Whether you’ve just moved or are looking for a quick, little room refresher, there are common interior design tricks that designers use that you can easily do with minimal effort and cost. Sometimes the smallest things make the greatest impact. It could be the addition of a mirror, art, a lamp or even a plant. Maybe you want to incorporate the latest trend, soften your walls, brighten a room, or add some warmth to your living space. Here are a few design tips to inspire you!
1. Use the 60-30-10 Rule for the Color Schematic.
When choosing a color palette, define 60 percent of the room a dominant color, 30 percent a secondary color, and 10 percent an accent color. In a classic room setting, this may translate to designating walls the dominant color, upholstery the secondary color, and a floral arrangement or pillows for the accent color. It’s amazing how something so simple as a fresh coat of paint can instantly energize and transform your space!
A small living space shown below could have the tendency to seem cramped, but the large windows, light colored walls and use of silver mercury glass lamps make the room seem larger than it actually is. On the flip, darker colors will make a room feel smaller but can create a cozy, dramatic ambiance. Even with the abundance of natural light and the strategic placement of mirrors to reflect light, this room in a darker shade would have a smaller feel to it.
2. Use decorative mirrors to add instant light to your living space.
Mirrors can also be used to make a small space feel larger. For larger rooms or any room with a more limited amount of natural light, mirrors placed directly across from the windows will add instant light. Decorative mirrors can also be used in lieu of art to fill empty wall space. Large or small, mirrors add light and dimension to your living space. I totally love the softness and movement that an arched mirror adds to any space!
3. Slip into something a little more comfortable!
Slipcovers often get a bad rap but they are truly awesome once you have incorporated them into your space. They can serve as a means of changing your furniture’s look completely or to reflect the seasons. These easily removable coverings allow you to have a sophisticated look without constantly worrying about spills or dirt on your furniture. Slipcovers are ideal for rooms used frequently by children and pets. The white slip-covered couch below gives the air of a casual, comfortable, easy yet sophisticated elegance. Then, of course, you can do “shabby chic” for instant charm!
4. Go green — with or without a green thumb.
Just by adding a layer of organics to your living space, you immediately transform your home. Add them to every room, small or large, few or many. Plants are an inexpensive means to accessorizing your space and adding color and texture. Plants are not only beautiful but many can clean household air and balance humidity. They can absorb pollutants and remove harmful gases from the air. No home should be without these wonderful greens! But, wait — you don’t have a green thumb? Faux silk plants have come a long way, baby! A nice Fiddle Leaf tree or Sansevieria plant (nicknamed “mother-in-law tongue” or “snake plant”) dropped into a natural seagrass belly basket works perfectly.
5. Update the look behind your books.
Create an instant WOW factor like this amazing on-trend wallpaper. This built-in bookcase would be simple and ordinary without the interesting patterned wallpaper. Another idea that is the simplest and most inexpensive way to transform a boring space is to apply a coat of paint somewhere unexpected. Bookcases are an ideal place to start because you don’t need to paint or wallpaper a large area. Other fun places to add a pop of color include painting fireplace mantels, the insides of closets, hallways, and ceilings.
Another attention to detail on the shelves — organize 60 percent of books vertically and 40 percent horizontally on the shelves. This creates balance yet spontaneity (and shows off the back of the bookshelf if it’s lined with a decorative fabric). Stack horizontal books lower than vertical ones: If the vertical books are 12 inches tall, place three to four books horizontally up to four inches high. Add green plants to soften the bookshelf, but avoid flowers, which can look cluttered and distracting.
6. Size matters — Avoid the “postage-stamp-look” as a rug!
The size of the rug—say, for under the coffee table—will dictate how you arrange furniture around it. With an eight-by-ten-foot rug, situate the sofa and any chairs so that the front legs of each are somewhere on the rug but the back legs are not. With a five-by-eight-foot rug, keep the sofa completely off, but still place the front legs of the chairs on it. In a large family room, use two rugs to create two separate living areas.
7. Use Throw Rugs and/or Layer Cowhide Rugs on Natural Fiber Rugs.
Throw rugs add warmth, texture, color, and personality to your living space. Hardwood floors are beautiful and easy to maintain but they lack the comfort that carpeted floors offer, especially in the cooler months. Area rugs can add fun and functionality to your living space. Use varying patterns and fabrics together to showcase your character. I love layering a cowhide rug on a natural fiber rug like a seagrass or sisal! The possibilities are endless. You can change your area rugs to reflect the seasons using warmer tones and fabrics for cooler months and lighter ones for the warmer days of the year. There are many amazing area rugs available today which are ideal for homes with children and pets. There really is no reason why a home with young children and/or pets cannot also be a stylish one.
8. Hang artwork at the right height.
Most people hang artwork too high. Place a piece so its bottom is only three to eight inches above furniture—lower for large pieces and slightly higher for small pieces. When there’s too much space between furniture and a painting, the eye rests on the void, blank wall between the two pieces. Galleries and museums hang artwork so that the midline (center) of each piece is 57 inches to 60 inches from the floor. (The average human eye level is 57 inches.) To get the best perspective, you should hang at this measurement as well.
So, which one inspires you? I love them all!
Until next time ~