We believe in human design

Life as a Designer. Grey color in interior design.

You may not think so, but gray is a very useful color, especially as an additive to other more intense shades. This is particularly true in decorating. Try mixing your own paint colors and you will inevitably, in the end, have to add a little gray, simply in order to render the color softer and more lively. This simulates adding some of a color's complementary, a time-honored artist's technique for livening up a color so that it appears less synthetic. 



Life as a Designer. Textiles and Upholstery

When you stand back and look at a room, the textiles ( rugs, pillows and throws) and furniture upholstery should feel cohesive, playing off one anothe to give you the perfectly pulled-together look and feel.

But as important as aesthetics can seem, there's more to choosing fabric than what looks good. You don't want to pick upholstery that pills easily on a couch that's going to see a ton of daily use. How a fabric 

or textile wears, how easy it is to clean, and how expensive it is by the yard (or foot) are major deciding factors.

Much of that  decision rests on what the fabric is made out of: natural fibers, artificial fibers, and, most common in this day and age, a combination od the two. Manufacturers will frequently blend fibers together to make them more burable and flexible, and to create different textures and colors. If the thought of choosing between a million and one swatches makes your head spin.

VELVET: The coziest and softest of all the upholstery fabrics, velvet has come a long way from its original fragility, and when blended with polyester or rayon it can withstand real wear and tear, while still ading a bit glam, texture, and reflection. With a tight weave, velvet is great for those who have cats because they can't sink their claws into the fabric so easily.

Many fabric labels will tell you whether the fabric is light, medium, or heavyweight, which is a solid clue as to how well it will hold up over time. Lightweight fabrics can give you roughly three years of regular use before you start to see some wear and tear, whereas heavyweight fabrics can handle five times that. Order swatches to get a feel for how durable your upholstery is before committing to a bunch of yardage.



COTTON: Cotton is a popular textile because it is resistant to wear and pilling. Blending cotton with other fibers can strengthen it, making it more family-friendly.

LINEN: With a beautiful, timeless texture, linen gets better with time. It also resists pilling. If you like this fabric, you're likely ready to commit to a lived-in look: It wrinkles and soils easily, and needs to be cleaned professionally, which can be a huge annoyance for anyone with pets, kids, or obsessive cleaning tendencies.                                                                                                                         

Life as a Designer. How to arrange furniture

It sounds easy enough to locate the most prominent features in the room - the fireplace or TV, typically -  but for many rooms there may be no claer focal point. Or there might be more that one which makes orienting a room more difficult.

Sit and stare. What do you want to look at? In our living room, everyone throught that we should have the sofa face the fireplace, but when in the room, you just wanted to look out the beautiful windows to a backyard of trees. So we choose to orient the sofa toward the windows instead. It's hard to know the focal point until you are in the room and you realize, "Yes, this is how I want to sit/" You don't necessarily have to face the focal piont; you can just arrange your furniture around it. 



These are the technical terms that designers have to think about but nothing needs to be perfect. Here are a few handy ways to achieve a layout trifecta: scale, balance, flow.

SCALE. Your furniture should match the size of your room. So a large living room often needs a large sectional, but here's a shocker: A large sectional can also work in a small living room - situate it in a corner and the room actually feels bigger. If your sofa is big, then you might think the armchair needs to be too, but a pair of small-scale chairs visually create one large chair. When pairing seating, choose seat heights that are within 4 inches of each other.

BALANCE. The easiest way to think about balance is by looking at whether the visual weight of the room is equally distributed, both in color and in furniture. The just means that things should feel close to equal visually. It could be a big painting that balances out a sofa, or a bench that balances out two club chairs. 

FLOW. Your room should be easy to natigate from one end to the other. Make sure you have enough space for your walkways and to get to where you walkways and to get to where you want to go. You don't want guests bumping their knees when they get up from the couch or having to squeeze past a side table on their way out. This might involve a bit of trial and errors, so don't be afraid to arrange and rearrange your pieces.