Tips for Decorating a Condo
The standards for space use are quite different between urban and suburban areas. In other words condos (flats, apartments, etc) tend to have smaller square footage to work with. I started my career in big cities in America and Europe, having to learn how to fight for every square inch (or every square centimeter ) to give comfort, beauty, drama or serenity to each space. On this post, I will be sharing with you some important guidelines to make your Condo spaces more comfortable, livable, beautiful and efficient ones. Enjoy!
• Built-ins will be your best friends in a condo. They are an exceptional means of increasing storage and shelving that can be decorative and functional at the same time. Keep it simple; appliqués and overly detailed elements can make built-ins look too heavy. Ideally, built-ins should be addressed by the buyer, rather than looking to the builder to include them during construction. Designing your own built-ins to fit your needs can assure functionality and beauty. Some examples: linen cabinets that fit behind a door and home office built-ins that house the TV, computer, printers, book shelves and decorative accessories.
• Paint colors should be in a unified palette. When you use a single color for walls in the living room/dining room, for example, you “expand” the spatial perception of the rooms. This doesn’t mean you cannot have an accent wall; sometimes it’s perfect to define a space.
• Because rooms will be smaller, paint doors, trims, built-ins and closet doors in the same color as the walls. That way, your eyes will be drawn to furnishings and fabrics instead of the numerous cutouts and openings in the space.
• Keep the color contrast between walls and ceilings to a minimum; that will make people less aware of generally lower heights.
• Heavy and overly decorated chandeliers, pendants and wall sconces are not as suitable in condos as larger spaces. They can look overwhelming and out of scale. Choose clean-lined and more understated sources of light.
• Don’t get rid of everything from your previous home. Rescue pieces that are well proportioned to their new spaces. Heirlooms and antiques can become focal points in specific rooms.
• With art, address scale first. You want to make sure that your furnishings will serve as an “anchor” for your artwork. It’s fine to use art as a focal point; just make sure a piece doesn’t completely overwhelm its surroundings.
• Mirrors are a consideration, particularly floor-to-ceiling mirrors. They expand your perception of the size of a room. Place them in foyers, dining rooms, bedrooms (the headboard wall preferably) and don’t be afraid to back furniture against them. You’ll be surprised how dramatic a console or a chair can become. Or, try anchoring a framed painting against a mirror. It will look like the art is floating.
• When in comes to condo window coverings, less is more. Stay away from overly detailed rods and finials and heavy swags. Few condos have the scale to accommodate such treatments. Keep fabrics un-patterned and stay close to your wall color. If you must use a pattern, go ahead and make a statement but keep everything else in the room close to monochromatic.