Undesign To Redesign Starts Simply…Just Move Something


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By Barbara Kaplan –

Q. I am contemplating redecorating my home. I have some furnishings I still like, and other pieces I know I no longer want to live with. I have looked at magazines to figure out what I like now, but I’m confused. The thought of everything I have to consider overwhelms me. Would you please help me understand how to begin the process?

A. Beginnings are difficult, particularly when there is uncertainty or inexperience. Add emotions, making decisions regarding pieces to keep or release, and it can become paralyzing. When this happens to clients, I reassure them that they really do have the answers. The answers are inside YOU. That’s why I call it “Interior” Design.

Whether rearranging furnishings, de-cluttering a home, shopping for accessories or beginning a complete design project – it can become overwhelming and difficult to know where to begin. Albert Einstein said, “Nothing happens until something moves.” Move an object to another place in a room or house and immediately, change has occurred. Space has been made and the balance of the room has been affected. It is easier to see possibilities and be creative.

This concept is often addressed specifically with feng shui, which is the energy of the placement of a building and the objects within it. Add to that the Bajaro Method which addresses how people feel in a room. Combining these two philosophies connects people with their environment to bring them health and happiness.

Think about it. Feel it. I like to call this “undesign” because until something is moved to clear a space, we cannot fill it. Now the eye can see what can be created. In art, it’s called negative space. In music, a rest. Take away the current design and see the difference – feel the difference. Once you see what happens, you will better understand how to proceed. There are questions to answer and decisions to make:

  • Do I like the space I opened up?
  • If not, what can I bring in?
  • Does more need to be taken away?
  • Does something need to be brought back?
  • What are the feelings I have about this new space?
  • What more do I need?

Start with small decisions. Explore your color palette. Experiment painting one wall. Do something eclectic by combining Southwest or Tuscan styles with contemporary, cottage or beach look. Consider replacing with less expensive items like decorative accessories, pillows or a lamp to see how you like the transition. Define space with an area rug. Stay open to design possibilities. Mix and match the expected with the unexpected!

Going through the process requires tools. Become aware of new ideas and styles through magazines, retail stores and surf the Internet. Open yourself to what is available, to discover your personal taste and style.

Stepping out of your box is exciting and fun. It may lead you back to ideas and things you originally liked or you may find a new you waiting to be expressed. You’ll understand yourself and why you have chosen the things you have. This will become “your” personal design style.

Remember, rooms have no feelings, YOU DO!

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