge all of those clean lines and chevron prints with something like, say, most appliances. Even something as simple as an alarm clock can become a design puzzle.
Can you really create a cohesive, beautiful room on a budget and while living a normal life? Because, in the middle of normal life are things like toy boxes and piles of bills and Wi-Fi routers and a whole host of other things that just aren’t ever showcased in a staged, designed room.
I’m here to tell you—you absolutely can! Choosing the right appliances and using a few tricks can turn your ordinary, boring room into something that reflects your unique sense of style and makes guests feel welcome.
Are You On Trend? Do You Care?
If you hang out on Pinterest at all, or watch all of those HGTV design shows, you know that the trends right now merge the clean lines of modern design with bold colors. Pantone’s 2014 color of the year is called “Radiant Orchid”—and if that doesn’t tell you most of what you need to know about the trend toward bold but organic colors, I’m just not sure what will. (Though, you know, if you don’t want to paint your house purple, we won’t judge you.)
But bold isn’t necessarily the only trend. Though Elle Décor predicts that 2014 will bring a focus on another bold color—turquoise—as well as hides, with fur rugs and leather upholstery becoming more and more popular. House Beautiful, in its poll of designers about 2014 design trend, found perhaps a more realistic view of home design. Arianna Vargas suggested that a “versatile neutral base” would be the canvas for homeowners and designers to use big impact accent pieces that were interchangeable. Designer Lindsay Souza suggested that, in our short attention-span culture, a return to tradition in the form of vintage or one-of-a-kind pieces would be the way homeowners would choose to interpret this year’s design trends.
Maybe you don’t care about what designers say this year will focus on—and more power to you! The most important thing in your home is for it to reflect your personality and to be comfortable and welcoming to you and your family.
Making YOUR Design Statement Without Sacrificing Practicality
For those of us not able or willing to hire a designer to help us achieve the look we want, we have to figure out how to merge all of the necessities of daily life with our design desires. Whether your style veers more toward the modern or the shabby chic cottage look, you’ll have to figure out how to include all of the random details—clocks and remotes and flat screens and things that don’t seem to be designed to fit into any streamlined design plan. The frustration can be overwhelming if you let it—but don’t! Companies are finally taking notice and giving us appliance options that don’t make us want to sit down and give up.
Take, for example, the Luma HC12W. It’s a purely practical appliance—a cool-mist humidifier—that is designed like a work of modern art. If you’re like me, you remember a genuinely ugly plastic concoction your mom once used when you were sick many decades ago. Maybe it leaked, maybe it had power cords running everywhere, maybe it looked like something out of a bad space movie—whatever it was, it was NOT stylish.
In any room, you want a few statement accessory pieces that will both draw attention but also fade into the background when you want it to. The Luma HC12W does just this. Its design mimics that of a tall, modern vase—the same kind you might place near your fireplace or unobtrusively next to a piece of furniture simply for design impact. With this piece, though, you are getting design impact as well as fabulous function. The organic lines of the piece make it timeless and its simple assembly and use (with a remote!) make it even more attractive from an ease-of-use standpoint.
Compare the Luma’s streamlined design to the other similar appliances out there.
Certainly, humidifiers have moved forward from those bad 80s memories, but not much. Now, they may look like a giant teardrop or a big water container. Maybe it has a fun, bold color—but it still looks like exactly what it is, and it certainly doesn’t look like a purposeful decorating choice. It looks like something you’d want to put under a table and hide—which sort of defeats the purpose of a humidifier, doesn’t it? With the Luma Comfort line of products, there’s no need to hide and no need to worry about trying to find a special spot (aka hiding place) for it. Showcase it—and make your life a lot easier as you design your room.
Creating Your Dream House Yourself
If you’re not hiring a designer, then more than likely you, like most people, are doing the heavy lifting (metaphorically and literally) yourself. What does that mean? You’re rolling up your sleeves and painting, reupholstering furniture, and DIYing your way to the room and house of your dreams.
Let me help a bit, with a few painting tips and strategies that will hopefully save you time AND money!
When you paint:
- Put tinfoil on your paint tray. When you are finished, just pull off the tinfoil and uncover a paint-free tray that can be reused again and again.
- Invest in a quality painter’s tape. Especially if you are tackling something more complicated than standard single color coat, you’ll need a tape that won’t allow bleeding. Inexpensive is not always the best option.
- Buy some vinegar. Did you know that a 50-50 combo of vinegar and warm water can dissolve more paint from your brushes than other options? Soak for about 30 minutes and then rinse. You might be surprised!
- Roll with imperfection. No, you don’t want drips and drops all over your house or wall, but if you are painting stripes, you’re not going to get them perfectly straight. Most walls and surfaces are not perfectly straight or level, so your work will have to adapt. Think about the overall impression, especially once furniture returns to the
area. Embrace less stress—after all, you’re doing this on your own!
Find a way to make your space your own, no matter the challenge. Find appliances and accessories that, while practical, still fit with your vision of your comfortable, welcoming, beautiful home. You deserve that!