Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Coming to Terms... Layering

This photo is single-handedly responsible for my nearly constant urge to jump the gun and decorate this house. After this weekend, though, I've come to terms with one simple fact - this house needs its design foundation first.

Its First Layer of sorts.

Plenty of professional designers will say "inspiring" things like, "Finish the entire room before you move on to the next. Otherwise, you'll spend all this time and money and what will you have to show for it?" I actually spoke with a local interior designer a few weeks back that said exactly that. PROBLEM: Many of my rooms are ugly. If I stick with just one room until it is completely finished - from paint down to the details on the end tables - I'll have one gorgeous room after a year, but the other TEN rooms will still look like crud. That does not sound like a happy plan to me.

The more I think of it, the more I am confident that we need to approach this house in layers. Over a recent family vacation, I read Bunny Williams' Point of View. Dynamite book. One of the chapters is entitled, "Layering", and in it Ms. Williams explains how to approach the development of a lived in look over time. That's what I want. That's what this house needs to become a home... our home.


So, what is the first layer to entail? What does this house need most to get it on solid footing design wise? (We aren't knocking out walls here - this is a cosmetic plan, not a complete overhaul). What does this house need? Well, if we're talking about first things first (and we are), it needs paint. It needs trim. It needs flooring. It needs doors. It needs lighting fixtures. It needs window treatments.

The first layer.

As much as I want to go out and buy thrift store tables that I can spray paint and find steals like $5 silver plated mint julip cups - I need to focus on getting this first layer in place. Paint, trim, floors, lights, door, windows. I'm still flipping through the House Beautifuls and Elle Decors of this world (the ones that are left, anyway) to gather inspiration, but the second and third layer ideas are in a holding bin. If I stick to this layering plan fairly faithfully, we should be well on our way to a completely new house within about 2 years. That's a crazy long time to wait to accessorize a room, isn't it? But, I'm going to try hard to hold off.

I think in the long run it will be a far more satisfying and encouraging approach. I suppose only time will tell.

Have a great one!


P.S. Many, many thanks to Sherry for validating my new direction. She's a rock star, y'all. Go check out her blog!


Mr. and Mrs. said...

Sounds like a great plan to me!

Rebecca said...

That makes so much sense!!

hopedstephens said...

Our family has also just recently moved into a new old house (a 1925 bungalow) that is truly in sad shape. With limited finances and a desire to do most all of the work ourselves (while still living, which greatly interferes with that reno schedule) we also have come to terms with the layering concept you are discussing here. We tend to call it 'first sweep' and 'second sweep' and so one. First sweep is to get a color on the walls. We have chosen a neutral color for the main areas and are starting there. During the 'second sweep' , we will bring in accent walls and painting those thrift store finds.

The process is long, but fun and SO WORTH IT!!

Love what you are sharing and you are an inspiration to share.

tinyparticlesoflight said...

That's the first sensible decorating/design plan I've ever heard of! Layering....yes, that sounds good to me. I think doing one room at a time would entail us having a very very large disposable income. Which we sadly do not. ;)

Thanks for the inspiration!