Happy Valentine’s Day!
What do you get rid of, what do you take, will it fit in the new dwelling and where?
That’s the challenge a Best of Houzz 2013 winner, designer Susan Brunstrum, tackled when her children left the nest for college. Chronicled in Country Almanac’s Small Room Decorating, Susan says she enjoys the reduced maintenance and loved getting rid of things and starting over with a lighter, more contemporary palette. The results are definitely not a Granny pod like last Thursday’s post.
Tip from Susan: symmetry, if room lends itself to using, adds visual consistency and makes room appear larger. The two lacquered chests on either side of the fireplace are used for storage of linens and seasonal items. The matched pair of sofas are upholstered in oatmeal linen. The fireplace was painted a neutral color to blend with walls and furniture.
Tip from Susan: stick with the same colors for consistency and edit, edit. In the den she used two chaises instead of a too bulky sofa.
Tip from Susan: “Every room, even a small one, needs one big design statement.” The dining room has a round table with space-saving armless chairs and an oversized drum-style chandelier. She selected two small cabinets with glass fronts since there was no room for a large hutch. Accents of yellow add a pop of color to the predominant neutral tones.
Tip from Susan: “Repetitiveness is important to make the entire house seem larger and flows.” The door fronts and cabinet colors in the kitchen are similar to those in other rooms.
Tip from Susan: “In a small house, every piece should serve at least two functions.” The dark mushroom-colored desk is topped with glass to accommodate both laptop use and applying makeup.
Another tip: Use shallow furniture if placing in front of windows you want to access.
Although there are certain basic rules to observe to make downsizing easier, don’t be afraid to break the rules if there’s something you really can’t live without.
Personal note-where in the world am I today? Cruising the South China Sea on the way to Vietnam. February 10 was the beginning of the Year of the Snake, also known as the Junior Dragon. In fact, it’s more specifically the Year of the Water Snake. (I hope fresh water, not salt!)
During this year of water Snake, all things will be possible. Saving money and being thrifty should be your top priorities. Delusion and deception are common in the year of water Snake. Stay alert! To gain the greatest benefits from this year, you must control spending and use your talents wisely. If you are planning to get married or to begin a business partnership, be sure to thoroughly investigate the other person’s finances and background before you legalize the alliance. Fortunately, I’m already in business with my daughters. If I can’t trust them, who can I trust?
– Lorre Lei