Apr 23

5 Steps to a More Atmospheric Home

As spring comes into full swing, making a fresh start is great way to kick off the season. From tidying up around the house and the yard, to packing away the winter clothes, to dusting off the running shoes and getting outside, spring has a way of motivating each of us to refresh, renew, and rethink the way we live, work, and have fun.

When it comes to creating an ideal living environment, one thing that is crucial is creating the perfect atmosphere. What is “atmosphere,” you might ask? It can be tough to provide an exact definition, but I like to think of it as the tone, or mood, that a space or room inspires in us. Whether you’re aiming for a space that is bright & cheery or cozy & comforting, every detail, from furniture to paint and flooring colors, needs to work toward achieving that particular style.  An out-of-place object or furniture item can really draw the eye and detract from the overall look and feel of a space.

As you redecorate and reorganize your home this spring, here are some great ways to create achieve the precise mood you’re aiming for through carefully chosen décor and details.

1. Use Lighting To Your Advantage.

Lighting is something people rarely think about, but it can be SO important to achieving the look you want.  For instance, maybe you are trying to create a quiet den perfect for fireside chats and evenings spent with a book and a cup of tea (or a glass of merlot!). In that case you definitely want to warm up your space with warm-toned lighting effects by using light bulbs with a yellow or orange cast, and stay away from blue- or white- toned bulbs. Installing these into fixtures that help enhance this “warm tone” will also improve the situation.  Try a classic tiffany-style lamp or a more contemporary piece.

[Stock photos courtesy of stockxchng]

2. Choose the right color palette.

Deep burgundies and golds, paired with dark cherry are not the right way to go if you are looking to create a bright and airy breakfast nook. Buttery yellows and spring greens make better accent colours, as do pale woods and wicker. Add mismatched china for a Bohemian touch.

[Check out this gorgeous layout on the Better Homes and Gardens Blog.]

3. Scale your furniture to your space.

For a commanding office space, go with one or two commanding focus pieces to really anchor the look and feel of the room, but make sure you don’t overwhelm the room with too many of these high-presence items. There’s nothing like the bold and elegant look of a traditional fireplace mantel, paired with a spacious carved desk to make an office feel like the perfect place to tackle important projects and make great things happen.

[Here is a great example from House to Home UK.]

4. Mix and Match Textures and Patterns.

Pair a delicate French toile bedspread with a heavy steamer trunk coffee table, or a classic Persian rug with an ultra-modern living room set.  The interplay of these unlikely details add visual interest to your space and can be a source of great delight and whimsy.

[Image is from a great article on Houzz about using steamer trunks in home décor.]

5. Appeal to all five senses.

Sounds, smells, and textures are just as important as sight. A scented candle, a dish of potpourri, or even essential oils can add a layer of depth to a space that ties everything together. A favourite playlist on an iPod can turn a normal bathroom into an amazing spa getaway.

[This gorgeous bathroom features the stunning new BLF34 wall-mounted fireplace from Dimplex.]

No matter which of these tactics you use to bring atmosphere to your home, remember that the most important thing is to always keep your end goal in mind and make sure that everything you add to your space works toward that goal.

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Comments (1)

  • Sophie Palmer on August 21st, 2014 at 1:30pm

    Excellent tips there. I especially love mixing and matching textures in the room. Plus lighting can make or break the atmosphere in a space.

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