Katchart DIY DVDs
For Design and Decorating of Homes and Property
Staging to sell  /  Defining to set up  /  Redefining to make over

Katchart Design & Decorating Tips
by Kathey Carter
Katchart Creative Director
© 2010, 2012. 2013 Katchart LLC 

Introduction: These tips and information on space differentiation supplement the infomation in Katchart's Design & Decorating DVDs: STAGING FOR SELLERS for staging houses and other properties; DEFINING PROPERTY for new home set-up and decorating; and REDEFINING PROPERTY for room and space makeovers. Space differentiation means using design and decorating to differentiate multiple parts of a large room or space, when each area or part of the room has a different functional purpose.


If a room or area has more than one design, it has been differentiated. Some differentiated rooms have more than one function (e.g. a room where one area is used as a sitting room and an office).

Large, open rooms, such as great rooms, present some unique challenges to design. A space differentiation technique that is often used here is called zoning. Zoning is dividing a large room or area into distinct areas using different groupings of your furnishings.

Here are a few tips for your DO IT YOURSELF DESIGNING that will help you differentiate so that the functional areas or zones of a room flow well and complement each other:

  • Each zone or functional area should have its own design. Using the design elements In the Katchart DVD you have, make sure each area has a focal point, is balanced, not overcrowded and has a lighting plan.
  • The use of color in your areas is critical. The colors used in each zone can differ, but they must work together. Use one base color in each zone to create the flow through the entire room or area. This will create a feeling of warmth and comfort to the entire space.
  • The use of area rugs is particularly effective to anchor each area or zone. They add color and definition to each zone. Rugs with patterns and rich textures or solid colors can be used. Preferably, an area rug should be should be large enough so that at least the front legs of all pieces rest on the rug, but the effect can be achieved with smaller accent rugs.
  • The use of table lamps, floor lamps and accent lighting as part of the lighting plan for each zone will create that warm, finished look and help to differentiate and balance each space or zone. Lighting can also bring darker space into the presentation.
  • Accessories and accent pieces can help you establish a focal point, balance and fine tune each space or zone. Artwork and wall art along with accessories are essential for fine tuning and often for a focal point. Certain accessories, such as plants or trees, can be used for balance and color, while others, such as folding screens, can be used to fill in a large space, soften a corner or enhance bland zone with a unique focal point.