transform your space into
your personal haven

what's for dinner?

take the poll





a home + living guide for the post-college, pre-parenthood, quasi-adult generation


editor's note 

o lounge 
o nourish 
o host

o SHOP new!
o send an ECARD

submit your ideas
support digs

big decorating dreams. tiny little budget. don't be a wallflower! jump on over to the discussion boards and get decorating help.
other recent LOUNGE articles:
o Open House: Sydney Sanctuary
o Burn Baby Burn
Green Scene: Indoor Herb Gardening
Album-cover CD Box
A Room of My Own
Fight the Chaos
Gallery-style Picture Hanging Tracks
o After School
Sew What?
o Curtain Time
Lazy Decorator's Bag of Tricks
Home sweet homes
Minor Makeover Miracles: Kitchen

copyright ©1999-2002

office space part 4 | 1 2 3 4
continued from page 1

decisions decisions
Now, because Iím a somewhat lazy decorator, and prefer to put in the least amount of time possible to make a room look nice, I generally start thinking about color schemes by picking one large item in the room whose color would involve far too much effort to change. In the case of the office, that item would be the futon, which happens to be a nice navy blue. Fortunately itís actually a very good blue, deep and rich, not one of those wimpy gray-tinged navy blues; I prefer my colors to be fairly assertive (no bland pastels for this girl, please). Dark blue is a near-neutral in my mind: you can pair it with just about everything, and it takes on different characteristics depending upon the colors you place around it (actually, this holds true about all colors to some extent). Anyone who studies color will tell you that different colors have different moods, so the first step is to ask myself what sort of mood Iím hoping to achieve. My living room is decorated in bright reds and yellows, warm, comforting, happy colors that make me want to play fun music and entertain friends; my bedroom, on the other hand, with its mostly white palette punctuated by muted reds, has a more serene, restful feel. For the office, I decide, I want something fresh and invigorating, the sort of colors that make you feel alive and awake and alert. And in my mind, that means colors in the blue-green-yellow part of the color spectrum, plant colors and water colors and sunshine colors. 

geeking out
By nature, Iím not the sort of person who likes to hem and haw over the planning stage of decorating a room. I like to just jump in and start playing around with color, and part of the risk of good, serious play is that you occasionally take some chances that just donít work out. Still, Iíve learned the hard way that you waste a lot less time Ė and money Ė when you do some of your experimenting on paper or computer before rushing out to the fabric or paint store. Which is why the first thing I did, after deciding to give the color makeover, was to start taking some pictures of the room, so that I could fiddle around with color ideas onscreen.

Iím a huge fan of my digital camera in general, but when it comes to decorating, especially, this little investment of mine has come in handy many times. With just a few quick shots of the room, taken from a variety of different angles, I can upload the images onto my computer, open them up in Photoshop, and start experimenting away. Image editing programs like Photoshop work fabulously for playing around with color scheme ideas, as you can select specific portions of an image Ė a sofa, for instance, or file cabinet Ė then digitally alter the hue, saturation and brightness to achieve whatever color you like. That gray throw pillow can become red, orange, aqua, or whatever with just a toggle or two of some color control slider.

don't stop: there's more!

---------------------------> lounge . nourish . host . laze . home.