Have you ever had a vision in your mind, and then started to implement it, only to quickly realize it doesn't look anything like what you thought it would?

As an Interior Designer, with over 15 years of Architectural, and Interiors experience, I was expertly taught to do just that: take a vision from the realm of mind, and bring it into existence in real space, and time! There are about a million things that we, as designers have learnt over our careers, and now do almost automatically, but I will try to impart just a very small piece of this vast knowledge, to hopefully show you, that it's not about you being uncreative, or incapable, but it really isn't as easy as it may seem...

It's much more than finding, and purchasing a pretty couch, or a nice dining table. It's about really looking at every surface, and every inch of the space, and pulling it together into a vision that provides the client with comfort, efficiency, and beauty, all at once.

So let's take a case study, this existing Reading Nook. It's looking a little sad...

When I look at this small 5' x 7' Reading Nook, I immediately imagine warmth, coziness, fluffy fabrics, and rugs, warm colors, like shades of reds, and oranges, warm browns, and warm off-whites. This is my initial vision for the space.

But how do we get from this initial vision to a final vision? I'll keep it really simple here, and go into detail another time, but the trick is to start expanding on the colors, and feelings above, and start translating them into actual objects. How? The simple answer is: by asking the client basic questions, by showing them different examples of reading nooks I find online in order to get a feel for their preferences, and then by creating mood boards, and vision boards, with different furnishings, and decor elements in the colors we decided on, and adding fabrics, and patterns to enhance the main feeling we try to create. This is always the first step.

In parallel with the client and I creating a detailed vision for the space, I start looking at all the existing issues presented by the space, things the client may not be able to express directly. They may just say things like: "the space looks sad", or: "something is off..." because they can actually subconsciously perceive there are problems, but may not have the expertise to verbalize them. To me, however, these issues are sources of incredible guidance, and creativity.

So let's look at our Reading Nook: 
Issue #1: the window in this space is located pretty high off the ground, at almost 40" above the floor. If you are someone who loves light, and brightness, you may subconsciously feel this as a problem.
Issue #2: the window is also small, not centered in the space, and as you can see from the BEFORE photo, it looks very awkward, and well... too small for this area... If you are someone very meticulous, again, this may drive you crazy.

Design Ideas to solve the above issues:
As I mentioned above, I actually love elements that look like mistakes, as they are opportunities for creativity. So let's make this wall, with the small, off-centered window, from a problem wall, into a statement wall!

How about adding some beautiful orange-brown wood panels, running underneath the window, from wall to wall? And then let's add a dark brown, backless bookshelf running from wall to wall, that fits perfectly underneath the same window. The wood panels will beautifully show through the open bookshelf, and together will become the focus of our entire design.

Wall Panels Added

Backless Bookshelf Added

And now let's move on to the small, off-centered window. What if we add curtains spanning the whole wall, running from the bottom of the ceiling molding, to the top of the bookshelf? And remember, this is our statement wall, so let's choose curtains which are unique, and elegant, but still bringing an air of warmth to the space. And remember, with every piece, I'll present to you different options, until we get the one you love!

Full Wall Width Curtains Added

Issue #3: there was only a lonely, old, bright blue chair in the space.

Design Idea:
Going along with the idea of bringing in a bright color, I added a red chair, as red is a warmer color than blue, and it better suits a cozy reading nook. Reds, browns, darker oranges, off-whites... The vision is coming along nicely! I also wanted the chair upholstery to be soft, with a subtle, simple pattern, to carry a little bit of statement into the rest of the space. And in order to balance out the red of the chair, let's add another layer of red curtains, but only on one side!

By the way, having 2 layers of curtains, of 2 different colors, and 2 different textures always makes a space feel cozier, and more intimate.

Red Chair and Curtains Added

Issue #4: the existing suspended light, even though big in size, sort of disappears in the space, as it is the same color as the walls.

Design Idea:
Let's provide a dark chandelier for contrast, something modern, to run parallel to our statement wall. And again, I'll present to you different options, until we get the one you love!

Chandelier Added

Remaining Elements:
Let's add a glass vase with something green. Green and red are complimentary colors, and they can cheer up a space if used in the right proportions to each other. Since there is quite a bit of red, we can only use a touch of green, or it will absolutely look like Christmas in there!

We also need a fluffy, cozy, feel-good off-white rug, and some books, and vases for the bookshelf.

And let's add just a little bit of extra texture to the remaining 2 walls, to warm up the space even more!

And here it is!

Still not your dream space? Too Christmasy after all? Let's keep going until we get it right for you! Other possibilities:

Hope this article gave you a little insight into the complexity, but also the fun of the design process. Give us a call! Let's design your home!

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