Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Decorating with a Story

In my space planning class in college, we would be busy drawing a quick sketch of a design for a pretend client that our professor had just invented.  He would walk past each of us at our drafting tables and say, "You're telling a story.  What story are you telling?"  At first, this didn't make sense.  We were learning how to place walls and doorways and windows, not chapters and characters!

But look at these three restaurants.  See how each has a theme?  There is a story being told here.  Sure, these are all places where a lot of people come to eat, but they come to eat at places that have atmosphere.  A story to tell.

travelenvogue.com, Beano's Restaurant
alldoing.com, Royal Restaurant
Salsa, Tex-Mex Restaurant
marriot.com, Doha Hotel
Decorating your apartment or home, you have to decide on a story you want to tell.  Your house decorating needs to be cohesive.  If you just go to the store and buy what's on the shelf, you are telling the story the retailer wants you to tell.  Look for ideas to decorate your apartment or home in the "story" . . .

aboutlifestyles.info, My Date with Domino

See how this story is one of a cluttered, fun, former aristocrat who is enjoying a paired-down living space?  The clutter is endearing and the rug is more modern suggesting a happy-go-lucky attitude but the Louis V chairs, tapestry pillows, and scenic wallpaper are so traditional that you can tell this person had a former life in wealthy society.  That's the story.  The owner could be anyone!  But how fun to tell that story!!


I'm working on what story I want to tell in my livitng room.  Could it possibly include a leather couch and two wingback chairs?  How about a painted white fireplace.  Ugh.  More information about decorating with leather couches coming soon :)

Telling a story is like making cookies.  This is how I explain good decorating when I teach a class.  You don't want to just grab the first three things out of your cupboard that are available.  Cookies would taste awful if you mixed in all the curry, marshmallows, and bean dip that you had lying around!  So don't approach decorating this way.


So, what if you wanted to make a western--cabin even--look in your living room like in the restaurant above? You couldn't put these ingredients in . . .


What you would decorate are these ingredients . . .


So think carefully about the story that you want to tell in your decorating.  Think of decorating like you would a recipe.

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