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Hi, I'm Elizabeth and I invite you to grab a glass of sweet tea and join me as I (along with my husband, John) renovate our love nest. We're both born and raised in the south and love to share with you some of our favorite recipes, stories and our life. We hope you'll come back often!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

creating coziness

So today I want to talk to y'all about some decorating faux-pas. I get asked quite frequently how to make those gigantic ceilings and large windows (aka every new constructed house) appear to be smaller and cozier. Everyone wants a house that say's, come in. Sit down. Enjoy a tall glass of tea with me (well, maybe I'm the only one who offers sweet tea.. but you get the idea).

So how can you get that with HUGE 18 foot ceilings?!? It's amazingly more simple than you think. But first, let's go through some things you should NEVER do. Evah.

#1 Faux Pas. Decorating too High.
When you have large and expansive walls, the last thing you want to do is make those walls appear larger. Bring all your artwork and decor down to your eye level. Here is a no-no to get the idea.

This picture is a great example that just because you have the wall space, doesn't mean you have to fill it. Knick-knacks have a place. But for the love of decorating, not on your walls people! Do you hear me? Do you? In the picture above (and if this is a picture of your living room, I apologize, it came from Google. But if it is your house, please re-do it and I'll be happy to do a re-post on the power of decluttering).

Faux-Pas #2 Filling the space with pieces too big or too small
This doesn't help either. Refer to the picture below to see how this really doesn't help accentuate your space.

The couch is too small for the wall it's on. Makes it look like it was an afterthought. It's like the homeowner put all their accessories in this one room and then said, Wait! We need to sit somewhere! The pictures on the far wall are too large and don't compliment each other. Make sure that what you buy/use really WORKS for the space and it proportional.

So now that we've gotten through a couple no-no's of decorating. Lets talk about what does work..
 First of all you need to bring the ceiling down to your level.
A great way to do this that's super easy is to make your own ceiling. No, not like building one. I'm talking about creating the ILLUSION of one. Let's think about this..

The average ceiling height is anywhere from 8-10 feet. If we were to draw a line around the perimeter of the room at (lets use 10 ft. b/c we are dealing with super tall walls) it would magically bring the height down. Look at the picture below.

By using some nice molding, the owner was able to bring the height of the room down a bit visually. Natural wood may not be your choice, but a beautiful white molding would look beautiful in a contemporary home. Now, to create coziness.
Imagine that you painted the wall UNDER the molding you just put up. A rich color like red, brown, or even one shade darker than what is already on the wall. Not only do you now only have to paint a normal size room, but it will help anchor your space. The rest of the ceiling will drift off into space and the room will now appear much smaller.

Just to re-cap this little session:
* Declutter your space visually.
* Don't decorate UP
* Bring the ceiling to eye-level
* Paint the lower portion of your walls in a rich or muted color to bring in your style and to anchor the space.

Do you have anything to add? Maybe you have something in mind that will work too. Please share! I look forward to reading and responding to all your comments!  

1 comment:

  1. Those are all great tips. We have 14 foot ceilings in our family room and kitchen so I know what you're talking about. Personally, I like to paint the walls a color and leave the ceilings white. I always feel like that helps float the ceiling a little, too.


I put a lot of hard work into the blog, so I love hearing back from you! If you wish, leave me a comment and help make Southern Comfort a fun place to voice your thoughts too! Happy Writing, Elizabeth

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