Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Designer Tips

Ever wonder how we make those rooms look so good? It's not always the expensive furniture or the great vintage finds…which help, but it is the little touches that elevate regular rooms to the living spaces you see on the pages of beautiful home magazines.
Here are some easy ways you can dress your room like we designers do. These tips are engraved into my head and are the first things I think about when walking into a clients' space.

Look for the focal point. If a room has a fireplace, a great view or large bookcase, build your layout around it. If there is no natural focal point, create one, using paint, a large art piece, or a big piece of furniture. Once you have identified the focal point, arrange the furniture around the focal point. You want your guests to see what you've decided should catch their eye.

This is one of my client's house that I staged to sell, but it is a great example of arranging the room around the focal point (TV/fireplace wall)

Pillows come in pairs. Having one pillow in each corner of the couch or cropped up against a chair seems like something is missing. Use two pillows in different patterns, colors or textures. Balance is extremely important!!

Embrace whites and neutrals. You can't go wrong with a palate of whites and neutrals. Add pops of color and texture through  accessories, but consider keeping the basics, like walls, sofas or fabrics some version of white, beige or grey.
"You can't go wrong with crisp white sheets and luxurious white towels," interior designer Tom Riker said. "Always classic."

Lighting is key. Don't rely on your overhead light or a single lamp to light up a room. Overall or general lighting comes from overhead, task lighting is specified to one area, like a desk or table lamp and accent lighting shines on walls. Light at least three of the four corners of a room.

Don't fear painted furniture. Natural wood is great, but not everything in a room can be brown. A lilac table can bring a room's design together in the way a plain wood table just can't. And, color can create a focal point where none previously existed. I LOVE painted furniture and try to incorporate at least one piece in every space…even if it is black! It still breaks up all the wood.

The power of threes. Accessories look better in threes or odd numbers. If you're buying candles, picture frames or decorative vases, aim for three of each in different heights.

Think of color in layers. The flooring — whether it's carpet, tile or wood — is the first layer of color, followed fabric and window treatment colors, topped with wall and trim colors and if you want to add a bonus layer, the ceiling color. 

Hang curtains near the ceiling. Don't hang curtains just above the window; hang them higher for a more elegant look. It also gives the illusion that your ceilings are higher and grander than they really are!

Think big with area rugs. An area rug should anchor more than just your coffee table. For the most chic look, the area rug should anchor your whole seating group. Here's another opportunity to create a focal point, while adding layers of texture, so don't be shy with your area rug choice.

Don't ignore the powder room. This tiny half-bathroom is a great place to experiment and take chances you wouldn't in other places of your home. I like to paint a tiny powder room a dark bold color or add a graphic wallpaper that really makes a statement. Think outside the box, because if you don’t like it, it is small enough where it wouldn’t cost too much to change it up!

I hope you enjoy these designer tips! 



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