I’m spilling some designer secrets today. As with any profession, after gaining a few years of experience you learn some things that you didn’t know when starting out. I collaborated with my good friend and partner in design crime, Alyson from Inspirational Interior Designs on this one considering she has even more experience than I do. Here are our top tips for you to consider when designing your space.
1. Add Architectural Details
This is always tops in my book. If you want a room to stand out, you need to add some sort of architectural detail. Think about Joanna Gaines for a minute. Her designs are beautiful, but what sets her apart is her use of incorporating old doors, windows, shiplap, and salvaged items which all add architectural detail. You don’t need those particular things to add architectural details, there are plenty of affordable ways to add character to your home.
2. Lighting Matters
When planning your space, lighting should be considered right after the furniture layout. Poor lighting can completely ruin the room. The type of light bulbs you choose matter. Be careful not to choose something that casts ugly yellow light. You also don’t want something so bright that your blinded or so dim that you can’t see well. The chandelier we used to have in our kitchen was so bright it bothered my eyes. This orb chandelier (which was a DIY project) gives off just the right amount of light. In chandeliers, I use the standard chandelier bulbs. In my lamps and light fixtures I prefer these GE Reveal bulbs*, they give off just the right type of lighting and they are energy-efficient.
3. What You See In Magazines May Not Be Realistic
You actually live in your space, so it needs to be functional. I spent a ton of time considering how to make my daughter’s room functional during her bedroom makeover. I knew we couldn’t fit both a desk and a dresser in the space, both of which she needed. So I figured out a way to incorporate clothing storage elsewhere, using larger nightstands and a storage ottoman. I also used a desk organizer and a rolling cart to further incorporate functional storage that also looks pretty.
4. Less Is More – Reduce Clutter
I will admit that I struggle with this one. Living in a smaller space really makes this challenging. When you don’t have a garage or basement to store things in, you really have to edit your belongings. Using furniture that has storage space also helps. I am currently in search of a storage ottoman to use as a coffee table in my living room.
5. Edit The Number of Framed Photographs
I apologize right now to those of you who love to fill your walls with family photos. Taking pride in your family is wonderful, I just prefer to limit those photos to a reasonable amount. Add a few into your gallery wall but mix it with other items. One to three photographs in each room is really all you need.
6. Hang Artwork 5′ 7″ From the Floor to the Center of the Artwork
Eye level is different for everyone, depending on height. Hang your artwork approximately 5′ 7″ from the floor to the center of the artwork. The 5′ 7″ tip is a good general rule of thumb.
7. Designers Don’t Always Get it Right the First Time
Even on HGTV the designers are sometimes sweating the final outcome. Things don’t always work in a space no matter how carefully you’ve planned. Learn by trial and error, and know that good design takes time. Enjoy the process!
I could not end my list of designer secrets without one more. Fresh flowers and greenery bring a room to life. If you really have a black thumb use faux plants, they are looking much more realistic these days!
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