Have you ever been in a room that is “too decorated”? You know the kind of room I mean. You find yourself slightly afraid to touch anything. Everything is perfectly placed. There are no toys, newspapers or remote controls. The coffee table artfully displays books, plants, photos and an odd trinket box, but there is no room to set a drink down (and forget about coasters). A magazine could feature this room on any given day and their stylist would have no work to do.
When I speak to groups about interior design, I often get asked for some tips about finding the perfect style for a home. My answer: “Avoid the perfect.” There are lots of varied techniques to calculating the right measurements for this and that. There are lots of opinions about certain styles and how to use them.
However, the very best tips are much more basic and simple to use. They’re tips that embrace really living in your home. But don’t just take my word for it. Read on to find some tips for real living by famous interior designers from over the past two centuries…
Decorating is not about making stage sets, it’s not about making pretty pictures for the magazines; it’s really about creating a quality of life, a beauty that nourishes the soul. ~Albert Hadley
Have nothing in your homes that you do not know to be useful and believe to be beautiful. ~William Morris
Nothing is in good taste unless it suits the way you live. What’s practical is beautiful…and suitability always overrules fashion. ~Billy Baldwin
Furnish your room for conversation and the chairs will take care of themselves. ~Sibyl Colefax
People’s lives are expressed in little details….The soap in the bathroom, the flowers in the garden, the books on the bedside table are all strong symbols of a life in progress. ~Charlotte Moss
A good room…should give one…the exciting feeling that the owner is a part of it and that it is for him a personal triumph, whether or not it follows a recognizable trend. ~Michael Taylor
If every piece is perfect the room becomes a museum and lifeless. ~Nancy Lancaster
Neither good taste nor wealth… can transform a house into a home, for a home does not consist in the quality of its architecture or decor, but in the quality of the lives that it expresses. ~Philippa Tristam
Do any of these quotes speak to you? What are your favorite rooms in your home and why? What makes a room feel “lived in” to you?