Monday, November 14, 2011

A New Series: Design in Five!

I am starting a new series as of today that I'm very excited about, called "Design in Five".  

First let me set the stage...  You have a neutral room to work with with good bones, but nothing outstanding. The challenge is this:  "What five items would you add?  In other words, what are the five elements in design that you can't live without to make an amazing room?"  The items could be furniture, architectural details, accessories, anything you think really makes a room.

To get it started, today I have written about the five things I can't live without for great design (it was sooooo hard to limit it to five).  Other bloggers will follow with their favorites so we can all benefit from their great ideas!

Here's where I'd start.  By adding the following items, the room can be completely personalized - inexpensively - for a whole lot of impact.  In case you're interested, I added links to past posts about these items where I have them....

1.  Elements of Nature.  Think in terms of twigs, stones, fir boughs, pinecones, shells.  Take a walk in your yard or a nearby forest and highlight the seasons.  Or, use things gathered on past trips to serve as a wonderful daily reminder of a fantastic adventure.  My daughter and I gathered slate rocks on a beach in Portugal a few years ago and I use them in tablescapes from time to always makes both of us happy.  :)

2.  Great Pillows. I know this one is obvious, but it's so true I couldn't pass it up!  They add texture, color and pattern...and the possibilities are endless!

bdg style

3.  Glass. I like beautiful bottles or apothecary jars to add some sparkle (and sometimes they provide storage, too...).

Linen Haus Online Boutique

4.  A one-off statement chair.  This can be a DIY re-make or very high end - price isn't relevant here.  It just needs to be something with character, and I'd argue that an old worn leather chair like the one below has a lot more going for it than a brand new one.

5.  Something unique.  Make the most of items that are unique to YOU, such as art, your own photography and/or a special momento from a relative, your sweetheart or your kids.  In the case below, I took a picture that I snapped in a park in Toulouse, France.  I then played around with it using online (free) editing tools to make it into art!  You can see more examples here.


I'm curious:  Are any of these items on your "Top 5"?

I hope you like this idea for a new series!  I have a few wonderful fellow bloggers already lined up and others are welcome to contribute.  
Please let me know in the comments section or via email if you're interested!


Anonymous said...

omg, was that today?? so sorry I missed it...but what a lovely idea to share with readers...
love pillows, that's one of my design favorites too..
love the various elements you've chosen, each lends a great deal to any design..

Anonymous said...

P.S. the last image is one of my favorite photography images of yours....

The enchanted home said...

Great idea Barbara......definitely agree with the elements of nature and the pillows, I would add, a rug or textile on the floor of some kind, and I like some kind of big vase or bowl on the table filled wtih green apples or lemons, to add a punch of color, guess that ties in with post!

Acquired Objects said...

This sounds like fun but I would start with some architectural details. Pillows I agree with because you always need some kind of color post!

Inge said...

What a fun and inspirational post! I also love to use glass and pillows, but I think lighting and art is something important to give a room character and a certain look. Don't you think? And of course some elements of nature is a must. :-)
By the way I love the last picture of yours! It's beautiful... :-)
Love hearing from you!
Inge x

Thoughts on Design said...

Great idea for a series of blog posts. I'm more of a nutsy bolty person, so I would have started out with things like lighting, trim, etc. - tweaking the architectural elements. Having said that, what you've chosen are the things that a person can use to make a room their own and give it that little extra zip of personality. Me? I'm a glass and pillows guy. Lover of old objects and prints.


The Buzz Blog said...

Loving your selections with natural elements and pillows being on my list, too! Never thought about a statement chair but as I look around, it seems I have one in three of my rooms!

Victoria said...

Yes to something from nature: plants tropical leaves, orchids, shells.

Yes to pillows: I have a rotating collection and am always adding more.

Yes to glass: I have a large collection of depression glass, like Heisey and candlewick, and crystal serving pieces.

Yes to statement chairs: I have several one-of-a-kind antique chairs that I treat as sculpture (i.e. too delicate to sit on but magnificent to look at).

And yes to something unique: My home is filled with my son's portrait paintings, Karl Blassfeldt botanical photographs, vintage prints in old frames, opaline boxes, vintage hotel silver, confit pots and Italian marble hand-carved fruit.

There are many more things I love to include to make a space personal, but I run the risk of prattling on. Thanks for such an interesting post, Barbara.


The Vintique Object said...

Fun challenge, Barbara! I'd love to participate at some point. I would also include the natural and unique elements on my list. You've got me thinking how to narrow it down to five.

designchic said...

What a wonderful post and love your ideas Barbara. Pillows are a must for me...a statement maker in any room and love the unique chair idea and of course great glass items!!

Stacy CUrran said...

What a Greta idea for a series Barbara! Love your top five. I thnk I'd have to say a great rug and something for sparkle!

mary said...

Hi Barbara, Thanks for making me think about what really makes me happy. I guess that my first necessity would be some great pieces of art, screens, etc. ranging from the 17th c through abstract expressionism. 2nd necessity would be antique furnishings with great patina offset with mid-century pieces. 3rd--some of my Fortuny pillows (let's forget about the fact that the cats and Jones would ruin them). 4th, antique Asian ceramic pieces. And 5th, some amazing Murano mid-century lamps. Fun post!! Mary
(Ooops, forgot about top quality percale sheets and pillow cases with some one to iron them)

Sharon Lee Johnson said...

Lovely post Barbara and I'm looking forward to participating! I love your ideas, especially the one about using things from nature. I love the organic feel that natural elements add to a room and the fact that they cost nothing means that it is an idea accessible to everyone! Your photograph is amazing! I am inspired to try something like that. x Sharon

Meghan @ Wishful Thinking said...

Great idea for a series Barbara! I agree with all of your design elements (especially great pillows and something unique), I would add something with a big splash of bright colour to the list!

Lee said...

what a great idea for a series! Looking forward to it. Love your artwork; I may play with that idea. Lots of possibilities there. Thank you!

Rachael @ Roco Rennie said...

This is an amazing idea for a series and so interesting. I am loving an insight into your 5 design details can't wait to see what others say - If you need any more for the series let me know, I would love to contribute x

lisa said...

BASKETS! anyone can decorate around a great basket!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...