Sunday, January 14, 2007

Before and After

Hello Ladies and Gents,
Today I want to talk to all of you about "Before and Afters". What I mean by that is I want to show you a couple of rooms/areas before they were accessorized and after they were accessorized. For you Non- Believers out there I hope you'll be a convert when I am done.

Accessorizing is a lot more than simply displaying your wares. It is really more like "merchandising" your precious belongings. For Instance, The cabinet to the left is definitely displaying this homeowner's belongings. Everything in the cabinet is really quite lovely. But, what are they doing for the cabinet itself? What are they doing for the finished effect of this home? Well, "They are on display." you say. "Isn't that enough?" My answer....No. It's not enough. Now I am going to take you down to the cabinet after it is properly accessorized...

Here is the same cabinet, refitted with the items our homeowner already owned. What we did here was rejuggle her things. One of the vases came out from inside the cabinet and now is on display up on top. What a difference. Wow. The chest you see next to the vase was sitting on top of the refrigerator doing absolutely nothing except looking like it was there for lack of any other place to go. Now it is an important piece in the scheme. In addition we added some greenery with just a touch of color to warm up the little vignette. To the left of the cabinet we hung a plate rack that had been sitting in a closet. Wow again. The cabinet is holding just as much as it was before we started but it is actually working more as a place of importance now rather than merely a place to store things.

I know you have all seen this room before. I use it as a teaser on my Blog. Well, this is the room after it was furnished. The major thing it is lacking is the "dressing" what I like to call, "The bow on the package". Yes, the furniture is gorgeous and the room looks really nice. The client has already hung her Thomas Kincaid and placed a couple of family pictures on the mantle. That's enough isn't it?

What do you think? There really is plenty of lighting in this room with all of the recessed lighting in the ceiling. The fireplace tools seem like a nice homey touch. With all of that beautiful furniture why would you want to distract from it? Well, you don't want to distract from it. You want to enhance it. You want to warm the room up and rid it of it's sterility. That is what a good accessory installation can do for you.

I am going to take you to the After shot now. You decide. Accessorizing doesn't mean it has to be cluttered, Not if it is done properly. Actually, when you have a good accessory installation done, it will never appear cluttered but warm and clean. We added a lamp next to the sofa, a floral arrangement on the table and a light assortment of accessories on the built in shelves and mantle. Now I feel like the room is an invitation rather than a display. What do you think?

Here are a few more before and afters...

Before.......................... After

What we accomplished here with just two tiebacks was a cleaner and less busy look. We simplified the 2 windows by dressing them. Instead of 2 panels per window we pulled the pair of panels on each window together to create the illusion of a single panel and joined them in the corner. We wanted to keep the fullness accomplished by two panels per window and decided removing a panel would take away from the overall appeal. The tiebacks were well worth the investment.

The last Before and After I want you to see is a snapshot of the room featured at the bottom of the blog. Here is the before. The photo at the bottom of the blog is it's After. What you see here is the room before we accessorized it. Not a bad looking room like it is. After we accessorized it properly, it went from very nice to WOW.

If you have the eye for accessorizing then I suggest you get busy. If you don't then interview a few designers in your area. See who is willing to work with you on creating the finishing touches on your home. Remember also, you do not have to go into a 2nd mortgage on your home to accomplish a great look. Decide on a price range before you hit the stores.
There may be a few pieces here and there that you'll just "have to have". Spend the money on them. You'll find that it was well worth it because those pieces are also going to be conversation pieces. Otherwise, look in the places you least expect. Old Time Pottery, Kirklands, Dockside, clearance rooms at furniture stores. Spend wisely not frivolously. Take digital pictures of each space you need to attend to. Bring the camera with you when you go shopping so that what you purchase is already placed. This will cut down on returns and spontaneous purchases. Don't be afraid to hire a designer to go shopping with. Yes, you'll spend money on their services but you'll save a Ton of money in the end result. As Nike says, Just Do It.
If you have any questions on this blog please click on the word "comments" and enter your question. I'll be happy to reply. If you have some ideas to add to what I have just shared, please do so.
Thanks so much for your time.