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Introducing the AA Design-Ometer

Posted on January 05 2015

Morning and a very happy New Year to all! I hope everyone had a fabulous time over the holidays if you were celebrating them. For me it’s been mostly a working one (on the new label) although I have to say I’ve had some amazing outdoor swims at the lido. Crisp winter mornings with the light just coming up, and so much steam that you could only see a few feet in front of you, heavenly.

I would like to make a few promises about the blog this year. It will tantalize and inspire you to reach for the stars, it will give you ideas for your pad that will cause a few jaws to hit floors and it will be indulgent, luxurious  and super glam with ideas (here’s the best part) that won’t cost the earth! Bold statements, but that’s how we’re rolling in 2015! No more procrastination, or pondering shall I do this or that with my pad or my business. We’re doing it!

That said I’m kicking off January by launching my very own AA design-ometer, and will be going through every step you’ll need to transform any room. The idea being to find an unloved and neglected space in your pad and use the design-ometer to score your room. Not only will it help illuminate neglected areas it will take you through the design process that us pro’s use.

So without further ado, how well does your room score?

STATEMENT FEATURES
3 points
LIGHTING
4 points
TEXTURE
3 points
ARTWORK
2 points
FLOWERS & GREENERY
1 point
METALLIC ACCENTS
1 point
SCENT
1 point

TOTAL = /15

STATEMENT FEATURES

1 point for each focal feature in your room, up to a maximum of 3 points. I say this all the time, but you need your eye to rove around the room and if you only have one statement piece you can read the room in a second. Too many, and it can get a little crazy so aim for about 3.

LIGHTING

Half a point for each lighting source in the room, up to a maximum of 4 points. The interior design rule of thumb is to have at least 8 lamps or light sources in a room. This is usually the point when jaws hit floor in disbelief at my Design School, but it really does make the biggest difference. Count up how many you’ve got – sitting here in my studio now I have 15 lamps and 2 chandeliers, which seems just about right! NO points if the room only has recessed overhead lighting.

 

TEXTURE

1 point for each different texture in the space, up to a maximum of 3 points. No cheating here! If you’re in a bathroom and let’s say it’s all glass, metal and glossy tiles these only count as one texture. They might be all different materials, but they’re all hard, sleek and shiny, so if this is all you have in the space it will still read as flat and one-dimensional. You need the juxtaposition of different textures, so metal against slubby textiles and sheepskins, leather and concrete up against velvet and so on. If you have wooden or concrete floors, rugs are a great way to inject instant texture.

ARTWORK

A maximum of 2 points up for grabs here. 2 points if you’ve got a full-on gallery, or some incredible statement pieces, or sculptures and photos. 1 point if you’ve got some art that you love, but feel that the room is still looking a bit bare. Nil point if you haven’t got any art at all!

FLOWERS & GREENERY

1 point if you have any flowers, plants or greenery in your space, real or faux! This is one of the quickest and easiest ways to update a drab corner, so no makeover is complete without them. Even a single flower will perk up your space and make it seem so much happier and more inviting, I swear.

METALLIC ACCENTS

1 point if you’ve got a hint of bling somewhere in the room. This could be a cluster of golden vases, a copper light pendant, a metallic leather cushion. I bang on and on about it, but shine and sparkle really does bring a room alive.

SCENT

1 point if you have something beautiful to fragrance your room. This could be an oil burner, incense sticks, amazing pot pourri or a scented candle, or you can even kill two birds with one stone by using fragrant herbs or flowers. One of my favourite tricks is to use lavender essence when mopping the floors. It lingers forever, gently scenting the air with the lavender perfume and taking you straight to Provence. Never skip scent!

 

So there you have it. What was your score?

This is just the tip of the iceberg, but it’s designed to be a checklist that will work in any room and whatever your design style. You might be into boho glam, industrial lofts, minimalist interiors or even the pastel shabby chic look (why??) but you can still score your room to see how beautiful and intriguing the space looks and feels. On my own personal checklist there would also be dark walls (obviously!), mirrors, styled vignettes, rugs, and a couple of pieces of animal décor thrown in to lighten the mood as well. I’ll be biting the bullet tomorrow and scoring one of my least favourite rooms in the house.

Excited? I am, I’m off for a swim in the dark and then it’s back to the grindstone (sorry, the studio). Happy New Year. I’m feeling this one could be the best yet. What do you think?

 





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