Happy Thursday, friends!
I thought I’d share a few decorating secrets here today and let you know that my Decorating Secrets e-course is on sale over at TheLetteredCottage.co right now too. It’s a 9-video course that walks the viewer through my entire process when it comes to designing and decorating a space.
It seems like one common design-related challenge folks face a lot has to do with paint, so I talk lots about the secret to choosing the perfect paint color, sheen, undertones and my personal go-to favorite shades in my Decorating Secrets course, but I want to share one super helpful paint-related tidbit here today. Ready? The colors on a paint strip in a fan deck are not all just lighter versions of the color at the bottom of the strip. So for instance, if you were looking at the paint strip below, the color Window Pane is not a lighter version of the color Rainwashed, and the color Rainwashed is not a lighter version of the color Quietude, etc. They are all completely different hues, made up of completely different formulas that contain completely different amounts of several different colors.
Which brings me to my next tip: once you find the perfect paint color, know that you can also have it lightened or darkened by a certain percent. Let’s take the color Quietude for example. If you discovered that that was the perfect shade based on how it looks in your particular home, with your particular natural and incandescent lighting and as a backdrop to your particular furnishings- but it’s just a shade or two too dark- you can ask the people at the paint store to lighten it by 25, 50 or 75% depending how much lighter you want it to be. That way, it’ll still have the same undertones and be made up of the correct hues, it’ll just be a lighter version of the exact same formula.
Another common decorating-related dilemma I see folks struggling with a lot is how to arrange their furniture. I teach viewers how to take the guesswork out of this process in my course (no more lugging home non-refundable furniture that doesn’t even fit or feeling like you’re room “just isn’t quite right”), but I want to share another helpful little nugget in today’s post too.
It’s just as important to think about where you shouldn’t place your furniture as it is to think about where you should. In other words, there should always be three feet of open space directly in front of your doors and at least 12″ of open space around your heating and cooling elements, like fireplaces and radiators, etc. There should also be at least 18″ of open space around furniture that you’ll be sitting on so that you can move comfortably around it. (For example, there should be 18″ between your coffee table and the front of the sofa it’s sitting in front of.)
Another space planning secret I love to share with people is that the first step in figuring our the best way to lay out your furniture involves identifying your room’s focal point. Your focal point should be functional to the space it’s in. For instance, an obvious focal point in a living room would be a fireplace. In a bedroom it would be a bed, and in a dining room it would be the table. If your room’s focal point isn’t quite so obvious, you may be forced to create your own focal point using an entertainment center or a large wall hanging, etc. Either way though, your focal point should immediately capture your attention upon entering the room. And then by centering your furnishings, lighting, and decor around that focal point, you’ll allow the focal point to be the center of attention and create a nice, rhythmic feel throughout the rest of the room.
Again, I dive much deeper into everything I take into consideration when laying out the furniture in any given room, but I wanted to share those “secrets” with you here today because they’re dilemmas I get asked about a lot.
There are descriptions of what I’ll cover in each of the nine videos over on TheLetteredCottage.co website if you’d like more information about the rest of the course as well.
And if you’ve ever wanted to learn how I use Photoshop to create my presto change-o pictures, I offer an e-course called Room Makeover that’s also on sale over at TheLetteredCottage.co right now too.
It’s perfect for visual learners and I teach it from a total beginner’s perspective, so don’t worry if you’ve never even opened Photoshop before. I’ll walk you through every single step of the process on video so you can see exactly what I do and how I do it. You just need to have Photoshop on your computer and that’s it! It’s a great way to manipulate your “before” photos before you spend any time, money or energy on a makeover. Having the ability to try out different colors, finishes and furniture, etc. will allow you to see exactly which direction you want move in, and doing so will give you the motivation to proceed with confidence. I can’t tell you how helpful it has been for me personally, and I’ve taught hundreds of people who have shared that it’s helped cure their “design paralysis” too. 🙂 Here are a couple of examples of photos that I’ve worked on:
Let me know if you have any questions about either course- I’m happy to answer them! Oh, and for those of you interested in taking both classes, there’s an even better deal on the combo, so now is a great time to scoop them up that way too. And, yes, once you purchase you’ll have access to the courses forever, so you can watch the videos at your own pace whenever it’s convenient!
Happy decorating, y’all!
PS- My darling husband (Kevin) has been working so hard building these courses and the website they live on, so I wanted to make sure to mention that none of this would have been possible without his help and I can’t tell you how much I enjoy working with him. We recently celebrated 14 years of marriage (woo hoo!) and while we have oodles of similar traits and interests, we do each have very different strengths when it comes to our work, and I’m so grateful that he’s developed such a passion for much of the tech-related stuff! 😀