Maybe you just moved into your new home, or are looking to do a few little tweaks with your interior space, or perhaps you want a more significant change. Whatever the need, there are some well-known design tricks that designers regularly use that you too can easily do with minimal cost and effort. Sometimes the smallest change can make a huge impact. It could be the addition of a painting, a mirror, a lamp, or even a plant. Maybe you want to brighten a bathroom, or soften you walls, or add some warmth to your living space. Whatever change you are seeking, here are a few design tips to help spark some inspiration.
1. Paint smaller rooms in softer, lighter colors to help make the room feel larger.
Sometimes it can be difficult to know how to maximize a small living space. A small room can sometimes feel cramped or constricting, but large windows, light-colored walls and ample use of mirrors can not only reflect the natural light from the windows, but the use of mirrors magically create the optical illusion of more space, making the room seem much larger than it actually is. Conversely, darker colors have quite the opposite effect by making a space feel smaller. Even if a room has plenty of natural light and several mirrors, a dark shade creates a boxed-in feel.
2. Use decorative mirrors to add instant light to your living space.
As mentioned above, mirrors can easily transform a small space by making it feel larger. But that’s not all! Mirrors can also be an excellent addition for a large room with a limited amount of natural light. Try placing a mirror directly across from a window to add instant illumination the entire space. Have you been having trouble finding the perfect artwork for that blank wall space? A decorative mirror can be a great substitute for art that provides more than just visual aesthetics. Large, or small, mirrors add dimension and light to any space.
3. Mix it up. Mix up patterns and textures. Mix up old and new, expensive and inexpensive.
Mix up patterns and textures, mix up the old and the new, the expensive and inexpensive. There’s nothing wrong with having a vintage statement piece next to a modern table, or an antique lamp next to your mid-century couch. Any skilled interior decorator will tell you that the most important aspect of decorating any space is that it reflects who you are by exemplifying your style and personality. Maybe that brown leather couch you inherited from your father tells the story of your childhood, or that antique desk you found at the flea market sparks your creative flow. Whatever the connection, your furniture has the ability to tell the story of your past while influencing emotions that effect your future. There’s no reason the past and present can beautifully co-exist together. This also applies to art. You may not want to put a Renoir and a Dali on the same wall, but there’s no reason they can’t be in the same room together. The same can be said for fabrics, mix up those rugs and pillows, play around with colors you wouldn’t usually pair together. Try some geometric black and white pillows on that brown couch for a chic Aztec vibe. Whatever mix-up your heart desires, varied patterns and colors can inspire a happy well-being, and bring texture and warmth to any living space.
4. Pots, Pans, and More Pots!
Kitchens are meant to be an inviting space for the whole family. We spend most of our time in the kitchen – whether it be from prepping meals, serving dinner, or entertaining guests. A hanging pot rack serves as a functional statement piece for the most highly trafficked space in your home. Not only does it give you an excuse to show off those beautiful brass pots you got from your wedding registry, but it also creates a functional aesthetic that adds a creative texture to the entire room. Kitchens are inherently designed to feel that they are in constant use, and a hanging pot rack only enhances this feeling. There are many sizes and styles to choose from, and another added benefit is the creation of more cupboard space where those pots and pans used to be!
5. Go Green
Plants, plants, and more plants. Add them to your living space. Put them in every room, large or small, few or many. Plants can enhance and accessorize your home by adding color, texture, and warmth, not to mention – they are inexpensive! Not only are plants beautiful but they also provide clean air and balance humidity. They have the ability to remove harmful gases from the air and absorb pollutants. What are you waiting for? Go buy some plants!
6. Paint or Wallpaper your Bookcase
Need to re-energize a room? Try taking that old boring bookcase and add a pop of color! It’s amazing how something as simple as a colorful coat of paint can transform a space. This doesn’t just apply to bookcases, perhaps one of the most inexpensive and simple ways to renovate any interior is by adding a coat of paint somewhere unexpected. Bookcases can be fun because they provide a small area to try out without committing to a drastic change. Some other good creative options are the insides of closets, fireplace mantels, hallways, and ceilings. Do you have an old brick fireplace that’s an obvious eye-sore? Try painting the brick a flat white to transform the room and create an instant mid-century style vibe.
7. Soften Hardwood Floors with Area Rugs
Rugs can add great texture while providing warmth, color, and personality to any living space. Carpeted floors add sound dampening and comfort (especially in winter months), but they can be aesthetically unpleasing and incredibly challenging to keep clean. Hardwood floors, on the other hand, are beautiful to look at while also being simple to maintain. Want the best of both worlds? Add that softening comfort to your wood floors with an eclectic area rug. You can use several variations of patterns and fabric to highlight the character in the wood floors or to showcase your own personal character. You can even add several rugs of the same texture and pattern, but with different colors. The possibilities are endless. Animal hide rugs have been popular as of late due to their ability to instantly transform a room from drab to chic. You can change up the entire feel of the season by using warmer tones in the cooler months and lighter tones during the warmer seasons. There are also many lovely washable cotton rugs, which are ideal for homes with children or pets. There is no reason why a home with large or furry family can’t be a stylish one.
8. Use What You Have
We all have items we don’t use; they may be packed up in boxes or stored in long forgotten cabinets. Well now is the perfect time to take inventory of what you have, and find a way to re-purpose your possessions into something useful! Wood, acrylic, metal or silver trays are a wonderful accessory to add on top of tables, tea carts, or luggage racks. Do you want to add some extra texture and dimension to your old boring nightstand or coffee table? Arrange candles or old picture frames for instant vibrancy. Dig through those old children’s books or comics and frame some of your favorite pages for eclectic artwork that will rapidly alter your kid’s room or nursery. You will be amazed transformative power of the things you already possess!