Good Design Rules

DESIGNER_INSIGHT1In a constantly changing world--some things will never change--including these design rules featured by House Beautiful.

1. Dining Room Table

A 36-inch-wide rectangular table is perfect for conversation. A round table with a diameter of 48 inches seats six; a 60-inch round will handle eight standard dining chairs or 10 ballroom chairs.
—Charlotte Moss.

2. Light Fixtures

How big should an overhead light fixture be? Just add the length and width of the room in feet, and whatever number you come up with is, in inches, your guide for the fixture's diameter. So a 15-by-20-foot room would need a 35-inch-wide chandelier.
—Bunny Williams

3. Paint Coverage

One gallon of paint will cover about 400 square feet of wall.
—Alexa Hampton

4. Curtain Height

Mount curtains as high as possible to give the room more height, and let them break 1½ inches on the floor.
—Miles Redd

5. Kitchen Island

A kitchen island should be about 38 inches high—a little taller than the countertops—to be comfortable for prep.
—Thomas O'Brien

6. Window Treatment Width

Curtains should be 2½ to 3 times the width of the window. So if you're doing two panels, each should be 1¼ to 1½ times the window width. Buy a rod that's 20 inches wider than your window so it extends 10 inches on either side. Your window will seem much wider than it really is.
—Libby Langdon

7. Dining-Room Chandelier

The bottom of a dining-room chandelier should hang 36 inches above the table.
—Thom Filicia

8. Light Switches

Install light switches 36 inches above the floor and 1½ to 2 inches to the side of the door trim.
—Gil Schafer

9. Fabric for a Sofa

For a standard 84-inch sofa with exposed legs and a tight back, you'll need 14 yards of plain 54-inch-wide fabric. Add two yards for a skirt.
—Madeline Stuart

10. The Golden Ratio

From classical times to today, the golden ratio has always been the perfect proportion: 1 to 1.62.
—Eric Cohler

Dreamy Home Style You Can Make Your Own

Instead of dreaming about future-fabulous homes in some idyllic locale, let's just stay in reality for a spell, okay? I am showing you an incredible transformation of a modern high-rise apartment by Dallas design firm Cashon and Company.. It didn't take much, just a few key elements, to turn the sterile apartment into a wonderfully warm, refined, and personal space.


The colors were kept to a muted palette, greys and gold accents were added and I think the final color story is supreme. The traditional pieces exemplify a nice way to use antiques and and thrift store finds--my favorite money-saving and innately ethical way to buy new-to-you furniture. Now, look at your space, would any of the details in these rooms work for you? I know one thing I'm trying for--the use of gold frames. I pick them up whenever I'm at a thrift store and put everything from my kid's art to keepsakes. It really doesn't even matter if the glass is still there--it still looks lovely on the wall. Also notice the white painted funiture--definitely a great way to cover the scratches from well-worn pieces. In-keeping with the gold theme, that star table just pulls everything together, don't you agree?
All photographs: Great Traditional Style
Meredith Books 2006

event design: the stylist behind anthropologie

The enticing look behind Anthropologie and other great design resources is due, in part, to the imaginative vision of stylists like Olga Naiman, of New York event and design firm, Aparat.

Suitcase_large Birdnecklace_large_3

Naiman is the design genius behind Domino Magazine's green issue launch event in March 2007, as well as Anthropologie's fab layouts for Summer 2007 (see above). The inspiring tableauxes Aparat creates, whether for editorial or for events, demonstrate the power of simplicity, and exemplify how to use everyday ephemera and organic elements to bring visual beauty to any moment.


You can, of course, apply this very eco-chic concept into your wedding design. You don't have to purchase new, disposable, or even "wedding-themed" items to create the look and feel you want.

{photo credits: Above: Anthropologie, Below: Real Simple}