Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Abigail Ahern's Design-Ometer...

Easy to follow design rules for creating a well balanced room!

So, with so much going on in my personal life at the moment, I have been struggling to find my way back to my design brain after Christmas. So it's been a bit of a slow start, blogging wise, to 2015!

 Like I said before: Who cares what your house looks like when it no longer feels like a home?

....I DO! That's who!! 
Because I truly believe that our surroundings have a big impact on our moods and emotional life! And I'll be damned if I don't try everything in my powers to lift me out of this ebb!!

And then I found Abigail Ahern's Design-ometer!
Abigail Ahern is one of my favorite interior designers, even though her style is very different from mine....She has impeccable taste and styling , always keep her finger on the pulse of anything to do with design and is generally super inspiring to me....
And her recently posted DESIGN-OMETER was just the inspiration I needed to find my groove again!
Set out like a score system, it basically covers what most interior designers like to think of as staples of any successful room design....And if Abigail Ahern says these are the elements a visually good room should have, then I'm not one to argue...
Abigail's checklist covers 7 elements that will work in ANY room and WHATEVER your design style:

1.Statement feature

" need your eye to move 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."*
The Design-ometer will reward you 1 point for each statement feature in your room, up to a maximum of 3 points.
       "The interior design rule of thumb is to have at least 8 lamps of light                  sources in a room."*             
 If your room is very small, this can seem a bit excessive, I agree, but Abigail insists that this really does make the biggest difference!
Count up your light sources, and reward yourself half a point for each, up to a maximum of 4 points!              
 "NO points if the room only has recessed overhead lighting."*
3.Metallic accents
               "...shine and sparkle really does bring a room alive."*             It could be a copper tray, a metallic pendant light shade, silver cushions or "a cluster of gold vases"*  ...or all of the above!! Metallic's, are according to Abigail a MUST HAVE in any interiors...and currently the trend is to mix them up, which is great news , as there are loads of great accessories available on the high street!
"1 point if you’ve got a hint of bling somewhere in the room"*

  "You need the juxtaposition of different textures"* Abigail states " 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"*
This is NOT about how many different materials you have in your room: If it's shiny it's one texture, if it's rough it's one etc....think about how things feel to the touch: The tactile nature of each texture will add to the visual impact of any room!
1 point for each different texture in the space, up to a maximum of 3 points.
5.Flowers or plants
"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"*
Not to mention the health benefits of keeping plants in your home! I'm getting better now, but for someone who is notorious for their black thumbs, I am pleased to tell you that Fake flours or plants are OK here (Unless they are very cheap and faded!!)
1 point if you have any flowers, plants or greenery in your space, real or faux!


                                "Never skip scent!"*                                      A good interior design should be a sensory treat....not just visually, but it should make you feel happy and comfortable......Scent adds another dimension to your interiors...after all why leave something out if it's going to add to the feelgood factor of a room??
Use 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"* Abigail even recommends using Lavender essence when mopping the floors!
1 point if you have something beautiful to fragrance your room

    I, like Abigail, think Artwork is an essential part of good interior design!     I often use a piece of art as my starting point when I plan the decoration of a room in my home: From the colour scheme to the style and era of your art, it should go hand in hand with your interiors....even if it is in an eclectic way!!
"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!"*
So those are the 7 elements that any room design should have, according to Interior Goddess Abigail Ahern......and I would have to say that I concur!!

Here's those Maximum scores again:

Statement features3 points
Lighting4 points
Metallic accents1 point
Textures3 points
Flowers or plants1 point
Scent1 point
Artwork2 points
TOTAL = /15

Abigai Ahern is known to be the queen of dark interiors, and in her words :"In my personal checklist there would also be dark walls (obviously!), mirrors, styled vignettes, rugs, and a couple of pieces of animal d├ęcor thrown in to lighten the mood as well"* 
So her style is nothing like mine: I like bright and airy Scandinavian style interiors with a crafty flavor to it, 
so I decided to put the DESIGN-OMETER to the test in my favorite room : The living room: This is the room in the house where I feel good and think I've hit the mark: And yes!!! I scored 14 out of 15 points....Missing 1 point for not having as many as 8 light sources!! NOT BAD, hey??
In fact this post is illustrated  with pictures of the different elements listed in the AA Design-ometer, already in place in my living room!

But Abigail's Design-ometer is more importantly an excellent tool when you are planning to do up a room in your house: Use the grading system to see what elements your room already has and what you will need to bring in to make the interior more balanced!
In fact, as I am now in the process of scheduling my projects for the next couple of months, I have decided to use the Design-ometer  as look out for DIY's for the home that covers all the different Design elements listed above.... starting with an easy textured make at beginning of next week!!
Ps! All quotes marked * is by Abigail Ahern from her Blog, which, if you're not already, well worth following!!


Unknown said...

What a great idea!! I will definitely use this when redecorating my new home :)
Emily xx

june olsen said...

Emily! Abigai Ahern is a doubt!! :)

Stephanie 139a said...

How interesting, I found myself doing a mental checklist calculation as I read your post - I'm not too far away either which was pleasing! I've not quite got 8 light sources either and the other one I knew I'd fall down on is artwork. I'm still searching for what feels right!

Claire @ Style Arch said...

This is fab! I am going to be checking against my new lounge ideas now! I am a huge AA fan!

june olsen said...

Stephanie! Miss Ahern's design-ometer is a great way to mentally check what a room is lacking, but I dont think there is any shame in taking your time in choosing what is right for you! Artwork is one of the most personal things you'll ever add to your home, so take your time!! In my next post I'll be talking trends, and poster art is a BIG one for 2015,and with a huge array available to suit any tastes out available online it makes it affordable to change out the art at your convenience!!

june olsen said...

Claire! Thanks for stopping by!! AA is just amazing!!

Lia: Tangerine Canteen said...

This is SUCH awesome advice!! I found myself doing a mental list too, and i didn't do very well - argh, must try harder!! Also, we have the same rug & the same tripod light!! Great taste ;)
Alos, where were the Andy Warhole framed quotes from? I think i need them...

june olsen said...

Lia! LOL! Great taste indeed!! :)
The Andy Warhol posters are from
They only recently started selling these online...lucky!! They also got some cool Yoko Uno posters you've got to read with a magnifying glass!! They are top of my wish list now!!