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Edition 09

Debunking décor myths

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The world of interior décor and design has fast gained popularity in Kenya and people are now more conscious of aesthetic appeal and elegance in their living and working spaces, writes Lydia OPWAKA.

Ideal Interiors DesignsWell, they are just that – myths – and as we delve deeper into design, we demystify some of these myths to help you create a personal space that’s beautiful and inviting.

 Décor Myth No. 1

Walls painted white make a room seem large

This couldn’t be further from the truth. While white is a good colour on the wall because it is clean, it is monotonous across the wall. While most of our homes have this feature, it is good to change this myth.

Uniformity in colour makes the eye steady, thus it doesn’t matter what colour is on the wall, whether black, yellow, orange – uniformity is what makes the room feel larger, not the colour. Remember, different colours may make a room feel small and cluttered, but they do instill a lively and intimate feel in the room.

 Décor Myth No. 2

The sofa must be placed against the wall

Common with 90 per cent of Kenyan homes, this is a myth that we must dispel at all costs. Who said that the sofa has to lean against the longest wall of the room? Try to be creative with the placement of furniture.

Place the sofa on the opposite side of the wall, or create a walk way between the sofa and the wall, or place it an angle? One does not need to place furniture the same way it was done in your mother’s and grandmother’s home. Experiment and you will be pleasantly surprised.

 Décor Myth No. 3

One must buy a whole set of sofas that match

This is another myth that guides most home owners when building, renovating or re-designing the living space. One does not have to have the same sofa set – different is special, so choose to have one three seater and a vintage seat at a strategic corner. Apart from being unique, this gives the illusion of space and makes movement easy across the room.

 Décor Myth No. 4

The living room must have a carpet

As is the trend, every home today features a carpet (usually one that covers the whole living room). This is one of my greatest pet peeves. With the wide variety of quality rugs in the market today, why do most homes have the rough, washed out brown detailed carpet?

Also, must there be a carpet even during the hot season of January? Well, if there must be a carpet or rug, opt to have small fluffy rugs that compliment the features of the room.

Shop around the décor and furnishing stores and you are sure to find something beautiful and inspiring that doesn’t make your home, office or hotel bland.

 Décor Myth No. 5

The ceiling must be white soft-board

White soft board ceilings are the common norm because of the ability to spread light across the room, and closer home, we in Kenya are known for sticking with what we know and are sure of – and that is soft board ceilings.

There are very many kinds of ceilings in the market today like gypsum, hollow, coffered ceilings among many other styles.

As I had mentioned earlier, a light colour in a space will draw. Whether you have a white ceiling or not depends on how you want peoples eyes to move across your room.

 Decor Myth No. 6

The room must have lots of furniture

Most people think that if the room is full of furniture, it makes the room cozy and inviting. In the real sense, it will be cluttered and stuffy. Fewer and bigger pieces of furniture are more efficient and more effective in any room. An uncluttered room has a certain allure and makes people want to stay longer and not feel claustrophobic.