Interior Design Tips: Picture Each Room in a Frame

You just moved into this great new place but you don’t know where to start when it comes to designing it. You want to buy the right furniture and the right decor to give it that home-sweet-home flavor.

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We have a couple of interior design secrets for you!

Think of every room in your house as you would a photograph or a painting. We are specifically referencing paintings and photographs by famous 20th century artists with a taste for modernism and geometric design like painter, Edward Hopper and photographer, Stephen Shore. They captured the essence of mid-century modern design using images of real life places and stationary objects.

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Stampeder Motel, Photo by Stephen Shore
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Western Motel, Painting by Edward Hopper

Start by looking at each room from different angles. Even the open doorway leading from one room to the next room can reveal the fluidity between spaces and the cohesion of your design. This is a technique called transition color, but it can extend beyond color. You can apply this technique to lighting, shapes, patterns, textures and furniture as well.

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Unless you want every wall to be white, start with a well-planned color palette to paint your walls. If color isn’t your expertise, then swatches, swatches, swatches! Mix, match and play with color swatches before you go for the whole shebang. Physically holding the swatches up to the walls and even taping them onto the wall to get the fuller scope of how they will look from one room to the next will give you a great starting point.

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From here, you can begin adding the major pieces of furniture to your space. Similar to the master mid-century modern artists, choose a point of focus. This can include but is not limited to one object, subject or theme. The artists mentioned above, along with others, were capable of taking one specific subject within a frame and emphasizing it, while also maintaining cohesion throughout the entirety of the frame or painting. Use it as a foundation as you continue to add other furnishings and accents piece-by-piece.

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We know it can be slightly overwhelming! Don’t buy everything at once. Allow your masterpiece to unfold like a work of art. Examine and reexamine the space as it visually comes to be. You can even take actual photographs of it. If you don’t feel like busting out the camera, hold a physical picture frame up to the room and close one eye. It might feel a little silly at first, but it works. Is there something not right in the frame? As the design develops, it’s perfectly normal to want to rearrange decor and reposition furniture.

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If you’ve done any major changes such as installing light fixtures or painted walls, keep in mind that everything is temporary. If you really hate something you did to the design, take a deep breath and find a solution that will take the least amount of time and resources to fix.

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Turning your home into a beautiful work of art takes patience and requires planning, but with the right mentality and the right decor you can make it happen!