Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thursday Thirteen #4: Questions I have about interior design

You want to know some fantastic news? Of course you do. We got the townhouse!! Our first choice for our original asking price, which was about 20% under the banks list price! Here are some FAQs about the property:

Sq Ft: 910 with an additional attached garage!
Bedrooms: 2
Bath: 1 (quite small)
Style: townhouse apartment, so it's 1 floor and someone is living above us
Lot size: we don't own any of the land, but we have a small patio area in the back which opens up to a small common yard. I think we'll be making some new friends!
Click on the link above for some pictures.

Now, it's a foreclosure, so it's not in the best shape. It's liveable, so we can work on stuff while we live there, but as it turns out, I am clueless on how to decorate/coordinate everything. So here it is, all my ignorance is going to be out on the table and I am looking to my blogging buddies to help me out! Leave a comment with your suggestions! A million thanks! I'll post pictures of what we decide to do and how things progress.

1. How do you make your home flow from one room to the next?
2. Can/should every room be a different paint color?
3. When choosing an accent wall color, does that need to match any other accent pieces in the room, or can it be completely different?
4. Our couches are brown, our wall decor is dark wood (cherry-ish), and bookshelves/entertainment center is oak. Is this okay and if so, how do I add some interest to all that brown?
5. How do you coordinate all the colors in a room (walls, furniture, curtains, blind, wall decor) so it doesn’t look sporadic or schizophrenic?
6. With area rugs on a wood floor, do you have to worry about matching the rug to the shade of wood, or is all wood neutral?
7. What are fun ways to decorate a home beyond family pictures that add some color that aren’t super modern (neither of us are trendy enough for that)?
8. What are interesting ways to decorate with family pictures (gotta represent!)?
9. What are some tricks to not over crowd a small bathroom, kitchen, or laundry room?
10. Do all appliances match all wood cabinetry or do they need to coordinated as well?
11. How do you effectively light up rooms with not a whole lot of sunlight and zippo overhead lighting (lighting options, color, decor, etc.)?
12. With our second bedroom, it is basically going to be a study, future baby room, library, or whatever else we need it for. Do you have any suggestions on how to make it look like a room and not a weird conglomeration of random stuff?
13. Are there great sites/blogs/stores you use for your decorating/designing inspiration?

Again, any help you could provide would be AMAZING! If you were here with me we'd go out to lunch and I would pick your brain for everything you have stored up in there, but for now, this the Internet is our cafe and our thoughts will be our feast. Send pictures of what you do in your home or links to things you love. Have some fun!


Greg Nelson Family said...

So a couple things. First congrats!!! I am so excited for you guys. I am also looking forward to the day that I get to decorate my home. Secondly are a few things I like. This website,,has some cute stuff. You might have to sift through some things because she does clothes, home decor, and some other things too but they are cute. Also I really like the show Hidden Potential on Hulu. I don't think you will do any thing grand as they do but it might help with ideas and colors and such. Hope this helps a little. I will pass any other tid-bits on. Good luck!!

Amber said...

Rachel! I am so excited for you. I had no idea you were looking to buy. I am going to contact my sister and ask her to check out your blog to answer some of these questions. She is about to graduate in interior design and I think her input would be helpful. They are good questions and I would like to know the answers to some of them as well!

Rachel said...

Hi, Rachel.


I found your blog through Nick's facebook. I'm also in the APS department at CU.

First off, stick to neutral colors for the walls. As someone with peach walls in the bedrooms and lemongrass in the living room, wild wall colors are totally overrated. If you stay neutral (but not boring), it is much easier to change things up later on. Color can come from your accents -- artwork, rugs, pillows. Also, dark or bright colors are really hard to paint over.

I like to (try to) find something that I love and decorate around that.

A great source of artwork are framed photos. I have several from my boyfriend's trip to Norway a few summers ago. Colorado is full of beautiful nature. Target is a good source frames.

I have some books and magazines you can borrow (I can give them to Nick). One of them shows step by step how to create a decorated room.

Plus, I love There are lots of good ideas and many different styles. If you don't already get them, sign up for the catalogs from Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn, West Elm, CB2, Restoration Hardware. They will give you an idea of what is in all the stores. Anthropologie has really cute hardware if you want to put knobs on cabinet doors.


Lauren Davison said...

Well holy smokes, Rachel! You are asking for a novel here, you realize that? I'll try and be concise... :)

Flow? You can create flow by continuing colors throughout a space, or by creating line of some kind. Chair rails, plate rails, artwork... these can all create line and flow.

As far as accent walls go--you don't necessarily have to use paint to create one. A nice piece of art, or photo arrangement, or a fireplace can create focal points in a room as well. As far as matching the color to other things in the room--as long as it coordinates (not necessarily matches perfectly) you should be fine.

As far as color coordination goes, I think finding an inspiration piece is an almost foolproof way. You generally want a main color or two, and an accent color (or two, or three). Really the numbers of colors aren't limited, but it can really help keep things in line if there is an inspiration piece like a pillow, or piece of artwork, or even a picture from a magazine! Also--there are often interior design sections in bookstores (I know Borders has a small one), and I like to just go and LOOK at them. There are lots of books dedicated solely to color schemes. Come to think of it--they probably have them at the library! Time to get me a library card!! :)

How to add interest to the brown? Make/buy some fun pillows and/or throws for the couches. Whatever you put in the shelves can break that up.

Wood and rugs--generally speaking woods are neutral. I've seen some pretty nasty yellowish woods, though.

Appliances and wood cabinetry don't need to match, although the room usually looks more unified if all the appliances match!

Adding light to a room? Floor lamps! Table lamps! :) Love them. You can try and use paint, but sometimes that can backfire...

Fun ways to decorate beyond family pictures? This is something I'm beginning to branch out into. One idea I'll be posting tomorrow probably on my blog, so watch for that. Kirby loves maps, so we have a giant 7 foot map on one of our walls. Oh man. My brain is spinning about a million miles an hour. I have added like 20 blogs to my google reader the past week all about this kind of stuff. Lemme pick my favorites and I'll shoot you an email or something!

Well... looks like you got your novel! Sorry bout that!