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If you’ve been following the last couple blogs, you know that my house was destroyed by storms four different times over the last decade. (If you missed those emails, you can find the story on the blog here.)
It was horrible at the time, but looking back, I wouldn’t be the designer I am today without all that destruction.
Because I was forced to completely rebuild my home so many times, I developed a brand new style…
One that allowed me to rapidly create a perfect “backbone” to my home’s design in a fraction of the time it takes most people.
When your house is destroyed, you have to make it livable again ASAP
All the little “extras” have to wait.
And I used to love the “extras.”
I was all about the “over-the-top” and “more is more” approach. And color — I loved A LOT of color.
Honestly, if you asked me ten years ago I may have never embraced this before!
See before, I used to love over the top – more is more!
Things like this:
Interior Design by Amitha Verma
Interior Design by Amitha Verma
But when you’re starting from scratch, you just don’t have the luxury to spend weeks or even months searching for pieces.
You need furniture, and you need it now.
Of course, you still want your rooms to look pretty.
It’s a difficult balance to strike.
Interior Design by Amitha Verma
While beautiful, finding the perfect pieces that go together can take forever.
But sometimes, having constraints, whether its time or money, can actually make you more creative.
When I was under the gun trying to get my house back to some semblance of normalcy again, I didn’t have time to comb through thousands of pieces just to find the right one.
I had to improvise. And I came up with a secret 4-Step process for designing gorgeous rooms quick that I still use today.
I use it in my clients’ homes as well.
Because it it give you the ability to rapidly re-furnish your home in a gorgeous, coordinated approach…while still leaving plenty of design space to add more later.
But I should warn you, it’s completely counterintuitive. Until you see the results for yourself, you wouldn’t think my system would have the slightest chance of working.
But it does.
And these three strategies have helped me create a home I absolutely love and adore.
Step 1: A softer palette
First, you want to soften the color palette.
Because softer colors are more versatile. Sure, decadent hues can look gorgeous, but they’re more finicky to match.
Softer palettes are more common and they give you greater flexibility when choosing furniture.
So this go round, I softened our color palette.
Which meant — counterintuitively — I actually had an easier time finding more furniture than I would have had if I had been looking for just one incredibly decadent piece.
Like this gorgeous set of chairs:
Not only that, but it’s far easier to find matching accessories with soft palettes.
So you can add that extra little “oomph” to your projects easily.
But again, constraints are necessary sometimes to maximize creativity. So I made it a rule to not put more than THREE accessories per area.
STEP 2: Embrace the negative space.
Negative space is great because it means you can design with, well…nothing.
It’s all about the placement of your furniture pieces, and where you draw the eye.
But still, you want to do everything you can to avoid the room feeling empty.
And large stones are an easy way to do just that.
Remember this formula:
More surface area = more negative space.
These are the stones I used in my own home.
Although they are antique reclaimed stones, they weren’t too busy and overwhelming.
And now, the space looks so fresh and modern!
This is a completely different look compared to our old antique style hardwood floors!
And it looks stunning with the softer tones of our furniture.
Step 3: Accent with white
Most people don’t think you can accent your home design with white.
But when you use a soft color palette, whites are simply perfect!
I use white tones in my stone work, my bedding, and I always look for white washed furniture, frames and pretty much anything else I can find that’s white.
And including grays and white tones can take your designs to the next level.
So for instance, I have a lot of white in my kitchen floors and my kitchen surfaces.
But I us a soft gray for our cabinet colors and I absolutely love it!
I still have tons of rich jewel tones in my fabrics and artwork.
But they take time to find. And they’re not necessary for having a good-looking room.
Which means you can spend the time and effort looking for them after you’ve created a good “backbone” of all the major pieces.
And the great thing about soft palettes is that it’s an empty canvas that pretty much any color will work well with.
See how working within constraints can actually give you more freedom?
Step 4: Get Ready to Mix & Match
This was a huge sticking point with hubby. He was not on board with this at all.
Because he loves matching everything…and I love not matching!
And when everything doesn’t have to match, you create so many more possibilities.
Like in our bedroom.
I found two antique commodes to use as our nightstands that looked similar but were not matching at all.
We also ended up not matching in our kitchen.
We started out with polished nickel faucets.
However, for the cabinet hardware I opted for this incredible modern brass hardware.
Hubby really lost it on this choice. He couldn’t believe we were going back to a finish that was so popular in the 50s while we were trying to renovate a home that was built in the 50s!
He was so much against it, that we didn’t even have cabinet knobs for months! (As you can see we’re both stubborn)
But guess what happened? In the end he LOVED both choices, the brass hardware and the mismatched nightstands.
He actually takes credit for them when people come over – which I let him have because he was willing to go out on a limb for my choices. (Raise your hand if you have this hubby!)
So, tell me, what do you think about the blueprint? Did it give you some ideas? Are you going to try it in your own home?
Leave a comment and let us know!
P.S. We’ve just received a VERY special shipment, unlike anything we’ve ever had before. When you see it, you won’t believe your eyes.
Which is why we’re holding a special unveiling event Saturday September 8th.
Click here to learn more and register. You DO NOT want to miss out on what I expect to be our biggest event of the year.
P.P.S Want to remake your house exactly like you dreamed? Why not level-up your design skills with one of our exclusive workshops? One of our workshops for August is already sold out, so don’t delay. Click here to see the schedule.
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Amitha with Oprah Winfrey
I love the paint, it was so easy!
Just a quick note to say that I love your new paint line!! The colors are beautiful and it goes on so smooth and silky. The gray wax is fabulous. I'm getting some great new looks with your paint but most of all I'm having fun using them!! Hope all is well.
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