Looking for designer tricks? You’re in the right place! Let’s get to it!
Designer Tricks #1: Break up sets of furniture
Sometimes it’s more cost effective to buy a set of furniture instead of the individual pieces. And even though it goes against my most fundamental design philosophy, I get it. So if you must buy a set, break it up to avoid that matchy furniture store look in your home by:
- Using pieces in different rooms throughout your home and
- Mixing them with other pieces that have a completely different look
Designer Tricks #2: Test paint swatches directly on the wall in multiple spots.
Common convention now is to use boards or cardboard to test paint swatches around a room. But unless those boards and your walls start out the exact same color (and texture and possibly even material) you won’t get an exact feel for how it will come out on the walls.
Paint is hands down THE biggest bang for your buck but sometimes it’s hard to take the paint plunge. If you put swatch(es) directly on the walls, they’ll HAVE to be painted – either a new color or back to the original. And that can make it a little easier to just “go for it”
And don’t forget – Ceilings are walls too! Show ‘em some love.
Designer Tricks #3: Accessorize to the hilt (whatever YOUR hilt is), then dial it back a notch.
When adding accessories, use everything you think you want in the space. Play with placement and height. Once you think you’ve got it just right, take 1 item away. Step back and ask yourself if that item makes or breaks the space.
The point is to curate a well-balanced space that’s not completely over the top, crowded or messy looking. Every piece should be visible but it should take time to discover them all.
Designer Tricks #4: See your space from a different perspective.
We see what we see how we see it and it can be hard to see it any other way. To get a fresh eye on your room when there’s no one else around, try these tricks:
- Walk out of the room for as long as you can. When you come back in, look at it as if you’ve never been there. You’ll probably notice something you hadn’t before.
- Take a (high def or high res) picture. It’ll show EVERY little thing from how the curtains drape to the texture of the pillows. You can use it to completely dissect the space if that’s your thing.
- Ask a friend, partner, or (a brutally honest) kid to have a look. I’ve even found it helpful to get the opinion of someone with totally different tastes from the room I’m working on. If something is truly garish, they’ll gladly let you know. And it won’t be like “Welllll, I don’t know about that lamp on that particular console, maybe put it somewhere else?”; it’ll be more like “That lamp is fugly and the console is even worse, can you return ‘em”.
Designer Tricks #5: Do something a little unexpected aka Use what you love to what you want.
We all really LOVE something – an activity, item that represents something or reminds us of some place in time. Use it!
It could be anything from a light fixture to chair to objet d’art (fancy talk for art piece). That 1 thing will be what sets your space apart from all others and will be what makes everyone remember YOUR place. Plus it’s just plain fun!
Designer Tricks #6: Every single room needs a living plant.
It’s decorative – adding organic color, shape, and dimension, functional – plants help clean indoor air, and cost effective. Use an up light on large plants or floor plants for that extra bit of drama.
One last tip… Have fun and enjoy the process