1 - The 80/20 rule
Designer Abigail Ahern swears by it and it is the perfect trick to make sure your room is not crazy nor completely blah, just the right amount of interesting! Applying it is simple: put together a composed look throughout your space, but reserve 20% of it to go a little crazy! Bold colours, love-it-or-hate-it art and statement pieces can all have their place in your space if they are part of those 20%. But use the full 20%, any less and you might get bored of your room quicker!
2 - Fake high ceilings
It is a very simple trick to give a visual feeling of height in your space: using low furniture. Ottomans, stools, coffee tables or low sideboards will bring the attention down and leave more space on the walls and therefore give the illusion that there is more of it. And to enhance this even more, paint your ceiling in “cold” colours and your walls in warm shades: as we have seen briefly before, cold colours recede while warm colours advance so by doing this you will make the ceiling seem a little further away!
3 – Don’t do anything until you decide your colour palette
It’s one of the most common mistakes to be made in Interior Design but you wouldn’t catch the pros making it. What happens when you don’t define a clear palette is that your brain doesn’t know where to look first or next, making it “work” too much and creating a feeling of mess even if your room is tidy. By using a few specific colours you have less information to process and it instantly feels more put together.
4 - Complementary colours
For the exact same reason as above, using complementary colours is the way to go to ease the eye. But the second great thing about this is that it takes away all the guess work! Just look at a colour wheel and you know that any colour will go perfectly with the one directly opposite on the wheel. So no need to wonder what goes with what! That’s peace of mind for you!
5 – Making neutrals interesting
It is the way a lot of people choose to go to get timeless interiors, neutrals do indeed have this quality of aging well and you can’t go wrong with them. BUT! Neutral shades, because they go with everything, don’t really have their own “personality” and can be on the boring side very quickly. So how do we use neutrals in our interiors and make them interesting? With texture! A simple painted grey wall is common, a textured linen grey wall is already much more exciting! Use lots of different textures for your neutrals and you have a winning scheme: timeless and interesting!
6 - Pile the pillows high!
And that’s not just for your bed! Having a sofa with two pillows on, especially in the same fabric, makes it look like they came with it so the little secret here is to use contrasting pairs for style and at least 2 pairs for comfort. And on the bed you can go crazy! We always say that Interior Designers have at least 8 pillows on their beds, so be an Interior Designer too!
7 - Fake square footage
When you have a small space, any trick is good to try and make your room seem bigger. One of these tricks is to use glass doors instead of plain ones, whether between your spaces or to the outside, to give your eye extra space to look at. This way you don’t focus just on the space you are in. This works particularly well in bathrooms: put a glass door to an Italian shower to avoid breaking the space like a curtain or translucent panel would.
8 - Symmetry is your best friend
One of the easiest way to achieve a professional look, symmetry is widely used in Interior Design. Why? For the same reason explained in points 3 and 4: give your brain some help in its room-scanning job! We naturally associate order with beauty so symmetry gives us a feeling that everything is where it belongs. It’s good to know so you can arrange your room and accessories but you can go further: if you like using patterns but are not sure how to mix them, place them in pairs on opposite sides of your room, symmetrically, and they will harmoniously come together!
9 - Paint smaller rooms in lighter shades
You already know to use mirrors to create light and space into small rooms and we have looked at glass doors too but this tip will help achieve the same: painting your walls in light and soft colours will help the light to bounce and travel and virtually push the walls back making your interiors feel larger than they are!
10 - Paint or wallpaper your bookcases
I love this trick because it can make any basic bookcase look great! By adding a pop of colour or some lovely wallpaper, in contrast with the rest of your walls, you can make that utilitarian piece of furniture very interesting. And you can be very creative: you could use different colours for each shelf, do an ombré effect or introduce patterns (with wallpaper) without taking too much risk!
Have your own tricks, tips and little secrets you have been using at home? Share them with us in the comments!
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