When you move into a new home, congratulations are always in order. That said, what are you going to do with all that empty space?
A blank canvas is exciting, but it can also be intimidating, whether or not you have the assistance of a designer. Similar to the initial hesitancy one might imagine an author feels when putting pen to paper, all it takes is the visual equivalent of that very first perfect sentence to set you on your journey.
Cara Saladino is design director for the upscale interiors firm IDG and the newly opened contemporary furnishings showroom Dwell. Having worked on projects like The Watercolours condominiums, seen in the photos here, she is clearly adept at transforming boring blank spaces into evocative conversation starters.
InsideOut caught up with Cara to hear her favorite ways to kick start a project with fun, functionality and purpose.
“Interior lighting is extremely important when it comes to creating mood in a given space so designers will often layer different types to help achieve this. The right placement and fixture, for example, will draw attention to a specific area or object that the individual wishes to accentuate through the use of proper illumination, called accent or direct lighting. Ambient or general lighting will simply wash an entire room with even illumination and can be achieved through the use of ceiling fixtures or recessed lights, so by layering in a direct light source to the elements you want noticed, you will be adding drama and creating mood in your space.”
“While wallpaper has large historical relevance, it is also completely en vogue today and is the single most effective way to transform a room’s existing décor into a one-of-a-kind backdrop that will enrich your everyday experience. By simply applying paper to a wall, the opportunity to add depth, complex textures, intricate patterns, and varied colors is easily achieved.”
“Texture adds visual weight and balance to a room through contrast, which is essential when it comes to elevating the overall experience of your design. Make architectural details such as crown molding, or tray ceilings a focal point, mix different mediums such as wood, metal and stone, play with textiles like slip covers, throw pillows, and blankets, and add floor and wall coverings, to make your space texturally appealing.”
“One of the hottest new trends in home decorating is textured walls because they create strong visual interest and add a touch of luxury to your space. It only takes a focal wall to make a big impact. Adding a textured treatment in an entry or behind a bed is all that is needed to enhance a room and set your home apart in style and design. There are several mediums available these days with tiles, modular panels, and wood being among the most popular choices.”
“Color is a vital factor in creating a mood in your home. Adding colorful accent pieces, artwork, accessories, and textiles, are an easy way to jump into the color pool without shocking your senses. As you become more comfortable with your space, you can add larger upholstery items or painted case-goods. Try mixing complementary or contrasting color to add big visual impact or stay monochromatic for a more calming resonance in your space.”
“Using your same color palette when working with prints will create a feeling of visual cohesiveness. Keep the mix pleasing to the eye by balancing the scale of your patterns: choose one big, busy print then contrast it with smaller, quieter designs. Shy away from prints too similar in motif. Keeping things different will avoid visual chaos and make the mix more attractive to your eye. Lastly, counter the weight of your prints with solid colors, chosen from the same palette and avoid using too many patterns so your eye has a place to rest.”