Real Estate

Three C's for a Best Dressed Design

Posted April 15, 2013

By Howard Eason, HE Designs, LLC
For New Homes & Ideas, Jodi Sauerbier, Publisher

New Homes & Ideas

Popular award shows such as the Emmy’s and the Academy Awards set the stage for a rich array of new fabrics, trends and color inspirations. Celebrities step onto the red carpet with hopes of being noticed and to rank upwards on the best-dressed review list. These huge star-studded events also influence production in textiles and fabrics for interior design.

Like a “best-dressed” actor a well designed room has a distinctive mood, a sense of comfort and is well thought out and put together. Initiating the design process seems intimidating if you are unfamiliar with room designing. The goal for room design creates distinctive moods from vibrant to calming; it creates a balance of color, a visual and/or tangible comfort for the audience.

As a designer, I often like to compare the process for designing a space in parallel with three basic considerations for getting dressed for an award-winning event. You must begin with the end in mind. What is the ultimate impression and energy that should be portrayed? When choosing your attire that presents your very best personal style for the day, one would systematically think about three distinct factors to accomplish the goal. I would like to refer to those factors as the ‘Three C’s for a Best Dressed Design’.

Howard Eason, HE Designs

You are making preparations and want to capture the camera by having a look that is impressive. For a look that will certainly place you on the best dressed list…think about color (which can present your mood); consider comfort (which can promote how you feel); and establish continuity (which is your complete presentation).

So, let’s talk about the first C for design which is ‘Color’. Naturally one would decide the color pallet that best suits the occasion and, in this case, the room. As a designer, it is important to move beyond personal color preferences to make sound decisions for the ultimate feel and look of the completed room.

Color is a magnificent tool that invites and evokes certain emotions in a room and can also set the mood. As the primary design backdrop, color can set the baseline for the design and it is one of the lowest cost updates with the largest impact in a room design. Color selection can make or break a room design so be sure to layout and assemble your color swatches in the way that it will appear in the room. In my view, color is the most important element in design; it is quite apparent in a room and also it is the initial introduction to your design.


Tips for successful color selections:

  •  Use calming colors such as earth tones and cooler tones in rooms for relaxation. The neutral tones convey a quintessential appeal that is timeless.
  •  Vibrant colors such as jewel tones and warmer tones evoke energy in a room and also can lend a splash of color and interest to an otherwise monochromatic design.

When a room’s color scheme consists of mainly one color, texture takes on extra importance as a way to provide interest and create a mood. Textures can also promote visual comfort in a room design and it is very important that it coincides with the actual tangibility.

This brings me to my next ‘C’ in design which is ‘Comfort’.

With comfort there is no faking it. Imagine sitting at an elegant event for hours and your comfort is compromised by your personal styling. It is not a great feeling. A well-designed room can read very visually stimulating at first glance, however if comfort is compromised the room is no longer fully functional for a long period of time. A solution to ensuring a room has the element of comfort is to first decide the functionality of the room. Is the function of the room for conversational entertaining? Television watching? Family time? Whatever the function for the room, the comfort must match. Decide comfort based on the overall function and layout of your space. Fabric, furniture selection and room configuration will also play important roles in the comfort of your design.


Tips for providing comfort in a space:

  •  For rooms with heavy use be sure to select fabrics that are durable, easy to maintain, and not difficult to clean. Chenille and micro-fiber fabrics are very popular for these areas.
  • Configure your design space in a way that is conducive to the function of the room. Conversational areas are best arranged with seating facing each other and entertaining seating are best arranged facing the focal area such as a television area.

The final “C”—'Continuity'—is all about pulling the total look together.

No ensemble is complete without the appropriate accessories and embellishments that help showcase the cohesiveness of the look.

Continuity is the opportunity to provide continuous and consistent styling throughout the entire room’s design. It is done by simply keeping styles similar and consistent throughout the space. In other words, this offers a consistent story without interruption. The synergy can viewed as the success or failure of a well-dressed room.


Tips for providing continuity in a space:

  • Using the same trim color throughout a space that does not have an obvious color scheme can help bring continuity to a total design.
  • The right lighting is of essential importance when planning your design. A consistent flow can be obtained by leveraging light sources in a way that promotes an even distribution throughout the space.
  • Accents, furniture, wood finishes should be chosen to exemplify the theme of the room in a consistent way. For example, distributing similar wood tones or graphic elements will add cohesion.


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