Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Shop'n DROP!

Sophia Loren in her bedroom

Do you ever buy your furniture in sets?

What's strange is that most furniture showrooms are designed to show shoppers a full matching suite for each room, but real-life professional designers never buy furniture that way. If you take a close look at design magazines or tv shows, they way that they put rooms together looks good because they use an eclectic mix of pieces that work, but don't match. You won't often see anything that looks like a furniture showroom in Canadian House and Home!

It's this kind of matchey-matchness that makes
this site so hilarious to look at!
Image via Catalogue Living

However, dear reader, do not be deceived into thinking that look this is easy for us mere mortals to achieve! There is a unique talent at work in creating a certain unique and seamless looking decor. I've recently decided that the reason it's such hard work is that one must be an expert shopper in addition to having a flair for colour and space.

Image via (Sarah's House Season 4)

Just to get a sense of what I mean, take a look at the shopping guide for the new Sarah Richardson House Season 4 main living room here.

It's amazing the number of different stores and fabrics and paint colours that she sources for the room and is able to manage and pull together for a seamless look. I sometimes get overwhelmed in just one store trying to pick just one item - it gives me a new respect for what a designer is able to manage in their mind's eye.

Some of the tricks that I've heard of and/or used are to put together inspiration boards and to shop slowly and accumulate things you love over a longer period of time.

I've recently started an account with Pinterest to try to organize my thoughts and save digital images of what I like. It's frankly a lot of fun. I want to find a use for it in business by saving images of great marketing pieces that I see online and in real-life - still need to get around to that...

On the tv shows about decorating, like Sarah's House, it appears that they are working in a linear fashion and decorating the room in one shot, start to finish, in about two weeks time. Maybe you can do that if you're a superstar with a great support staff. I suspect what's really happening is that they're shopping out different parts of the house simultaneously and just showing a linear documentation of the process. I think in a regular house, you're going to have a lot of incomplete spaces for quite a while adding bits and pieces to each room as you find things that work. 

So, as you sit in your matching love seat, sofa, chair combination with the slightly too small rug and side tables that match your coffee table, don't fret too much! It takes time and talent to shop out that quintessential eclectic look that is you and isn't as easy as it looks! There are basements and guest rooms and used furniture websites to help you split up those sets and keep only the pieces that work with other things you love.

DIY Rating: 5
Reading the source list for Sarah's living room helps 
one to realize there is a lot of work and talent to pulling together a completed space.

It might be worth bringing in a designer to give some direction to your plans.

Start small and don't be surprised if it takes 1-2 years to create what happens in 30 minutes on TV!

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