How to Design a Design Board

End of June, 

end of suspense.

I concluded my last post

with this board showing the basic elements

of a fresh, summer-coloured design.

All the primary pieces are shown and the secondary pieces notated

I was about to select the secondary elements to the board

when I was called away to my summer vacation.

I spent a few weeks visiting family in the US


now I’m back and our story continues.

 The secondary elements 

As explained in part one,

the secondary elements have to be beautiful in their own right,

while supporting the design

established with the primary elements.

Solving this part of the design puzzle is fun,

so let’s get going.

the rug

The rug is the next most important design piece

because it’s all over the fifth so-called wall,

and thereby interacts with every other element in the space.

And this space, needs something light and simple.

Stark Altron

This rug is simple, with a slight texture and a light warm color–

very airy but with interest.

I thought it would be interesting to introduce another layer with a pale, cooler color.

Again, I turn to Stark.


This rug has a more subtle texture in a slightly cooler color.

The design so far with rugs in place

Was adding the second rug necessary? Maybe not. 

 side tables


Charlotte and Ivy handpainted cabinet

This pale wood subtly echoes the orange in the leather stool

and the painted detail and elegant shape slip easily into our design.

Table lamps

The teal connects to the color of the chaise but again, it’s a bit less intense,

and the contrast adds interest.

coffee table

Shades of Light glass and acrylic table

Obviously, this is very light and airy

and the traditional shape in acrylic

supports the theme of updated classicism.

The Last Bits

This is where I decide what to hang on the walls,

place on the tables,

and cozy-up the couches with.

wall decor

This can be much, little or nothing at all

As always, it depends.


or in sophisticated parlance, accessories.

In keeping with the airy feeling I was aiming for, I used only one accessory–

this porcelain and bronze ormolu footed bowl found on eBay.

Its color echoes

those already present in the design.

And it’s classic.

And regal. But not too. Especially since it is only one piece.


Though I bring out the pillows last, they play an important role in tying the design together–

a false move here could blow the whole thing apart.

Not really,

but it is fun when you get it right.

All together these elements created this


Honestly, it’s a little artificial to break the design process down in this linear manner;

there are always segue ways, backtracks and leaps ahead.

But this does describe its general course.

For example, sometimes I see a pillow early on in the process

and put it on the board for later–

sometimes I’m switching out the coffee table at the last minute,

but the primary elements that inspired the design in the first place usually stay,


I conceive a whole new idea as the design is underway,

and deliberately abandon the first one,

or put it temporarily aside,

because the new idea is so overwhelmingly compelling that

I can’t let it go.

It happens.

And it usually leads to good things,

because irrepressible excitement

is the surest indicator of a whopping good idea.

That’s it for today. Thank you for your visit!










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