5 Designer Tips For Your Space

We've all seen the beautiful rooms gracing the covers of design magazines and filling the pages of our monthly reads.  And I'm sure many of you have thought "Wow, that room is beautiful!  My home could never look like that!"  Well you're in luck because we have some insight on how to get your home looking magazine worthy.  Here are some tips to help make your rooms like designer worthy with a few key guidelines.

1. Have at least one item in the room that will wow.  Adding a unique piece to a "good" room will take it great.  Not every piece has to be a showstopper, but you need at least one to really catch someone's eye.  Spice up your run-of-the-mill dining room with a unique light fixture overhead.  Switch out your builder grade square bathroom mirror for a gilded round one.  Look for the following:

  • A unique furniture piece
  • Unexpected lighting
  • Interesting patterned rug
  • Bold paint color
An unexpected chic light wonderfully compliments this otherwise casual, rustic sunroom.

An unexpected chic light wonderfully compliments this otherwise casual, rustic sunroom.

2.  Mix and match furniture pieces. Do you ever see a matching bedroom set on the cover of a high end decor mag?  No.  And there's a reason for it.  Do not.  I repeat, do not buy a matching furniture set.  Many people think that this must be the way to go because all of the pieces were made to match each other and were put together in a "showroom".  I'm afraid not.  Good design is built on layers (we'll touch on that later), and having a 5-piece matching set in any room only creates one, dull layer.

If you have a matching set already, consider splitting it up into different rooms or changing out the hardware or finish on a few pieces.  If cost is a reason you want to take this route, try looking for inexpensive second-hand pieces--Craigslist, thrift stores, and flea markets have great pieces you can use or refinish, often with better materials and prices than the "new" pieces you find today.   The retailers listed below offer great prices on new items as well.

The black, traditional bed pairs wonderfully with the nail trim, upholstered nightstand.  

The black, traditional bed pairs wonderfully with the nail trim, upholstered nightstand.  

3.  Add texture.  Just like with the furniture, you want varying pieces.  Layer a jute rug atop your wood floors, woven pillows on your leather settee and a wool throw on your linen chair.  Mixing and matching pillow fabrics is another great way to bring in textures.  And don't forget about your walls!  Textures aren't just limited to furniture and accessories.  Ex. Add a unique trim detail or wooden planks to bring interest to your walls.

Horizontal trim boards are a great added detail to this room.

Horizontal trim boards are a great added detail to this room.

4.  Add layers.  As mentioned in the previous tips, this is a must.  You can build layers through patterns, texture, accessories, etc.  If you have a plain sofa, add some pillows and a throw.  If your windows are bare, add bamboo shades with some curtain panels.  Top off your room with accessories for a finishing touch.  I personally like mixing and matching a little old with a little new to bring in some depth to my spaces.  

5.  Watch Scale.  There no sense in following 1-4 if you're going to throw your room off by not following tip 5.  You can have a beautifully textured showstopper rug, but if the size is off, it won't matter (unless you have a tiny room, you should never buy a rug smaller than 6x9).  Window treatments are another major area where people get the scale wrong.  Dana touched on 3 drapery panels guidelines here.  And if you haven't it read it, I suggest you do.  Also, don't hang your artwork too high.  The general rule is 60" on center, meaning the middle of artwork/frames should be about 60" inches from the floor.  Watch scale with the following"

  • furniture 
  • accessories
  • window treatments
  • rugs
  • artwork

When you can make all of these work together, you get your own beautiful, designer-worthy room.  

If you think we can be of some help to you in your home, drop us a line here.  

Have a great weekend, everyone!