With the holiday of love upon us, I can reflect on the two things I love most- my family and interior design! Throughout my career, I have studied and experimented with countless design tips and techniques; and have narrowed down my favorites that work best for me.
Let me start by saying there is no secret rule book designers use. We are all creative by nature and love to imagine, explore and follow our intuition by pushing the envelope at times. We do this because we all strive to create our own design style that sets us apart from the rest.
For instance, as most of you already know, I am not a big believer in designs based on “trends” of the season. Mostly because trends come and go at a rapid pace and your home style shouldn’t. Instead, I enjoy the challenge of taking classic pieces and mixing them with modern elements to transform them into one classically current design.
Keep reading to learn a few of my favorite design tips that are easy to fall in love with.
It is important for each room to have a focal point, which is the center of interest or activity. A more obvious focal point within a space is a TV or a fireplace but, if a room doesn’t have either, then create your own with a piece of art, headboard, mantel, light fixture or even a unique hood in the kitchen.
Just take a step back, stand in the doorway, and look in the room to see where your eye naturally falls – this is your focal point! Once you have decided on the focal point arrange the rest of the room around it.
As you can see in the photo above, the focal point is the fire place, which we highlighted by pairing a colorful piece of art with a stunning gold fire screen and wall scones. In this case, all three work together and serve as a collective focal point – it’s practically glowing! Finally, add bold-colored furniture, or accent items, from within the art to complete the look.
In the photo above, you can see there is no obvious focal point, so we created our own by adding large-scale art above the sofa. We continued arranging the room by selecting colors within the artwork to help bring it to life, as well as maintain a balanced and synced design.
In a room where everything is evenly lit, nothing stands out. Lighting has the potential to create interest and ambiance within a space, so it’s good to have a variety. Work in layered lighting by incorporating varying heights; such as ceiling fixtures, wall scones, table lamps and floor lamps.
Notice in the photo above, we incorporated stunning drop down ceiling pendants and paired them with swing arm reading lights.
Don’t be afraid to mix patterns, they add movement, versatility and interest to any space. When selecting patterns, keep in mind they need to complement one another by staying within the same color intensity.
In the photo below, we used an array of stunning patterns and textures! As you can see, the primary color is dark orange, complemented by taupe, cream, black, brown and gold. Although the pattern of the throw pillows on the bed differ from the blanket and pillows on the sofa, they all include the same hues. It is also important to balance the space by dispersing the patterns throughout the room, instead of putting them all on one side of the room.
Side note: The use of textures has us falling head over heels for this design! From the wallpaper and art within the nook to the velvet plush seating paired with the linen headboard and canopy bed drapery, we just can’t get enough of this design!
Wall Art and Décor
Deciding how high to hang wall décor can be tricky. For instance, hanging items too high can have a negative effect by giving the impression of lower ceilings. One easy tip is to hang artwork and/or décor at a natural eye level (Fun fact: the average human eye level is 57 inches). If you’re adding a piece of art above a table or mantel, it’s a rule of thumb to hang it one foot above this point. I personally prefer hanging pieces a little lower, roughly six to eight inches.
Remember these two easy tips the next time you hang a piece of art and you’ll be golden! See for yourself in the photos below.
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE a healthy dose of color in my designs but, in more cases than not, I will side with a sofa in a neutral hue rather than a bold color. A neutral sofa can be tailored to fit any style, theme and season. Incorporating color is easy, just add throw pillows and blankets in your favorite hue, patterns and textures.
If you think neutral colors make for a dull interior design then allow me to refresh your memory by directing you to a past blog post.
In the photo above, we decided to soften the wooden beams by adding a neutral sofa with subtle color throw pillows to create a cozy atmosphere perfect for lounging.
Not only does the photo above show how we spiced up the neutral sofas with fierce throw pillows, but it is also another example of mixing patterns. Another added benefit when going with a neutral sofa, is you leave room to incorporate other bold or dark furniture such as the cocktail table.
Remember there is no secret rule book designers use, we rely on our creative intuition to guide our design style while leaning on our “tricks of the trade”- so to speak. Try using these tips during your next room makeover project and see what design styles you come up with- I’d love to see! For more design inspiration, head over to my Instagram and Pinterest pages.