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Room for a New View


Whether you're tasked with decorating an authentic French chateau or making the most of a basement studio, it's easy to feel limited and overwhelmed by the task in front of you. Changing the way you approach decorating your space requires a simple change in the way you think about your room, and the questions you ask too. Regardless of your means and measures, the best way to start imagining your new room is by looking at positive solutions for negative or challenging things. Start re-training your resourceful mind like this:

Instead of saying: I need a stand for my printer but what I see in stores is ugly. I don't want to spend any money on something I won't like.

Ask yourself: I need a stand for my printer. Is there something that could hold my printer and my paper supply so everything goes in one place?

[caption id="attachment_2868" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="In my office, I wanted a stainless steel counter for my painting projects. Little did I know that when I found a restaurant salvage shop, I'd also find this hotel service cart for my printer! Gotta love when those delightful solutions pop up!"][/caption]

Here's another one...

Rather than: This area is big and bland. I want to add color, but my kids will trip on a rug and besides, even the outdoor rugs get faded and moldy.

Ask yourself: How can I add some color and pattern to this boring deck? A rug will get faded or moldy... what else can I use?

[caption id="attachment_2870" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="HGTV contacted me to paint this entire deck in a bright color, but I saw a rug pattern as a more interesting and appropriate solution for this house."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2871" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="I painted a Charles Mackintosh inspired rug pattern to go with this Craftsman style home. Doing a little research to support your ideas can make your solutions even more meaningful."][/caption]

As you get more confident about asking open-ended questions that solve solutions, you'll start to see the answers building on each other and whole rooms coming together. Here's an example:

My mom, my first creative and resourceful mentor, felt limited by the angles and odd colored brick fireplace in her living room.

[caption id="attachment_2891" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Notice my mom's pet-peave, the vent at top center of what she considered the focal wall. The space from the front door to hallway seemed unuseable too because this is the main traffic pattern into the house."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2892" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Looking the other direction was her other nemesis, an outdated purplish brick fireplace."][/caption]

I asked myself: I can't remove the badly placed vent on the main wall and my mom hates the awkward shape and angles of the room. How can I camouflage the angles so it just feels open and fresh? And, besides replacing the brick, how can I update the fireplace so it becomes an inviting focal point?

[caption id="attachment_2893" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="First, we painted the ceilings AND walls a fresh white and the angles instantly became less noticeable"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2895" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="With plenty of space overhead, I painted the walls, from the top of the fireplace to the floor (including the baseboards- remember, no distractions!) with a darker color. This keeps the eyes low and focused."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2896" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="The room is already feeling more soothing and spacious"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2897" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Next, I filled in the fireplace grout with household spackle- a lot of it! It took three thin layers just to meet the surface of the brick. Next, I plastered the entire surface- about two layers to cover the brick and square off the corners. Finally, I applied a top coat of gray tinted plaster and gold metallic paint for the mantel."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2901" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="The surface looks more like cement. The brick texture is subtly evident, but the look is more rustic modern."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2899" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="The room feels spacious and open with a cozy eclectic look that's grounded and relaxing."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2900" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="The traffic path is lined with my mom's travel photos (most of them she took herself!) with room to organize her piano music. And the low hanging photos above the piano keep the eyes far far away from that gastly vent."][/caption]

As I'm writing this, I see the obvious correlation between how to decorate with an open mind and how to build my life and business with the same mindset. Where I get excited by the possibilities of a room, I do often feel limited and overwhelmed when it comes to other areas of my life. Hm, I suppose it's time for a little perspective adjustment. Time to see my life as a big beautiful room with all kinds of potential. I can do that!

Okay, while you work out a tough spot in your home this week, I'm going to work out some tough spots for myself. Let's see: I want to collaborate with people and create a team that can carry out my vision.  I want to ramp up my textile design and launch my webseries, Color in the City. What kind of people do I need to find? What kind of resources do they need to have?

I feel better already. I'm going to do a little painting to get in the right mind set and just brainstorm about that. The answers may come as easily as designs for a room, right? I'll let you know how it goes!


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