Designing from the Waist Up

I remind my clients that a house does not look well decorated until it is decorated from the waist up. I get calls from future clients that have maybe purchased a sofa and a coffee table and are confused as to why their home does not look impressive or homey. A well curated home includes draperies, art, plants.  Let’s take a deeper dive into exactly what I mean.

While floors, finishes, and furniture set the tone for the room, a room does not look complete until it has elements that include design from the waist up. Think art, wall hangings, drapery, tall plants, sculptures, and wall shelves — accessories that are above the waist.

Art and accessories can make the space. This is where pops of color come into play, as I usually try to stick with a more neutral palette for finishes, furniture, and paint. Grand draperies, blue artwork, and colorful prints are the pieces that personalize the room as well as complete the look.

Are the art and accessories the start to designing every room? The answer to that question is that there is no one way to begin designing a space. My work is completely customizable, so whatever my client is looking for, that is how we design the room. Sometimes, my clients may have a piece of artwork or color that they absolutely love. When this is the case, we work around that accessory or idea making it the focal point, and create a beautiful room around it. Other times, I’m working with my clients to do a full re-design and have the ability to purchase these accent pieces.

Each year, I travel to High Point Market in High Point, North Carolina, and the Las Vegas Market in Las Vegas, Nevada. Here I find beautiful furniture, art and accent pieces. I’ll often see a chandelier or sculpture and think to myself, “I can hardly wait to find a space for that.” I then bring these recommendations to my clients’ projects and we give the space just the pop it needs. There is a joy to finding a special piece at market and then seeing it on one of my projects.

Within a home, each room should be personalized, yet still fit in with the overall aesthetic of the home. Art and accessories — items from the waist up — is a great place to accomplish just that.

Below are a few photos that show just how critical decorating from the waist up can truly be. While the art and accessories are simple, they have a big impact.

Before Accent:

After Accent:

Before Accent

After Accent

After Accent.png

Thinking of designing your next space or re-designing your house to make it more of your home? Please feel free to contact me here, and don’t forget to follow Missy Stewart Designs on Instagram!