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Shippy's avatar

If you were writing a book on "Décor for Depression"?

Asked by Shippy (9889points) March 7th, 2012

What colours would you advise for each room? The bedroom the lounge and dining room and why? What features would you add?

What items in your home make your spirits soar, and which ones calm you? Is a comfy bed more important than a comfy chair? And if you could choose any artists masterpieces to hang, which would they be? Is your home your haven or a cluttered hell?

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15 Answers

picante's avatar

Welcome to Fluther! My decorating book would be in the antidepressant genre.

My home is definitely a haven for my soul. I am strongly affected by light, color, texture, etc. I’ve carried on and on about this in other threads.

You will want to consider your own personal taste first. I can certainly tell you what lifts my spirits and what calms my soul, but if this is not your kettle of fish, results may vary.

I suggest you go to a paint or hardware store and start randomly picking out colors that appeal to you. Give no thought to whether they work together or not – just let them “speak to you.” And get a lot.

When you get home, start playing with them to see what works together. You’ll likely find that one may not blend with the palette that you’re creating, but it provides that perfect little spark to ignite the palette. This might be a metallic tone or a very deep, vibrant tone against a more neutral palette. Just play with the colors to get a palette that is pleasing to your eye. Those become your paint, trim and accent colors for the walls, and they also direct all other decorative touches in the room (furniture, rugs, lamps, accents, etc.).

I would also suggest you leaf through some of the “do it yourself” decorating magazines just to pick up some ideas. You certainly don’t have to copy every element in a design, but there might be features that really catch your eye. Make note of them.

My home (so this is my taste) is decorated in the warm tones. I have rusts/oranges/chocolate browns against wheat-colored backgrounds. But I contrast these with decorative accents in various shades of green and some deep blue in pieces of art. Copper accents have worked wonderfully. I have a large rug in my family room that actually ties together all of the base and accent colors – I had to look a long time to find it. That might be the one piece I couldn’t do without ;-)

My calming color is always a light green: sage or seafoam generally catches my eye. I’ve painted home offices in those tones. And I love purple accents against a light green!

Comfy furniture is so important. And it must be comfortable to the eye as well as the body. As you look for items, you’ll be drawn first to the style/shape, but spend time considering the fabric – the feel of the fabric. Choosing colors that work well with your palette is very important! I can’t say enough about the colors. In my family room, I have a chocolate brown sofa, a deep blue chair/ottoman, a pumpkin chair. The fabrics are all pretty dark, so my accent tables are travertine marble with a bronze base. I’ve got pillows that bring together all the accent colors, and there’s that rug I mentioned earlier.

This current décor is relatively new – and it took me well over a year to plan, execute and tweak the final product. I loved every minute of it.

For me, art is essential. Over many years I’ve acquired items (and most of these are not costly) that have really touched me in some way. Some are prints of “famous” artists (Picasso as one example); but most are works of artists exhibiting at local art shows or in shops I’ve visited during my travels. In all cases, I’m simply drawn to the piece. I’ve noticed that I gravitate toward abstract art. I’m also drawn to art that features peasant women, doorways, moonlight – these are just recurring themes in my art. You’ll have your own magnets.

Lighting is important. A beautiful lamp can make or break a space! And lighting really does affect mood for many people.

While I’ve probably not answered you in any way that is helpful, my overarching advice is to spend some time designing your colorscape, spend some time finding the art that moves you, spend some time acquiring the elements in your space that you want to look at time and time again. I’d gladly be your personal assistant were you in/near Austin, Texas – your profile and other posts indicate otherwise.

And one more point that I want to stress—this is a journey that should life your spirits. Take your time and savor the experience.

Wishing you success!

dappled_leaves's avatar

I find natural materials to be very welcoming and comfortable – wood, stone, seashells. I don’t have any glass furniture, nor any shiny metals (some metals with brushed finishes maybe, but not much). For paints, I like colours that fall in the “historical” category – lots of soft greys. I do like colour on walls, but not jarring, modern ones. I hate the tendency to paint everything white or brown, as decorators do when preparing a house to be sold or rented. I usually repaint everything when I move in.

Most of what I hang on my walls is art by friends, and posters from shows I’ve been to. I try to make everything as personal as I can. Couches and their pillows are chosen for comfort, then style – and again, I prefer to stay away from synthetics when I can.

A lot of the choices I make in my home are possible because I’ve been adding to it slowly over a long time. I probably couldn’t afford to put together the whole thing at once, if I had to. But that sort of makes me appreciate everything more, too.

jazmina88's avatar

I love fireplaces…light yellow and sky blue.

zen area…..

Bellatrix's avatar

Colours – Bedrooms, soft, relaxing colours. Mine is a lovely stone colour but pale blues, greens…nothing that jars. I am not a crazy, cushion lady but I do like lovely pillows to snuggle against and nice bedding. Good quality sheets. I prefer to bring colour in using lampshades/bedding and the like. Surround yourself with things you love without cluttering the place up. Use mirrors to create the impression of more space or to bring in the garden. I can lie in bed and see all the trees outside through my bathroom mirror.

Kitchen (mine is a whitey colour) but I think in a depression proof house a lovely, happy shade of yellow would be good. I have beautiful granite benches and love touches of red to add colour. I love red though. Have some plants in the window. Plants help clean the air and so are good to have around a house.

Dining room – mine has a big, beautiful blue wall but you could bring in the yellow again. Something sunny and happy. Have some fresh flowers in a vase.

Other features – lots of light. Big windows that let in the light but also let you see out onto a tidy, pretty garden with birds, bees, butterflies and the like. Perhaps a water feature you can go and sit next to. A pond with fish perhaps. If your house is dark – skylights. Open up the curtains and windows too. Let the air in.

Pictures that remind you of happy things. Your favourite people, places, things. Whenever we travel, we usually pick up a picture we love. These are the things we put on our walls. I see them and it reminds me of holidays or even weekends away.

No clutter. Keep it clean and tidy. It is depressing to be around mess.

Bring more colour in with cushions, rugs, accessories. You can change them when you get bored and change things up a bit. I have a wood burning stove too that I agree (with @jazmina) is lovely to snuggle in front of in winter. Soft, cuddly blankets to read under too when it gets cold.

HungryGuy's avatar

I own a small apartment building. Everything is ultra pure white. Makes everything look clean and bright. Just my opinion…

MollyMcGuire's avatar

@HungryGuy I bet your tenants get bored with pure white. It conjures up images of hospitals and needles.

janedelila's avatar

When I first read your question, I thought you meant decor that expresses depression. I could go on about that…but what @dappled_leaves says sounds to me like what you are looking for.

wundayatta's avatar

As much light and brightness as possible. Lots of windows. Lots of artificial light. Bright colors. Like you are living in the tropics. Although not pastels.

HungryGuy's avatar

@MollyMcGuire – Nobody’s actually complained about it. And I feel the white makes the apartment “show” better because it looks bright and clean and modern. If anyone wanted to paint their apt a different color, I suppose I wouldn’t object, since I normally repaint anyway when they move out.

Sometimes I go “apartment hunting” to see what the “competition” is doing and to determine comparable rents. Some apartments I see look so dark and dingy with dark colors.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

@HungryGuy I understand about white looking clean. I come from a real estate investment family. I’ve never lived in an apartment until now—almost a year now. It’s very cute, built in the 60s like a bunker (you know how things were built back then). The walls are not smooth sheetrock, but have been coated with texture. The guy who owns this little six unit building panted the walls shades of anywhere between ivory and beige. They are not all of the same. It’s very interesting to me—I’ve never seen it before. I found out that what he does is mixes paints so as not to waste any. That’s why he has all of these different shades on the walls. Who knows, it might be the next big rage in decorating.

dappled_leaves's avatar

Good grief, I hope not. I find nothing more depressing than an entirely white apartment.

Shippy's avatar

I loved all the answers thank you. I feel so pleased because after I wrote this, I sorted out my apartment a bit, well a lot, a year is a long time to just let things go. I found a water feature, dusted it off, and cleaned the windows. I can’t tell you what a difference that has made. This morning the sun poured into my home. It was bright and breezy and somehow even that was beautiful décor in itself. I also love white, but I have gone for more deeper richer colour. Well I did last time I decorated which was aeons ago. I am going to refer back to this from time to time for inspiration.

Bellatrix's avatar

:-) Beautiful light pouring into your rooms has to make you feel happier hey? Sounds like you have had a productive week.

Shippy's avatar

@Bellatrix yes I really have!

dappled_leaves's avatar

@Shippy That is wonderful!

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