A Basic Beige Boomer’s “Before”

Yes, we all love those high drama, magazine quality rooms that we see on HGTV, Houzz, Pinterest and the beautiful shelter magazines. But in really keeping it real for millions upon millions of homeowners, apartment dwellers, and the like, this image is the reality for what the majority of Americans have in their spaces.




It is also a reality that many Americans are decorating on a limited budget. Therefore, this post is going to be a teaching type of post implementing basic design principles that can be reproduced over and over again by having design principles as a tangible reason for doing whatever is bought or added, not going by an “I feel that this…..”


Design Principles and  Elements:

















Now, I would like you all to imagine being in one of my design classes or being one of my clients. On each of the above design principles, tell me what you would do in this hearth room to enhance the:












ORNAMENTATION? (Think of ornaments on a Christmas tree or accessorizing an outfit)


Now, let’s also address how FORM is or is not following FUNCTION in this hearth room?


And here I go again with my all-time number one guide to all of life, which is KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. By learning these principles, you will not end up in a room that no matter how many “things” are done to it, it never looks like you thought or what you want.


Interior design is founded on the knowledge of design principles and elements. Understanding and incorporating these principles and elements will save you time, money, frustration, and often, tons of guilt for mistakes made.


Of course this basic lesson will not guarantee you success on all you attempt but it will go a long way to making you think about what you are buying and why you would spend money on that whatever item.


Realistically, however, no matter how many design principles some individuals try to accomplish in their spaces, the results just don’t come together for them. So what does that person do? Hire a professional who does know how to help you find your design solutions and the results you seek.


Most of us designers and myself included, are used to giving design consulting advice for a small project or for very large projects. And again, if you don’t explore and ask a professional how much they charge for say, advice on this hearth room, much, much more of your money can and often is wasted.


Many of my videos could be used as teaching tools, like the one I did on downsizing our bookshelves and the one on creating tablescapes.


Of course, you have to come back for our next ‘’AFTER’’ post on this BASIC BEIGE BOOMER what? Oh, I forgot to say that this is going to be a BASIC BOOMER’S MAKEOVER ON A BUDGET!


Let’s see how your ideas measure up to what we do in our implementing these principles and elements of design in this hearth room. This will be tons of fun so join in with us next time. My bet is that lots of you will be so very BoomerSmart!


Also, the next “after post will be sponsored by Crypton Fabric. Can you guess where?


Living and loving life together,





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  1. Dean Malambri

    A great topic:- how to explain design principles in real world situations- looking forward!


    So glad you are doing this post! I agree this is how the majority of homeowners live. Void of color, afraid it will get dirty. We have brown, browner and brownest. Look forward to your upcoming post and how you break it down!!