Dreaming of a whole new home look, but don't want to start from scratch? Worry not; we can help. Welcome to the world of "seasonal adjustment" and decorative "tweaks." Design, you see, for the most part certainly, works best when assembled upon a "neutral" backbone -- one that can be dialed back or pushed forward as and when required. You'd be hard pushed to comment that a typical C&J project lacks colour, but look closer and observe that our drama, generally speaking, births via accent walls, accessories and artwork. It's this logic that gives a C&J project its flexibility, providing, as it does, a degree of "future proofing" which enables change to happen without major upheaval.
With Spring finally on the cards, now seems the perfect time to look at the little things that effect big change. Our message? Simple: Mood can evolve via artistic punctuation, light shopping and clever accessorizing. Or, in other words, today's epistle will help turn tricks without upsetting your bank manager and, should you be unhappy with the results, your tweaks can be, well, easily re-tweaked. Call us the Messrs. Flexibility; our counsel, carefully heeded, proffers design elasticity like never before. Blimey; we're on a roll. So to speak...
So where to start? Well, companies like Mural Unique have flexible product that's disparate, to say the least. Spanning graphic print, concrete imagery and damask, any option could add style on a temporary or permanent basis. You can even create a bespoke mural by supplying the company with a photo; imagine a digi snap of your kid, enlarged to wall size, or a picture of a favourite view (the vista from the cottage, perhaps?) stretched across your condo to elicit visions of lakeside heaven.
If you'd prefer designer impact via subtler means, peel and apply decals might just prove a great way in which to add colour and pattern. Gone are the days when the only shapes available were stick-on spots and squares. Today's "wall tattoos," to award them their cooler moniker, are available online via companies like Wordans and we particularly like their junior designs, especially appropriate for rooms where inhabitants tend to change their mind about what they like more frequently than Harry Styles changes his girlfriend.
There's actually a bundle of stuff to tweak your look without breaking the bank. We use "The Aquarium Channel" and "The Sunset Channel" (both of which come as part of our Rogers cable package) and these moving pictures add kinetic ambiance while providing a constantly changing backdrop. It's amazing, too, just how much visual change can be achieved with textiles; adorn a plain sofa with a few jaunty toss pillows -- and maybe a Roman blind picked out in the same shade -- and, suddenly, a tailored seasonal aesthetic will confidently emerge.
Other routes? Wander art galleries for inspiration then dash home, jump online and find a piece that "speaks" to you. We often use Art In Motion but, to clip costs even further, head to your local craft store, select a plain canvas and let your imagination run wild; try www.currys.com. And don't think you need to invest in top quality oils; a selection of DIY store tester pots will allow you to plunder your inner artist. But OMG; what if it goes wrong? No worries; a coat of white latex will conceal and the extra texture will proffer additional three dimensionality.
Another interesting way in which to seasonalize is to custom manufacture personalized window blinds. Scan the range at www.coolpictureblinds.com as a useful starting point. In a recent Thames-side residential project, we specified London skyline blinds for windows in an apartment that, while certainly on the river, faced entirely the "wrong" way. A caprice, sure, but our work is all about setting mood and making the best of that which our clients have.
Think, too, about rugs as a way in which to add quick fix colour, texture, and pattern. Try www.selectrugscanada.ca for a fab range of tufted lovelies. Floors are oft' overlooked as a decorative surface, often playing second fiddle to walls, but this shouldn't be the case. Specified carefully, a commanding area carpet will delineate function and create serious wow factor. Try a modern geometric design to jazz up the floor in a neutral room and link to accessories that pick out similar tones. It's not rocket science.
Layered dimension can also come via houseplants. Okay, so the halcyon days of the giant Rubber or the over-scaled Yucca may have passed, but there are loads of cooler genuses which will awaken even the most wilted scheme. Pop a tall olive tree (with ample sunlight and watering these work well indoors) in your kitchen to magic up the spirit of the Mediterranean or try a selection of cacti in a shallow bowl on your Mid Mod' Danish coffee table. Add sphagnum moss (it's a buck a bag in Dollarama) to fill gaps and, hey presto; you'll capture the spirit of Palm Springs. Or simply disassemble a lacklustre supermarket bouquet and arrange single stems in a row of bottles across a fireplace. Crop blooms at different height and enjoy an asymmetrical flash of seasonal colour that will last for days.
Finally, tweaking existing lighting, as Spring arrives, will bring much needed zest to a style-hungry space. Try www.livinglighting.com for a host of great options. Employ new shades for side lamps, or replacement globes for an overhead pendant, and prepare to dazzle. Whatever you tackle -- and how ever many of our decorative pointers you employ -- the last thing you should do is rush; played patiently, our little book of designer spells will conjure up seriously magic results. So slow down, take a breath and then -- and only then -- Spring forward. You know it makes sense...