Tips for giving your home the designer look

by Charlotte Smith

Giving your home the designer look

Have you always longed for a designer home like the ones you see on TV shows and in magazines? Have you given up because it seems perpetually out of reach? You might be surprised. A lot of the tricks that designers use are simple ones you can apply yourself. With the right approach, you can give your home the same sense of timeless elegance.

Enhance your home’s natural assets

Most homes have something about them that’s distinctive and charismatic. Perhaps you have sloping attic ceilings, an attractive central staircase, unusually shaped windows or even something as simple as a hatch between the kitchen and dining room. Features like that can almost always be enhanced, and they’re often the first place that professional designers begin their work when planning an interior. Small niches that look odd when neglected can be enhanced with books, ornaments or carefully chosen light features. Awkward angles and recesses can be transformed with contrasting paint or wallpaper.

Open up space

Tips for giving your home the designer look

If there’s one thing that really stands out about designer homes, it’s how much space they seem to have. Most people have far less space to work with but there are still things that can be done to give the impression of more. Simply painting your ceilings a lighter shade than your walls makes rooms look bigger. Doing away with bulky drapes in favor of plantation shutters opens up space around your windows and lets in more light. Big mirrors bounce that light around – placed on end walls, they make rooms look longer. Planning out storage so that everything has a place to live reduces clutter and makes it easier to keep everything spotlessly clean.

Don’t match, complement

Homes put together on a budget tend to bring together all sorts of disparate items without much regard for style. Give people a little more money and they tend to try and take control by assembling items that match – pieces of furniture made from the same wood, the same fabrics for drapes and cushion covers, and so on. That isn’t how designers do it. Truly impressive style emerges when items with subtly different colors, materials and textures work together to bring out the best in one another. Theme your rooms around particular color combinations and be careful to avoid clashes but let the rest develop organically.

Make use of molding

Tips for giving your home the designer look

If you want to make your rooms look elegant, you need to stop them looking like boxes. Part of how hard lines have traditionally been broken up is through the use of moulding. In its simpler forms it’s quite affordable and you can buy it in pieces which are simple to mount if you follow the instructions. If you’re going to use it around the edges of the ceiling or mount a ceiling medallion, bear in mind that the taller the room, the fancier the moulding you can get away with. You can also use it on baseboards or the dado line. You can even consider mounting carved wooden ‘molding’ on wooden furniture and varnishing it to look like part of the original.

Pay attention to details

The chances are that there are lots of little things around your home that you could easily improve. Because they’re small you might not think about them much, but together they can make quite a difference to the overall impression the place makes. Consider replacing the handles on your doors, changing your light switches, your scatter cushions, the splashback in your kitchen. When everything fits the same style it creates the impression that your home is a product not of accident but of design. When even the smallest details convey quality and consideration, the effect of bigger design decisions is considerably enhanced.

Add some greenery

A beautiful garden provides the perfect introduction to any home. If you don’t have a garden outside, you can always have one inside. Designers make a lot of use of plants because they immediately convey freshness and show that a home is well cared for. Don’t limit yourself to flowers in the windows. Attractively shaped plants can make great table centerpieces and if you have enough space, you could even consider a small indoor tree for your living room. If you have a fireplace not in active use, the mantel can make a great place for trailing plants.

The more you work to develop your décor, the more confident you’ll become. Soon you’ll have a home to be proud of – one that really conveys your style vision.


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