Whether you’ve just moved or are looking for a quick, little home pick-me-up, or perhaps something more significant, there are some well-known interior design tricks that designers employ that you too can easily do with minimal effort and cost. Sometimes the smallest things make the greatest impact. It could be the addition of a mirror, a painting, a lamp or even a plant. Maybe you want to soften your walls, brighten a room, or add some warmth to your living space. Take a look at these clever design tips and see how they can inspire you!
1. Paint smaller rooms in softer, lighter colors to help make the room feel larger.
The living room above is a great example of how to maximize a small living space. A room of this size has the tendency to seem cramped, but the large windows, light colored walls and ample use of mirrors not only reflect the natural light pouring in from the doors and the windows but the use of mirrors also gives the optical illusion of space, making the room seem larger than it actually is. Conversely, darker colors will make a room feel smaller. Even with the abundance of natural light and the strategic placement of the mirrors, this room in a darker shade would have a more boxed-in feel to it.
2. Use decorative mirrors to add instant light to your living space.
As you see below, 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.
3. Mix it up. Mix up patterns and textures. Mix up old and new, expensive and inexpensive.
There’s nothing wrong with placing family heirlooms alongside your modern couch. All good interior decorators will tell you that the most important aspect to decorating your home is that it reflects who you are, your personality and your style. The antique Chippendale desk that was your grandfather’s tells a story. It tells the story of your past. The modern couch you fell in love with and simply had to purchase also tells a story, your present story, and there is no reason why the present and past can’t co-exist beautifully together. The same can be said for art. Now you might not want to place a painting by Salvador Dali on the same wall next to a Monet, but there’s no reason why they can’t be in the same room together. With fabrics whether it be furniture, rugs or pillows, varied colors and patterns can bring warmth and texture into your living space.
4. Slip into something a little more comfortable!
Slip covers often get a bad rap but they are truly wonderful things. They can serve as a means of changing your furniture’s look to reflect the seasons. These easily removed coverings allow you to have a sophisticated look without constantly worrying about people dirtying or spilling on your furniture. Slip covers are ideal for rooms used frequently by children. Above the white slip-covered couches gives the air of a casual, comfortable, easy yet sophisticated elegance.
5. Wicker baskets
Wicker baskets are an economical and elegant way to add storage to any room. Baskets can be used to store and display books, architectural and decor magazines, toys, towels and blankets to name a few. Place a couple of small wicker baskets on the counter-tops in your kitchen to beautifully display and store your fruit and vegetables.
6. Use what you already have to decorate.
We all have items in our possession, probably packed up in boxes somewhere and haven’t given them a second glance. Your home needs some accessories. Instead of running to the store, take a good look at what you already have. Trays, wooden, acrylic, metal or silver can be placed on top of luggage racks, tea carts, trunks, bedside tables and coffee tables for extra texture and dimension. Arrange candles on them, frames or pile books on top of them. Plates can be hung to create wonderful wall art. Art from children’s books can be framed and hung in nurseries, children’s rooms or their bathrooms. You will be amazed at what you can do with what you already have!
7. Add a hanging pot holder to your kitchen.
Kitchens are meant to be warm and inviting. We spend much of our time in them whether it be for preparing meals, serving meals or entertaining. A hanging pot rack is useful elegance. Kitchens are meant to feel as though they are in constant use and a hanging pot rack certainly makes one feel this way. In addition to looking so wonderful, (there are many sizes and styles available) additional cupboard space below is now freed up to store other items. Seldom has anyone complained of having too much storage.
8. Go green.
Add plants to your living space. 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. Not only are plants 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!
9. Paint or wallpaper your bookcases.
This instant pop of color will brighten and re-energize any room! It’s amazing how something so simple as a coat of colorful paint can instantly energize and transform your space. This built-in bookcase would be simple and ordinary without the bright blue interior. Perhaps 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 a large area. Other fun places to add a pop of color include painting fireplace mantels, the insides of closets, hallways and ceilings.
10. Use area rugs to soften hardwood floors.
Throw rugs give warmth and can add great 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 several of varying patterns and fabrics together to showcase your character. Or add several rugs of the same pattern and fabric, or different textures but the same color. 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 lovely cotton, washable area rugs which are ideal for those homes with children. There really is no reason why a home with young children cannot also be a stylish one.
What inspired you? Personally, I’m just mad about these animal hide rugs that seem to be all the rage lately. The question is, do I go for the cow or the zebra? Or both, and just say that I live in a barn!