Since I have opened my consignment shop, Uniquely Natalie Quality Consignment, in what was my original office location in the old vaudeville theater on 2nd Street, I have met many smart Long Islanders. They are a special breed of shoppers who know a bargain when they see one. And what, my dear readers, is a bargain? My definition is – “not something cheap, that you pay a little for, but something really good that you can buy for less.” My design clients have the right idea. They want me to decorate their homes to look like a million dollars, but cost as little as possible. Question - How do we achieve that look? Answer - decorate smart.
So here are my rules of the game for smart decorating:
- Never compromise the floor plan. Whether the sofa costs $500 or $5000, it should still go on the wall that’s right for the room. Buying the first wrong sized piece of furniture upsets the floor plan and triggers the domino theory where nothing in the room works. With poor placement, even the most beautiful furniture will not “feel” right (that’s a lesson in “Feng Shui”, the oriental practice of placement, order and good energy).
- Get rid of the clutter and start with a clean palette. Use existing pieces temporarily as “place holders” if you can’t buy right away.
- Start with neutrals that will be long lasting, but don’t be afraid of color for it can be your best friend and help create that “designer” look. Add it in pillows, throws, accessories, an accent wall, small pieces of furniture and especially in area rugs which take a room to a whole other level.
- Add architectural features like crown moldings, fireplaces, (today they have such great electric holograms that require no construction), columns and wall panels for an elegant finished look.
- Use different forms of lighting collectively in one space to give your room a glow – ceiling fixtures, wall sconces, high hats, table lamps and torchieres ¢(standing lamps).
- Dress your windows. Heavy drapery treatments are “out,” along with verticals, but there are lots to choose from. Check out current magazines to get some “savvy.”
- Accessories and art are the “must” finishing touches in your room. Shop at home first. There may be several things you can use to decorate your bookcases, cocktail table, and dining table. Start with your own dishes and glassware and place them in your dining room breakfront displaying them artfully. I always do and clients are amazed at how great their own things look.
- Set a budget to enable you to complete your project, but leave a little cushion for when that unexpected special piece comes your way. Then you won’t hesitate to make that purchase.
That’s smart decorating.