Guest Author - Donna Coogan
Have you ever walked into a home and felt like everything was disjointed? Thatís probably because there was no flow. When decorating your home, itís important to create flow from room to room. When your home connects from one area to another, it immediately feels more comfortable and inviting.
The exception might be for areas like a childís room or a specific theme room such as a game room where you might deliberately detour from the decorating flow found in the rest of the house. Otherwise decorate the main living areas of your home so that they make a natural connection to each other as you move through them.
Do this by creating a repetitive statement from room to room through common elements like style, color and materials.
Create Flow with Style
One way to create style is to go with a specific decorating style. Iíll use my home as an example. I love cottage garden style, so Iíve chosen things that provide the relaxed charm of this style throughout my main living areas. Iíve used a mix of colors that you might find in a flower garden: blues, greens, yellows, reds and pinks. These are repeated throughout the main level. My furniture ranges from whites to various stained pieces, with the majority being flea market finds, typical of casual cottage decor. Accents include ceramic pitchers and teapots, floral paintings, bunny figurines and birdhouses. Sticking to a specific decorating style instantly creates unity.
Another way to connect through style is by using the same type of furniture like Shaker or contemporary. Incorporating the same window treatments like loose flowing sheers or heavy drapes. Using the same type of interior doors and doorknobs for each room. Repeating the same cabinetry style throughout the house.
Create Flow with Color
Rooms can also be connected through color. You might paint all the walls the same color, adding a few accent colors to provide some visual relief. Or you could paint the rooms in different colors, as long as they relate in some way. For example, paint the living room in a golden hue and add some accessories in red. Connect to the living room by painting the dining room walls a corresponding red with accessories in gold. A third room like the kitchen could include accessories in both red and gold through the curtains, area rugs or dishes. Finally, be sure to repeat one or two neutral colors in all three rooms.
If you are careful, you can tie rooms together even when they are each painted a different color. Iíll give you a great example of a beach home I saw once where every room was painted a separate pastel color. There was pink, mint green, baby blue, pale lilac and buttery yellow. Such an array of colors could easily feel overwhelming, especially because all rooms were visible to each other. Amazingly, they all flowed together well because the colors were of the same saturation level (pastel) and each room shared some common elements: hardwood floors, white beaded ceilings and white trim.
Create Flow with Materials
Flooring is one of the biggest areas of a home and when you use the same type of flooring from room to room, like all hardwood or wall-to-wall carpeting, it easily ties the spaces together. Itís fairly common in homes to have a separate floor material for the kitchen or foyer entry like vinyl, tile or stone. If you top them with an area rug that pulls in colors from the rest of the main living areas you maintain connection to those spaces.
Ceilings are also areas that take up a lot of square footage in a home. If you can unite ceilings through paint color or by using the same materials like the beaded ceiling in the beach home described above, they will seamlessly flow from space to space. Also, adding crown molding and other types of trim from room to room can help provide well-integrated spaces.
Repeating specific metals can also create connections between your rooms. For example, having a wrought iron stair railing in the entry, wrought iron table legs in the dining room, wrought iron lamp stands in the living room and a wrought iron pot rack in the kitchen all help to create unity between the rooms.
When you mesh styles, colors and materials together in recurring ways, youíll find it very easy to create a welcoming flow in your home. Other possibilities might include repeating geometric patterns like circles or squares; incorporating specific textures; using lighting to unite spaces; adding specific accents, etc. It basically comes down to repeating elements in a structured, deliberate way that creates a natural flow from space to space.