Tips from the Pros: In the May issue of Midwest Home Magazine, local interior designers and home stylists share some of their best tips for designing a “wow” space of your own. In the issue and on the magazine’s website, you can get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the spaces these designers and stylists call home. They really do practice what they preach!
1. Keep Your Eyes Open
Always be on the lookout for great deals and interesting pieces. Even if you don’t have a specific use for that end table or rug right away, you’ll find a way to incorporate them into your décor somehow.
These stylists love what colorful accessories and artwork can do to breathe new life into a space. Need a quick pick-me-up? Try a new color of paint on the walls!
3. Think Outside the Box
A bookend can be painted and hung on a wall. Two tray tables together can make a coffee table. Silk scarves can be refashioned into accent pillows. Giving a room a totally new look may be easier and more affordable than you think when you shop your own home!
4. Mix it Up
Don’t be afraid to mix and layer patterns! Just be mindful of scale when doing so. Large patterns can be balanced with those of a smaller-scale, and bold designs are complimented with the more subtle.
5. Speaking of Scales...
Furniture in a store will likely look smaller than it will actually look in your home, so be sure to measure the piece first, then go home and mark its dimensions on the floor where you plan to place it. Make sure it doesn’t overpower other furniture in the room.
Texture in a room exudes luxury. Rooms need a mix of materials, like wool, leather, linen, silk, stone, metal and wood. If you focus on creating an interesting, layered look with texture, you don’t need a lot of color.
7. Start a Collection
Multiples make an impact. Whether you enjoy trolling antique shops for something specific or you gather interesting trinkets from your travels, displaying items you have a fondness for adds richness and an element of your personality to your space.
8. Tell a Story
While some homeowners are uncomfortable displaying personal mementos and photographs, others proudly display their personal family artifacts for the world to see. One designer featured in the magazine’s story can tell a story about each one of the pieces adorning his bookshelves and tablescapes. He enjoys surrounding himself with meaningful objects and things that bring to mind loved ones and happy memories.
9. Don’t Buy Disposable
Lesson of the day: You don’t need lots of “stuff” if you invest in good pieces. Buy your candleholders and accessories at Ikea and Target and your sofas and chairs at a quality furniture store. That doesn’t mean you still can’t get a good deal, however. These designers are regulars at the weekend Room & Board outlet and at neighborhood estate sales.
10. Edit, Edit, Edit
Reveal a room’s layers and interesting items over time, not all at once. Limit the number of items that tell the world who you are. Think about occasionally switching things up – move a few objects to a different room and rotate in some new pieces every once in awhile.
11. Express Yourself
Don’t be afraid to let your true colors show. The designers featured in this article allow their homes to say exactly who they are, with their eclectic juxtapositions of antiques, collectables and personal artifacts. According to one designer, “Better to mix your styles with gusto than to be timid.”
12. Don’t Be Afraid!
Lastly, it’s your home and sanctuary. Don’t be afraid to play, experiment and mix it up now and again!