5 tips for creating unity and flow in your home
Morning! Well, well...it's Friday!
Today, I am sharing 5 Tips for Creating Unity & Flow in Your Home.
One thing you learn once you get into design for any length of time is that rules...there are no rules! Okay, there are rules but you can learn when to bend them or forget them...when it works. There are skilled designers that can mix color, texture, and pattern like nobody's business and be major rule breakers with scale! It's really all about balance. Speaking of rules, one rule that I do always embrace is creating an overall cohesive home design.
I prefer homes that flow and have unifying elements throughout. This doesn't mean you can't introduce new colors or elements in each space, but it looks better if you do it in a complimentary way. I'm not talking about a matchy-matchy home either. I see the home as a whole, so before I even take on a space I am nailing down the surfaces, colors, and fixtures I want to see in each room.
So, here are some tips to help you on your way if you are tackling your own home design or remodel.
1. Know your color story.
Nailing down a color story that you know you will be comfortable in is key. Choose colors you really love, not what is trending. I tell people to forget the trends. It's fun to follow them and be aware of what's popular– especially for resale, but I'd advise doing what you want, not what is popular. It's inexpensive to repaint or switch out hardware and fixtures if you want to resell.
For our latest home, I wanted it to be easy to switch out color and pattern on a whim so I stuck to black, white, and gray with complimentary colors of gold and blush for the main color themes in each room. Every wall in our home is one of these colors. I also introduced green in our bedroom. Green to me is an easy color to mix in because if you have plant life throughout your home adding it as an additional color in a space works and flows pretty seamlessly. Go green!
2. Nail down your foundations.
The style of your home really does dictate whether to go more traditional or modern with your foundations. An atomic ranch is a great chance to embrace modern and mid-century design and a classic colonial looks best with traditional details. The architecture of your home dictates the style you will see inside.
Our latest home is a mix of modern and traditional from its outside appearance. It really was carte blanche to do what we wanted inside. We maintained the original integrity of the home by refinishing the hardwoods, keeping the original plastered crown mouldings, and quirky 1950's details like terrazzo floors in our entry way.
We took it up a notch by adding in custom wall mouldings, adding in more crown mouldings and baseboards, and 6 pocket doors. Each room was given a spruce up with these elements.
You can put your own spin on traditional or mid-century and have it play more current. We customized our own designs on our mantel piece and added modern hardware to traditional style cabinets to make it feel fresh. You completely have a license to mix it up a bit and make it your own. This is where hiring a designer would be a great asset if you don't have the confidence or creative flair to translate your tastes to your space.
You can see in the below image that the traditional details don't look stuffy or too old school. With the mix of modern pieces and traditional details like the nailhead trim on the banquette it has a fresh vibe.
3. Create unity with your surfaces.
I knew before we even touched most spaces in our home the surfaces I wanted. I choose Carrara marble and porcelain. The gray veining incorporates beautifully with the color story of our home. I added it on our fireplace surround, in our kitchen backsplash and countertops, and the flooring and shower tile in our bathroom. Porcelain was introduced in the sink basins in our kitchen and bathroom. These surfaces pull the entire home together. Surfaces are my favorite way to unify a home.
4. Create cohesion with your hardware, plumbing fixtures, and lighting choices.
Gone are the days where you have to be matchy-matchy. You can totally still embrace that if that is what you like, but I find the most interesting homes have a mix with their hardware and lighting fixtures. Again it's about unifying elements. I wanted gold, matte black, silver, and crystal in these details. I think having a complimentary mix makes for a richer surrounding. It might be easier to stick to one sheen or color, but you can really create interest by mixing it up a bit. Matchy-matchy falls flat in my opinion and feels builder grade. As long as what you select fits the scale of your space and compliments the overall style you want to create, you can really have fun mixing it up with these details.
In our kitchen for example, I selected a black pendant, vintage accordian sconces, and brass pendants. For hardware and plumbing fixtures I went brushed gold. Our appliances sport some stainless steal but it all works together. It's not matchy-matchy, but each piece compliments the other.
5. Have an element of warmth.
Unless you want a sterile feel to your spaces, you should introduce an element of warmth that carries in each space of your home. Whether its your flooring, window treatments, cabinetry, wall coverings (like grasscloth), millwork, or doors. Since the original floors in this home were so gorgeous we made this our unifying element of warmth. By staining them a warmer tone, they make each space in our home feel cozy and inviting.
I also added in natural wood furniture in each room to add another layer of warmth. Having natural wood in your home adds a soulfulness that you can't get with other materials. That's just my opinion on it, but it really does add a little something more. Don't ignore texture either. If wood isn't your thing, look to texture through natural stone. Having an earthy element in your stonework can add that needed dose of warmth.
There are plenty of other ways to unify the spaces in your home, but those are my top 5. If you nail down those five things or keep them in mind as you go room-by-room you will create a home that possesses an overall unity and a great flow that's not shy on style.
In our latest home, we didn't remodel it all at once, but knowing my choices from the beginning for those 5 things really helped as I tackled each room. You can easily get lost in trends or different things if you are remodeling room by room over a year or two.
I wish you all a wonderful weekend! I need to get busy editing photos and finishing up the closet details for you guys. See you soon!
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