Design Rules: Creating Unity in a Space

Atlanta faux finishesIn today’s sophisticated interiors, we are seeing more muted color tones.  You may recognize these as the new neutrals, incorporating soothing grays, subtle, warm shades of beige, and crisp whites.  When working with these soft, neutral color palettes, the challenge lies in blending textures and styles, unifying the space while keeping it interesting. So how is it done?

Stylist Erica Brechtel offers a brilliantly simple system for accomplishing the task with her 5 pieces rule. These are Brechtel’s 5 “must-have” pieces that any room must contain in order to feel complete:

  • Something textured or patterned
  • Something shiny
  • Something modern
  • Something organic or natural
  • Something antique (or “antique-y”- the feel of the piece matters more than authenticity)

While this recipe for success may not be ideal for everyone’s tastes, it’s a good way to evaluate a space and possibly spice it up a bit by stretching outside of your comfort zone, whether that means tackling texture, adding some glamour with a metallic finish, bringing in a rustic element, or dipping a toe into a style that you don’t normally use, be it contemporary or antique.

Faux finishes and other decorative painting techniques can help you achieve this perfectly-balanced mix by bringing in new textures, colors, or patterns. Below, take a look at 5 decorative painting projects that relate to each piece named above.

  • Texture/pattern– A faux finished vent hood shows that decorative painting can add distinctive texture to any element of the decor. A stenciled damask pattern adds visual interest in a space with few strong patterns or textures.
  • Shine– A metallic touch here and there can elevate a room from basic to bold.
  • ModernBold patterns on this closet floor add a sophisticated, modern vibe to the room.
  • NaturalFaux wood graining is the perfect way to add a natural element to a room that lacks it. Skillful decorative painting can transform boring white woodwork into rich, warm wood. But that’s just the beginning, faux finishes can also emulate slate, marble, agate, or mother of pearl.
  • Antique– Decorative painting can give you the beautiful patina of age without the wait, from aging frescoes to distressed wood.

What is your “recipe for success” when it comes to designing a space? We’d love to hear from you, so share your thoughts in the comments!


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