A Measured Increase

I’ve been trying to start this post for the last forty-five minutes and all I have to show for it is a blank page and forty-five minutes of my life that have been spent alternately staring at a blinking cursor, checking Twitter to see if the person who’s trying to hack my account has succeeded, and watching old footage of the Perseid Meteor shower from the Canary Islands.

Yes, its been one of those Exhilarating Exhausting days going up and down three flights of stairs for four hours, transforming One Scary Closet into one that looks like it’s off the pages of House and Home – but with a lot more clothes and personality. So I’m a little tired, and when I’m tired, it’s easy to get a little down and out.

When I get like this, I find it helps to get out my high school yearbook to call a few people and ask, “I was just wondering. How did things work out for you?” Maybe someone would be in prison and then I could feel a lot better.

Maybe by the day after tomorrow, which happens to be the third day of the rest of my life, I’ll wake up feeling as fresh as a daisy. Assuming you’re thinking of a daisy that has been run over by a lawnmower. Twice.

Getting words on the page is an art, not a science. And when it’s done well, it’s couch-jumping exciting.

I sat there for a moment while the enormity of this settled on me.

Well then….let’s just give it the old college try again, shall we?

Large Scale pieces and Large Scale answers give room for dramatic changes. 

So you are probably wondering what I mean by this. I want to be upfront about this. I have absolutely no idea.

Well, actually I do. And it works famously for your home.

Over-scale furnishings, art or fixtures can actually make a space feel larger rather than smaller, as well as creating a lot of interest and personality. Which brings me to my next point. Yes, Virginia, there is a point to all this.

Asking a client if they like a room in their home, is like asking someone how their day was – “Fine”. 

If we really want to get better answers, we have to ask better questions. If we really want to know our people, our rooms, our home, if we really care to know – we need to ask better questions and then really listen to the answers.

We need to ask questions that carry along this message: “I’m not just checking the box here. I really care what you have to say and how you feel.”

It’s like this February 1986 Calvin and Hobbes comic strip that reflects a great deal of reality with a load of humor.
“I feel bad that I called Susie names and hurt her feelings. I’m sorry I did it.”
“Maybe you should apologize to her.”
“I keep hoping there’s a less obvious solution.”

If we don’t want throw-away answers, we can’t ask throw-away questions. A caring question is a key that will unlock a room inside the person you love, and unlock the door of why your home isn’t really really working for you right now.

Which takes it to a whole new level. Which begs the question – what level were they at before?

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The secret to furnishing a pint-size room is to keep the footprint small. Bring in large-scale pieces that have a shallow footprint. That way, you’ll get the presence and gravitas of over-scale furniture without swallowing too much floor space.

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Or this instant drama and commanding tone of using a larger than life wallpaper. It makes stepping into these rooms feel like entering a work of art.

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I think over-scaling works especially well with art pieces. There is something about taking an image and making it larger than life, commanding attention by putting everything a little out of kilter. The trick, is that it needs room to breathe and be its own star. You can do this with a huge mirror as well.

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Another paradigm shift, the Two-Thirds Rule is gone. Art can now be the same size as the piece of furniture below it, but no larger. As soon as I typed this, I realized that I broke this rule yesterday by hanging a picture wider than the piece of furniture below. Not only did it look fabulous, but a hanging small art piece would not have looked as good. So, yes, there are no rules cast in stone or – the only thing behind my art is the wall.

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Another rule out the window – one third the width of the table for a light fixture diameter is passe`. It’s now, Go Big or Go Home.

 

Questions are like gifts – it’s the thought behind them that the receiver really feels. We have to know the receiver to give the right gift and to ask the right question. Generic gifts and questions are all right, but personal gifts and questions feel better.

Love and over-scaling is an art. The more attention and time you give to your questions, the more beautiful the answers and your rooms become.

Life is a conversation. Make it a good one.