gmhTODAY 01 gmhToday Mar Apr 2015 - Page 87

Accessorizing Your Home Good design suggests many things. Here are some of my suggestions or as I like to call them, design guidelines for your home or office. By Carol Carr Carol Carr has been an interior designer since 1981, as ‘Carol Spence Interior Design’, ASID, CID. Carol specializes in making your home comfortable, an extension of your personality and lifestyle. Her design philosophy is “Every room should be usable and comfortable — a balance between visual response and physical comfort.”  Carol can be reached at 408.779.4189. HANGING PICTURES, MIRRORS AND CHANDELIERS The center of your piece should be “at eye level” or approximately 5’ from the floor and spaced generally in the center of the space. The 5 footrule exists because most of us will be able to view the piece without straining our necks looking up or down. If you’re doing a collage, you would think of it as a single piece and use the above guidelines. Proportion is very important here, too. I’m talking about the size of your wall space verses the size of the piece you’re going to hang. In other words, don’t hang a piece that measures 12” square on a 6 foot wall, if you think it looks too small, it probably is. One exception to this rule is when you’re hanging a mirror above your fireplace. It will depend on the size of the mirror and the height of your mantel. When standing in front of your mirror, you should be able to see yourself in the mirror. Remember, don’t buy a mirror that’s proportionately too small for above your fireplace, and err on the side of bigness. When hanging sconces near your fireplace, you will want to consider the width of the mantel. If you have a wide fireplace, the sconces should be hung over both ends of the mantel. If your fireplace is narrow, you should hang the sconces about 8” on each side of the fireplace. If you hang sconces too far apart, it will look disjointed and hung too close together, it will look cramped. Generally indoor sconces should be hung 68” from the floor to the electrical box. When hanging a picture over your sofa, the guideline varies. Don’t hang pictures or mirrors any lower than 10” above the top of your sofa. You’ll want to protect the frame from being jolted or discoloring over time. G M H T O D A Y M A G A Z I N E MARCH / APRIL 2015 Dining room chandeliers should always be centered over the middle of the table and hung 30” to 36” from the table to the bottom of the chandelier. Swing arm lamps are very useful for reading by your bed. Hang them about 42” from the floor. THE MAGIC OF MIRRORS Or as the old saying goes “It’s all done with mirrors!” Mirrors can make a room feel and look larger. They can brighten and create a multi- dimensional effect to say nothing of the dramatic impact. In a space that you’d like to double in size, use a mirror, floor to ceiling on one wall. In a room where you would like more natural light, install mirrors on the sides and top of the window reveals if they’re wide enough. This is a very dramatic and oh so beautiful effect. If this doesn’t work for you, strategically place a mirror so that the light bounces off it and into your room. Another way to create drama and enlarge a space is to mirror all alcoves, preferably with custom cut mirror pieces rather than just a framed mirror. If you have a built-in book case or curio cabinet, have a mirror custom cut for the back of the case and install a recessed light above. If you can find or have a tall mirrored screen, place it in a corner of a room, say behind a sofa or loveseat. DIY, you could buy one that can be mirrored, preferably with custom cut mirrors, not mirror tiles. Etched or patterned mirrors have a beauty all their own and would fit in almost any room. Mirrors light up a room just as glass top tables do and plants bring the room alive. gmhtoday.com 87