I must confess that I am quite the design rookie. My house looks a bit like a big dorm room, but I am trying to turn over a new leaf. One of my biggest design hurdles is figuring out how to put together a room that both me and my husband will love. To help solve this common dilemma I reached out to one of my favorite designers: Bridget Loftus Gasque from Loftus Design.
Q: I feel like a lot of young couples struggle with combining their design aesthetics. What would your advice be to couples who discover they are on opposite sides of the decorating spectrum? Lets say she likes ultra minimalist spaces and he prefers a Victorian inspired traditional aesthetic.
Bridget: There always needs to be a compromise with couples with different style directions. I feel that mixing different styles can be beneficial and make a room unique and hopefully (make it) reflect the clients needs and overall style. It is always good to get an idea of what the client likes, whether that involves looking at magazines or putting together a idea board through Houzz. Pictures are great inspiration on what they like and DON'T like. Some people can't visualize or articulate what they like and this helps the process.
Q: I have had a lot of trouble finding right mix of masculine and feminine. My husband says I like to live surrounded by "flowery floofy puffs", and I think his affinity for studded leather furniture is better suited to a man cave then a shared home. Do you have any tips or tricks for striking the right balance between masculine and feminine elements in a room?
Bridget: I think a mix of masculine and feminine is always great, otherwise, it becomes more one then the other. I find it's easier to find streamlined furniture pieces such as a sofa or chairs which lends towards more masculine and then pair it with a more feminine color pillow or a floral print, for example. I always suggest going with solid and neutral upholstered pieces and then using color and pattern in the accents; curtains, pillows and rugs. These are most likely the least expensive pieces to change out later but (you) always keep long term the more expensive pieces, such as the sofa and chairs.
Q: Finally, do you have any tips for dealing with the all-too-common leg-lamp scenario from A Christmas Story? In other words, what's the best way to handle a situation where your partner really loves a decor item that makes your skin crawl? You're dealing with a woman who's currently living with her husband's 15 year old futon from under grad here, so I need answers!
Bridget: I sometime design around it and usually through the process the client will realize that it does not work in the room anymore. Some people are sentimental and can't give it up. I'm usually sensitive about the situation and try to give them other options to choose from and for the most part, they finally see the overall vision. Sometime its a struggle and at the end of the day, the client need to love the room no matter if there were things that I don't necessary agree with. It's a fine line for a designer, pleasing the client and also designing a great room