Guest Blogger +1K, Entry #2685, July 26, 2013
When redecorating a room you need to make one simple design decision: to go for a modern look or a cozy one. Modern means simplicity with clean lines and a neutral color palette, while cozy means layers of texture and warm, contrasting colors.
The first thing to focus on is the walls; what color are they going to be? Are they going to be plain or patterned? Wall color defines the room and everything else can work from this.
Image via: Eldorado Stone
Next comes the furniture. Depending on what design decision you have made, you should go for sleek, clean lines if modern, or curvier, elaborately featured furniture if cozy.
Simplicity is the keynote feature of modern design, but it also has another important aspect, that of functionality. Almost everything put into a modern room should serve a function. This will vary from room to room, for example, a modern kitchen will need plenty of workspace for all those gadgets, whilst a living-room will need a media center for the television, satellite box, DVD player and stereo.
You need to create the impression of space in a modern room, which is why furniture should be almost boxlike, with clearly defined edges, and the material chairs are upholstered in will make a difference too. Leather will look more modern and smoother than fabric, and choose a sofa that doubles up as somewhere to stretch out, such as a chaise sofa.
Keep the colors neutral, and large bold patterns should be kept to a minimum. For instance, you could have three walls painted in one neutral color, but create a feature wall out of the fourth, by covering it with strikingly patterned or colored wallpaper. Ideal colors for a modern room are creams and browns, but you can also use less earthy tones with shades of greens and blues. The thing to remember is to keep the colors working in harmony with one another.
Image via: Cornerstone Architects
Do not confuse cozy with old-fashioned. Cozy means inviting and welcoming, and the way to achieve this is through the use of color, primarily warm colors, although subtle combinations of ‘cool’ colors can also work. This means choosing a color palette of yellows or soft blues, as well as the customary beiges and browns. It could also mean exposing wooden beams or brickwork – providing the bricks are in a good enough condition. Dark colors can also ‘cozy up’ a room, although be careful not to overdo these, as too many dark colors can create an oppressive feel. Furniture can be big and decorative, with plump, stuffed cushions and patterned fabrics on sofas, and dark ornate tables.
Image via: Rectangle Design Inc.
It is a fundamental design concept of any room, whether modern or cozy, that if you have a patterned wall then the majority of the items in the room should be plain, and vice versa. Too many patterns will be too busy on the eye, and you will end up with a room that does not look cozy, but old-fashioned.
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