Tips of the Trade

Love the Decor

I have written before about what makes a room look like a "designer" room. Essentially it is a few simple things that help create that designer feeling. Stick to these and you will end up with a room that should be in the pages of a magazine.

Here are the key ingredients to a "designer" room.

1.  Mix it up. Whether it is a dining room (like the one above), living room, bedroom, etc. don't go for matching pieces. Here there are two different styles of chairs around this table. It creates interest and makes the table and the chairs pop. If they were all the same style and color they would make the room heavy and uninteresting. The same is true for a bedroom where it is better to mix and match furniture than buy a bedroom set. In a living room avoid buying a matching coffee and end tables and instead choose individual pieces. Also vary the color and style for real impact.

2.  Choose light and dark. Work both light and dark hues into the room so it doesn't feel to light or too heavy. Here the dark table, chairs and buffet are contrasted by the light chairs and rug. In a bedroom, mix light and dark bedding. For a living room mix dark and light furnishings and decorative accents to keep things interesting.

3.  Add texture and/or pattern. In the dining room above texture is added in the subtle pattern in the rug, the grasscloth wallpaper, the intricate mirror, curtains and even the flowers. The room would be beautiful but would not look the same simply painted in a similar hue. It is the texture the wallpaper brings that adds that designer touch. Bedding in different fabrics, patterns or colors can do the same. In a living room a patterned rug, textured pillows or mixing solid and patterned furnishings can accomplish the same goal.

4.  Sprinkle color around the room. It is not necessary to add tons of color to a space to achieve that designer look. Just adding the blue vases in this example gives the room a pop of color but still keeps things intereting.

5.  Have a focal point. The large chandelier in this space creates a real "wow" factor. The wall sconces and mirror mimic the look without being identical so each can stand out. Try the same in other rooms. If you have a fireplace make that the focal point and add decor to highlight it. Or, choose artwork in a bedroom to create a focal point.

6. Keep it simple. Less is more. The dining room above has a lot of detail, but there is plenty of space for the eye to rest. Steer clear of over decorating. Not every inch of space needs to have an object on it. Large urns on the table in white, are unified by color and style, but their scale makes an impact without creating business. The blue vases on the buffet bring in color and texture but are enough on their own. Keeping the rug solid, with a subtle pattern, allows the ornate chairs and chandelier to take center stage.

Look around your space to see how you can change things up. It is not always necessary to scrap everything and start again. Sometimes swapping out a few elements is all it takes to achieve that designer look.


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