Creating a space that is uniquely your own can be a challenge. If you are like me, you don't necessarily relate to one style or another. I appreciate good design but like a lot of things in life I needed direction and boundaries for designing my home.
1-Start with your home's architecture. We have a split level home that was built in the 60s which reflects the exterior design and details. All of our horizontal sash windows are high off the floor which was very common for this modern decade. Having a lower pitch roof also translates to the scale you typically see in mid-century modern design.
2-Don't be afraid to mix styles. I know that contradicts the first rule for direction but you might have pieces that are sentimental or too expensive to replace. I have had my grandmother's dresser for years and painted it for years. Moving in here, I knew I needed to modernize it. The lines are more traditional but, I striped it down and stained it a warm walnut and added acrylic brass hardware. While I love a traditional mid-century modern aesthetic, I also love softer patterns and lots of texture. Instead of the funky geometrics typically found with the style, I have more bohemian patterns and mix patterned velvet, worn camel leather and cane-back textures in our soft seating.
3-Accent the quirks. As mentioned, our windows are tall. This actually benefits us greatly, so that our dogs cannot see the street nor bark at everyone who walks by our house. The second we visited our house, I instantly had the vision of adding a trim detail to help ground our tall windows. Board and Batten is an incredibly easy project to do on your own and can easily define a space. Typically seen in high gloss white, I decided to add some drama by painting it Dovetail gray and letting the wood grain show through.
4-Take it all in moderation. You, like me, may not have the budget you'd like to start designing your house. My first mistake was trying to fill every empty space. The first "disagreement" my husband and I had as a married couple was over a chair that I found while shopping at Homegoods. I thought I had found the best deal on a chair that kinda looked like what I wanted and I had to have it. He was right and I should have waited, but of course I was convinced this was the perfect chair. It was not. Its sitting in my guest room, about to be listed on facebook because I found two vintage chairs that have the perfect scale, comfort and color for my space. So my advice is to either a. Hire a designer (me) to help you view your space with an outsider's perspective to help you make those make or break decisions and/or b. Create a vision board for what you dream for your space. (See below)
Make design fun but keep it realistic. I will leave you with one more piece of advice. Be yourself. Don't let these design guidelines hinder you, but direct you. Design is an art and it is subjective. So let it be your art! Have fun and make the most of the place that you call your home!