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Art of Design: Is a Decorated Look for Everyone?

Joseph Pubillones on

If I had a dollar for every time a client has asked me to make their home look like a page out of a decorating magazine, I'd be a very lucky man. In fact, most designers would confess an earnest desire that every project could turn out so. On the other hand, few of us, myself included, can live on a magazine set. While it is nice to walk through a home that is organized and has each item or furnishing is well placed and thought out, a home is a place for living. As such, items in a room, including furniture will tend to move and adjust as needed for the ultimate luxury ... comfort. More so, I encourage that rooms change at least once every couple of months.

So what are we to do? Maintenance is the key ingredient to keeping things looking as good as the day the decorator sent you your final bill. Taking pictures of a room always helps to see what your eyes can't. Pictures are the litmus test, for they clearly depict what is wrong with a room, if there is clutter or if there are things in a room that need to move or simply need to go away altogether. This is the exact procedure interior designers and architectural photographers do, to get that picture that shows a room at its best.

What exactly is a decorated look? Generally, it is a stylized room that has a certain logic and order. That means that every element in a room has purpose, and may allow the designer's signature touches to show through. Presentation is everything with any design style, and as long as you follow the rules in staging your space, you should be in good order. For example, a traditionally decorated room generally follows symmetry and relies on layers of furnishing, groupings, pairs and balance. On the opposite side of the spectrum is contemporary design, which tends to be minimalist, sleek and is open to asymmetries. These approaches to design are the extreme opposite of each other, while most current design styles fall somewhere in between.

There aren't many rules to break in interiors these days. Almost all styles are valid for the decoration of your home. A successful room is all about how it is pulled together. A room that seems picture-ready is nothing but a room that has been edited carefully over and over. Just like crafting a good story, accessories have to be chosen to accentuate a color, theme or idea. Repeating an accessory, either the item itself, or its color or shape, are all ways of creating a narrative for the story being told.


Today's accessories don't require everything to match. This will lead you down the path of a very expected interior design. I would suggest collecting some things that are old, and some things that new for a creative mix that looks straight out of the magazine...after all, isn't that your goal?


Joseph Pubillones is the owner of Joseph Pubillones Interiors, an award-winning interior design firm based in Palm Beach, Fla. To find out more about Joseph Pubillones, or to read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at

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