Good lighting is essential to reveal the tonal complexities in deep, saturated darks. Multiple light sources allow you to control the ambiance and light direction. Combine uplights and downlights and don’t let the ceiling disappear into gloom. The bedside lights shown here, for example, make the most of a sophisticated blue-black wall.
Also, bear in mind that an over-furnished room will seem more cave-like than one that’s simply furnished. Clear out clutter and nonessential furniture.
We want guests to be impressed by our home’s public spaces, but often style takes precedence over comfort and we end up with a dressy room that feels stiff and unwelcoming.
The problem may simply be in how the furniture is positioned. Seating should be arranged in a way that encourages social interaction. When deciding where to put sofas and armchairs, imagine how sitters will communicate with one another. Put seating close enough to encourage conversation rather than back against the walls, which can leave you with a no-man’s land in the center of the room.
There’s nothing like humor to put guests at ease, so add some whimsical touches to your living spaces. You may not want a giant bowler-hatted giraffe stealing the show, but he’s sure to break the ice.
Whether art to you means canvas or framed prints, blown-up photographs, a priceless original, a treasured heirloom or your child’s finger painting, its impact depends on the way it’s displayed. Are you getting the best out of yours?
If art is a defining feature in your home, calling upon the services of a professional hanger is a good investment. A common mistake is hanging art too high. Consider the human scale and hang artwork with the center point at eye level in spaces where people stand, and lower where it’s viewed from a seated position.