Monday, December 22, 2008

large spaces...


After writing about small spaces,  I received a ton of e-mail on my web site from people wanting know what to do with large rooms.  Many of them said they wished their rooms were smaller because they thought they would be easier to decorate.  

Grass is always greener...

Both small & large have their own set of challenges.  It always comes down to how you want to live and what your lifestyle is really like.

COLOR:  Adding color that is dark and/or warm on your walls can make a huge difference.  It can help make your very large room a bit more intimate.  In a giant room, you can afford to go large, heavy, dark and sumptuous without fear.  The room can handle it.

LIGHT:  Put table lamps and overhead lighting on dimmers.  Instant coziness as well as helping to bring the large expanse of a room into a bit more of an intimate and livable lifestyle. 

Also, if you have crown molding and a very high ceiling, you can use a darker color below the crown and a lighter version of the same color on the ceiling in order to create more intimacy--if you like that style.

Create seating areas not only for comfort, but for great conversation.  Plan for more than one seating area in a large room and make sure you place tables by each seating area for drinks  so that your guests feel welcome and comfortable.  

Divide your large room into smaller areas that can be for entertaining, private conversations or reading.  Depending on your lifestyle and needs, make a large room serve more than one function.

AND...Don't forget about scale.  One of THE most important things in any room, any size.  In large spaces with high ceilings you really have to think about the scale of your furniture.  You can go big, even with your accessories.  Too many smaller pieces will make a room feel cluttered and not too well defined.  Play with furniture, rug & accessory placement.  You will start to see how things work as you move stuff around and you will be training your "decorator eye."  Well, you may even get more than 1 decorator eye--an actual pair!  I hear they're rare.

Like any home, great design is about having as much information as possible (that pertains to your tastes), having a plan and a very healthy does of trial and error.

-angelo surmelis


23 comments:

Julie said...

YAY!

THANK YOU!

I am printing this page. I do have a quite cavernous home and rooms, the beauty of living in very rural areas. I have always felt like I am doing everything wrong, but I know it's more about using the space appropriately.

Thanks again.
Julie

KJS said...

YES! YES! YES! Thank you for the info and PLEASE write a book or at least write something about design and "hot to" every day! HA! I know, it's not like you're not doing anything else. I need the help and you're the only person I trust.

Merry-Happy-Holidays!

toby&karen said...

Thank you! I live in a BARN! It is, as you would say, ginormous. Scale has certainly become something that I struggle with and the more I try the closer I get to getting it "right." I appreciate the advice and we certainly appreciate you in our home. You inspire us and your shows are the best.

LT said...

this is all wonderful and very informative. I think that to make it even easier, you should just come to my house. PLEASE.

Anonymous said...

Angelo, I have to tell you that I am addicted to your writing style. Maybe even more than your decorating style. (I mean that in the BEST way!) I agree with KJS, PLEASE write a book!

I saw a Ty Pennington magazine while in checkout at Target tonight. You have more talent, skill, intelligence, wit, style, accessibility ... please don't make me go on... than he has in the thumb on his right hand!

Who do we need to speak with to make this happen? *S*

Jessie

Patricia said...

If you're coming to people's home like LT suggest, please come to mine as well.

Yvonne said...

How does Ty get a magazine? I agree. Nothing against the man, but (???)

Are you opposed to writing a book?

Thanks for the great tips. I will use them when I get a large house.

angelo said...

Hi All,

Ty has worked very hard and still does. I think he deserves all his success.

I certainly am not opposed to writing a book, but like anything else in life, it has to be the right fit and I have not found that yet.

Thanks for the positive comments!

-A

Tiffany said...

Great information. My home isn't all that large but our great room is. It also has high ceilings and I've struggled with how to make it feel more intimate. I think I have the scale and wall colors down, buy once I read this I realized I do have a lighting issue and definitely "dead zone" pockets in the room. It feels a bit warehousy and the idea of area rugs could definitely help.

Thank you. I agree with the others. Please write a book. I'd buy more than one, I promise.

I enjoy your show very much.

Trudy said...

Really wonderful information. I have a small home and the "small spaces" blog entry was a great one for me. I have lived in large spaces and I think you are more than right on with the whole "scale" thing. It is so important.

sarah said...

I love your blog!

Anonymous said...

I can be a "bull in a china shop" at times. I didn't mean to disparage Ty and his success; only that I think you're incredibly better! I guess there's no fervor like that of a new convert. *S* I wish Ty continued success.

Jessie

angelo said...

No Worries Jessie. i understand completely. My own friends and family have the same fervor and I appreciate it.

-A

KYLE said...

I too love the way you write--because we needed just one more thing to enjoy about you. If you haven't been contacted by a publisher yet, you will. I think one of the reasons people respond not only to your writing, but to you, is because you are such a genuinely great guy. Much continued success and have a great holiday!

Keiley said...

Loved this information. I need to get started on using it. I now have a New Year's plan of attack.

Steph said...

Just keep us posted on the book writing. Maybe it can be a gift I give out next year.

Dean said...

Let me just add one more voice to the chorus: PLEASE write a book. Heck, write a whole library. We need your voice.

CINDY! said...

Great advice! Now I just need to get a house. Sheesh!

lainey said...

great info! thank you so much.

patty said...

More...more...more...GIVE US MORE! I love your tips and the way you present them. MORE!!!

SteveN said...

Oh, nice! Love the info and I am using it in a BIG WAY! I have huge rooms and very high ceilings. I have tried it all and it just winds up looking junky. Happy Holidays!

Trudie said...

Great advice. I agree, you should write a book. Just in case you hadn't thought about that already.

cindy said...

Thanks for the advice on what to do with large spaces! Much appreciated...... now, got any pictures anywhere? I can be told a hundred times...but when I SEE it, it seems to get through to me. Take care, Happy New Year! By the way if you're ever in the neighborhood I know of a REALLY good bakery...(that was a bribe.)

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