Chaos into (a little more) Order

This client asked Ms. SpoolTeacher to come over and help her make sense of how she should utilize her array of accessories, art and furnishings in a better way than she had already done.
Picture Lady had lots of art she loved and it was strewn about, mostly on the floor in rooms Picture Lady thought it would work best or just where there was room.
There was nothing too terribly wrong with anything; but Ms. SpoolTeacher likes to group things in themes and make sure balance, scale and proportions are satisfying. So she set about to gather “like things” together and appropriate them to their highest/best use.

She found a collection throughout that mimicked a family of sorts. Some of the pictures were actual family members, others were simply portraits or family themed. She gathered them on the floor and worked out a collage and then put them on the wall the same way in the family room.

creating a "family" collage
an old time theme as well
They even had colorings that related and an old-time theme to boot.
hanging pictures, placing furniture

Looking from the kitchen through to the family room, Ms. SpoolTeacher didn’t like the way the club chair backed the divider that separated the rooms and thought it would be better facing in from the corner near the rear. She took a tree and filled the corner and then placed the chair in front of it. She placed a little drop leaf table that had not found it’s home yet in the area where the club chair had been and dressed it with country themed, casual accessories that had related colors and harmonious appeal.

Harmonious appeal, casual, country, family

She also pulled a chair around from the “dinette” set that was useless where it was as it was crammed up next to the window there. It added additional seating and filled the area in. Eventually another something could be placed there as well. (she can’t remember why the ottoman was covered-but it worked as a landing place like a coffee table)

corner filled in

before and after, placing pictures, arranging furnishings

an old time theme as well

Height of placement is important. The center of this grouping was placed at approximately 60″ on center. Depending how tall the family is, this is usually appropriate for all to feel the picture/grouping is neither “floating” nor “dragging”.

She would place many of the items in gallery style because there were so many of them and such long running walls.

gallery style for the long running wall spaces gallery style for the long running wall spaces gallery style for the long running wall spaces gallery style for the long running wall spaces gallery style for the long running wall spaces gallery style for the long running wall spaces

Turning this corner near the entry you will be in the main living area, where Ms. SpoolTeacher is standing to take the above picture.

Living room before
The Living room started out with the sofa under the window, but the chair projected into the sofa making it congested and awkward for sitting. Ms. ST liked the color sensibility with all the reds on one side and the yellows on the dining side; but was trying the large picture in the dining room to anchor the table and bring the weight of the red over to that side. Looking at these photos now, she thinks she would prefer the large picture over the sofa and the set-of-three hanging behind the dining table. It may have been that the large picture overwhelmed the space over the sofa. The vertical orientation of the set-of-three mimics the chairs, which she thought might be busy looking; but now in hindsight, not. The red would be an easy fix to add to that room and to get some better distribution of the two main colors. Something(s) dark blue would also help with the rhythm and flow. She did bring in all of the bluish (really more turquoise elements into that area instead of where they were originally in the master. The master became more about red and Victorian/vintage, as you will soon see).

living room dining room

This was long ago and Picture Lady’s chaos would have done well to have some wall colors acting as delineations to separate areas/rooms. That was to be another phase of Peripatetic Designing.

Living room

Designing is like any other art, it is a process of trial and error and adjusting.

Dining area before pictures

Dining area with large single picture

Ms. SpoolTeacher placed everything where she thought it might go. Some things she was unable/willing to hang due to liability fears. This client had family distress and she never got back to see the results or complete the overall design.

Master Bedroom

A lot of what clients call a Peripetatic (“walk around” and give advice) Designer out to do is to just work with what they have and help the client make the most of it. Some people have very limited budgets and just want a little more order over the chaos they are feeling and the overwhelming task they feel is at hand. Often an objective outlook sets their own creativity in motion and that is all they really need.


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