Designers are a mysterious bunch. We can look at an empty space and see an engagingly decorated home. With the blink of an eye, we see charm, where others see peeling paint; we see potential, when others see retched brown carpet; we say, stay; when others say, we're moving!
Although we do possess a bit of clairvoyance when walking through a new space, believe it or not, designers don't have a secret rule book we consult for every project. Our Interiors Bible is more like a recipe, a collage of tried-and-true principles, a mish-mash of inspirational resources, and a generous pour of our unique tastes. So whether you've just moved into your first apartment or pushing the reset button on your home decor, check out a few of our not-so-secret designer tips!
ONE. Crowd Control
If you have to shimmy, stretch and yoga warrior pose past your friend to get to the empty seat by the window - listen up. Back off, man! Optimize your furniture layout as to not overcrowd. Give yourself room to walk through and around the furniture arrangement. In other words, pick your furnishings carefully and really think about how many people will be using the space, the function of the space, and its flow. Here are a few quick notes when working on your room layout:
Living Space. Yes, you are the most important person in any room, however try to build around any architectural focal points in the room - like swanky fireplaces or gorgeous floor-to-ceiling windows.
Study/Work Space: Locate those electrical connections for media and place furniture accordingly. Nothing is worse than trying to stretch your 24 inch computer cord to fit that outlet just out of reach. Well, some things are worse, but you get my point.
Bedroom: If possible, position your bed so the foot board points to the bedroom door. Mostly because it would be strange to have it the other way around.
Always consider symmetry or balance in the room, like having two side tables next to the sofa instead of the one multi-functional stack of books you may be using to hold your cup of tea.
TWO. Tricky, Tricky Rugs
Let's keep this simple folks. Your rug should be large enough that most of your furniture sits on top. Next.
THREE. Paint Transformation
Trust me, I know from experience. Paint transforms! Probably one of the essential tools in any designers arsenal is introducing a new color or neutral into a space. Accent ceilings, feature walls, or a completely repainted room will drastically change the energy and overall vibe. Choosing the perfect paint color can be a daunting task. But that's what designers are for!
Trend Alert! Richer, darker, moodier colors are taking the stage right now, creating dramatic interiors. Deep greens, shimmering blacks, and vibrant blues are good choices if you're considering repainting at the moment.
If you've just moved into your place - put the paintbrush down and step away from the Moth Wing paint can. I suggest not painting as soon as the ink dries on your lease. Move in. Settle in. See how the patterns, colors, and textures of your furniture collection affect the interior before selecting paint.
FOUR. The D Word
Wait - is this blog about to get interesting? Focus please. D is for Decorate. Because your home is a reflection of your most authentic self, even the smallest detail matters.
- The Rule of Two's and Three's. Group small items on coffee tables, end tables, nightstands, and bookshelves in groups of 2 or 3. Why? Because that is what they taught me in design school - and something about proportion.
- Art isn't just for hanging on the wall. Layer it or lean it on a piece of furniture and let it become a collage and focal point in the room.
- Add a pop of greenery! Bringing the outside in is a great way to wake up a dead space.
- Embrace organization. Nobody, and I mean nobody, likes a slob. Use trays, magazine ladders, and baskets to clear/hide the clutter and keep the room looking fresh.
Have design questions? Let's Connect!
We Are Stellar Designs is a lifestyle design boutique for your small space, apartment or dorm, dedicated to offering well-curated designs and on-trend products that are both practical and creative.
Collaborator: Harmony Walker, Designer and Blogger