The Rule Is - There's Never Just One Right Answer!

Services for Real Estate Pros with Fresh Eyes For Your Home

In interior decorating and design - if there is a rule - it's that there's never just one right answer!

Don't worry - in interior design, we are not cast adrift on the open sea without a paddle and sunscreen!  There are critical tools we can turn to in order to avoid creating an expensive hodgepodge.  But, decorating is not about getting it right.  It is about pleasing ourselves, telling our story and creating a comfortable and welcoming environment.  That being said, we just need a these three simple guidelines to jumpstart the process and avoid the big mistakes!

First and foremost, we can never go wrong when the scale is right! This kind of scale is our friend, creating balance and equilibrium for our space.  To accomplish THAT, we always start with a floor plan that accommodates the function but respects the dimensions of the room as well - width, length and height! When I design a space, I make sure that the functionality is fulfilled and then vary the scale with some accessories to shake things up a bit and make them more interesting.

Secondly, we must respect our focal point.  A fireplace, a window or some other architectural detail always provide a natural one.  If there is no focal point, then by golly, CREATE one! And once that is done, build the rest of your space right around it.

And finally, repetition - repetition - repetition.  Repetition gives balance to a room and helps create the cohesiveness that everyone is looking for.   Repeat a color, repeat a pattern or include a pair of chairs or a pair of lamps.  While I firmly believe in mixing patterns and textures, I know that repetition will unify a space and help the look you want hang together.  

While getting a room that really meets your needs enables your self expression is simple, it certainly isn't easy.  Calling an interior decorator might save you time and save you money.  But believe me when I say that in interior decorating and design, there never is one right answer!



Comments (31)

Joanna Cohlan
Fresh Eyes For Your Home - Chappaqua, NY
Designing, Decorating & Staging Westchester Homes

Good morning Jennifer Mackay and Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD and Ron and Alexandra Seigel - you are right about the philosophical part and life- so difficult to find THE ANSWER but asking the right questions is the most important thing in LIFE, never mind a room!

Nov 11, 2016 09:53 PM
Joanna Cohlan
Fresh Eyes For Your Home - Chappaqua, NY
Designing, Decorating & Staging Westchester Homes

Good morning Nina Hollander and Kathy Stoltman and James Dray - good design is about seeing your way past the clutter in your mind about how you want your space to look and feel and breaking down the elements to their simplest parts.  Repetition of the right elements is important.

Thank you so much Patricia Feager - you my friend inspire me.  Thank you for putting my post in your well written category-that is a wonderful compliment!

Nov 11, 2016 09:55 PM
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Joanna- I love this on so many levels.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, for sure, but the basics you mentioned help to drive that beauty.  

Nov 12, 2016 08:10 AM
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

That is so true and not every style is right for everyone. I have seen some very nicely done homes and thought how cold and austere. With that said I am sure the owner's loved them.

Nov 12, 2016 09:17 AM
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

                           Thank you Joanna Cohlan 

Nov 12, 2016 09:36 AM
Joanna Cohlan
Fresh Eyes For Your Home - Chappaqua, NY
Designing, Decorating & Staging Westchester Homes

Thank you so much Kathy Streib for featuring me in your esteemed column!!!

Nov 12, 2016 10:13 AM
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Joanna. This is terrific. The explanations make perfect sense. Well done.

Nov 12, 2016 08:44 PM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hi Joanna --

Scale - Function - Some repetition - The fun factor.   Rinse. Repeat.  

Nov 12, 2016 08:51 PM
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Good morning Joanna, Thank you for the post. I agree with you. There should be a focal point in the room. 

Nov 12, 2016 08:54 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Joanna Cohlan ,

I'm so glad that Kathy Streib featured your post in her "Ah-ha" moments for the week! Somehow I missed it! Your post was full of great words of wisdom about are right..there is no one answer..but certain properties need to be aligned..scale, focal point and repetition!  

Nov 12, 2016 10:04 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Joanna

Thanks for the valuable learnings in your post that can be put to good use for creating spaces to enjoy or preparing a home for sale.


Nov 13, 2016 12:09 AM
Joanna Cohlan
Fresh Eyes For Your Home - Chappaqua, NY
Designing, Decorating & Staging Westchester Homes

Good morning Debbie Reynolds - I too have seen some beautiful homes which I would not want to live in.

Hi there Sheila Anderson and Michael Jacobs - you are right- these principals are so important but nothing like the rinse and repeat cycle!

Yes Gita Bantwal and if there isn't one, we need to create one!

Nov 13, 2016 01:13 AM
Joanna Cohlan
Fresh Eyes For Your Home - Chappaqua, NY
Designing, Decorating & Staging Westchester Homes

Good morning Dorie Dillard and Jeff Dowler - thanks for stopping by-so much needs to be aligned-even the stars!!! Have a great day both of you.

Nov 13, 2016 01:13 AM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

It could be a happier planet if people accepted this rule! There's never just one right answer!

Nov 13, 2016 01:39 AM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi Joanna - I can't help but think how this is similar to coaching, respecting right actions and realizing that there is no right answer.  Outstanding post!

Nov 13, 2016 02:03 AM
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905
Joanna, I've been so busy trying to keep up with Dick Greenberg 's contestants that I totally missed this glorious gem of a post. I learned some things here, as I ALWAYS do from you, my darling, beautiful and multi-talented friend. I knew about repetition, and I thank you for allowing me to be free in my eclectic "style", which can be all over the place at times! But, thanks to many years of being a poor artist, it forced me into creativity on a dime. 
Glad to be in your presence this week in  Kathy Streib 's post! 
Nov 13, 2016 06:27 AM
David Alan Baker Laveen & South Phoenix Realtor
Keller Williams Realty Phoenix - Laveen, AZ
Your local Expert

Never thought of it that way, repetition, that is something new to me. Thx

Nov 13, 2016 07:46 AM
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Hi Joanna, so glad Kathy Streib featured this post in her weekly. Scale, focal point, repeat..sounds simple but I rather leave it to the pros. 

Nov 13, 2016 09:08 AM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Joanna, I love the bookcases!  

And you are so right about using professional help to get it a home to the point that we love it.

Nov 13, 2016 10:29 AM
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Joanna - Yes, you're right.  Those 3 design principles always hold.  super post.

Nov 13, 2016 06:23 PM