You know when you walk into a staged or a model home, and it’s lovely but it feels…well, staged. Or when you visit a friend and her house is absolutely gorgeous, but it feels a little too styled? On the other hand, you’ve seen homes that are a mish-mash of stuff – overstuffed furniture, pictures, knick-knacks, pillows – that look a bit too lived in.
So, what’s the secret to designing an attractive space that’s also warm and inviting?
What do I say in nearly every blog?
Design is in the details!
If you’re not sure where to get started, here are some of my tips for turning your house into a home!
Discover What You Like
First and foremost, no matter what advice I give, it’s your home. You have to love what you bring into it, regardless of what’s stylish or on trend, because otherwise, your house will never feel like a home. Take a designers’ approach, and start with the color palette and overall style you want, first, such as a coastal feel with coastal colors. This will give you your direction and inspiration as you move forward.
Starting With Colors
You’ve got your color palette chosen and a style you want to bring out. A good rule of thumb is to not get too match-matchy with your colors. For example, let’s say you found a gorgeous throw pillow in a gorgeous soft blue and creamy linen color – perfect for a coastal theme, right? So, everything in that room should be that soft blue and creamy linen color, from the walls to the rugs, right?
Not quite. If you’re in love with those two colors, absolutely use them throughout the space, but create interest and an inviting feel with some different patterns, textures, and contrasting tones. Use your color palette to its full potential in your room so it doesn’t feel oppressively matching!
When you’re furnishing your spaces, bring in more natural materials. They automatically provide more warmth and personality than synthetics and metals. For example, natural wood elements such as cocktail and end tables, shelving, and millwork feel more inviting and warm than metal or glass while also showing a high-quality look. Shiplap is on trend right now because of the rustic warmth it adds to a space that’s inviting and comfortable.
The same rule applies to the textiles in your home, too. Rugs made from jute, cotton, or wool are going to feel softer and richer than synthetic fibers, offering both beauty and comfort, and last for years. Leather, velvet, and linen are beautiful, natural options for upholstery that provide you with durability, quality, and comfort. Does anything say “home” like a soft, warm velvet armchair, or a cool linen sofa to sink into?
If you’re relying on overhead lighting, especially builder-grade, flush-mounted light fixtures and generic ceiling fans, you’re missing an incredible opportunity. Lighting is one of the most effective ways to dress up your home and infuse your style easily and inexpensively! Ditch the dreaded…ahem…”boob light” look and update your look with a chandelier or pendant light that matches your personality and the style you’re looking for. .
Also, don’t rely on only overhead lighting in your rooms. A welcoming space relies on different light sources to create the feel, and table lamps add additional soft lighting that counteracts any glare from overhead light sources. Even better, table lamps help define the function of spaces in each room, such as a work area or a reading nook, and they come in such an array of materials and designs, they make fantastic accessories, too!
Blend Old and New Pieces
I love to blend old and new pieces into my designs, rather than just choosing to go totally antique or totally new. Why is that? When your room has a crisp, new sofa flanked by antique, one of a kind end tables, they highlight each other and create interest. On a smaller scale, brand new lamps resting beside antique books creates an eye-catching juxtaposition.
When you’re blending one-of-a-kind vintage and antique pieces against bright, new items, the contrast lets each piece stand out. Plus, a room done totally in priceless antiques feels like a museum while a room that is completely new and pristine feels like a showroom. Mix it up for a cool, homey feel!
Edit Your Space
Since design is in the details, you may be tempted to add every detail you love to your newly designed room. And it’s true – books, bowls, candles, flowers, pictures – those ALL give life to your rooms and give you a finished space.
However, too many details can be overpowering and make your room feel cluttered, small, and oppressive. I recommend that, unless you’re starting from scratch, take the accessories out and start with a clean slate. Then bring back elements one or two at a time so you can find that perfect balance. Also, make sure you’re only adding in pieces you truly love – that, more than anything, is what makes a house a home.
Reach Out to a Professional
If you want to turn your house into a dream home with attractive furnishings, gorgeous color palettes, and a look that reflects exactly who you are, bring in a professional designer. Even if it’s only for a one-hour consultation, she or he can give you insight on the steps you can take to create your dream room and point you in the right direction.
Ready to transform your house into a dream home, but you’re not sure where to get started? Let me help! I’ve been professionally designing homes and offices for over ten years, helping my clients turn their vision into reality! Reach out today to schedule a consultation!