Top professional interior designers have a few tips to help you to start your home decorating, whether you DIY or are working with an interior design. Here are their top five.
1. Every room needs a focal point.
A focal point is what your eyes are drawn to when you enter a room. When a room has a focal point, everything falls into place around it, or at least it should. Sometimes rooms have competing focal points, such as a functional focal point like a TV and an aesthetic focal point like a fireplace, and this requires some extra creativity, such as the trend to place the TV above the fireplace. If your focal point is an eyesore (like a clunky old TV) transform it. Hide it behind sliding bamboo panels or in an armoire. If your room doesn't have a focal point, create one. For example, buy or create a beautiful headboard and make that the focus.
2. Embrace contrast and great rid of the furniture suite.
Today's style is all about contrast. Use different textures, materials and patterns. Use furniture from varying time periods. To keep it looking curated and eclectic, not chaotic, tie the room together with repetition of color, wood tones and furniture heights. Avoid buying matching suites of furniture. Your tastes will change over the years. With buying different furniture pieces, your furnishings can grow with you. Your home will show how your style has evolved and not remained frozen.
3. Declutter, declutter, declutter.
You can beautify your home as much as you'd like, but if your house is full of clutter, the clutter is the story and not your impeccable taste. As we get older, we accumulate so much stuff. Don't hang on to what you don't need. Purge and edit to keep clutter to a minimum. Once you've done that, conceal what's ugly and make the most of what isn't. And don't forget visual clutter. Busy wallpaper can sometimes make a perfectly tidy room look messy and so can bright brick fireplaces. Consider taking down the wallpaper and painting a fireplace one solid, neutral tone. Painting fireplaces white makes a dramatic difference.
4. Don't forget lighting.
With so many things to consider in a room, it's easy to forget something so practical as lighting. But that would be a mistake. Lighting can really transform a room, especially when it's used at different levels. For instance: in kitchens use overhead lighting, such as track lighting pointed to highlight cabinets; use table- or counter-level lighting to create intimacy; use practical lighting under-cabinet to make sure you have enough light when you're cooking.
5. Great unexpected expectations.
The point is, sometimes what makes a room great is that it has a dash of the unexpected. That little something extra that makes the whole room POP. Examples of that wow factor with a big budget could be an infinity tub in a bathroom or a floor-to-ceiling waterfall in a loft. A wow factor on a budget could be using an antique iron gate as a headboard or a vintage door as a dining table top.