ELEVATE YOUR SPACE
INTERIOR DESIGN TIPS
Establishing your interior design style or updating your home can be exciting, yet overwhelming. A project that might seem straightforward at first can begin to feel complicated soon after you begin. Before you find yourself buried under hundreds of paint samples or staring at a gallery wall that just can’t seem to come together, heed some advice from our experts. Here, our award-winning designers provide simple tips to revamp and elevate your space.
How to Select Paint Colors
Emily Conley, Interior Designer
Updating paint color is a great way to refresh a room. Pay attention to the hard finishes in the space while you look through the paint decks and start pulling options. While selecting colors, always try to be in natural light and have the painter do sample swatches on the walls. Lighting can affect color, so until it’s in the space it will be difficult to tell how it will really look.
As for color palette, I prefer sticking to neutrals most of the time. I tend to lean towards warmer whites and grays. My go to is Benjamin Moore “Revere Pewter.” It goes well with every scheme!
For a subtler look, stick with creamy whites. For an elegant look, go for warmer tones. And for a vibrant look, play around with saturated, dark colors.
Accent-paint walls, painting one wall different than the others, can create a great focal point in a space. My favorite place to showcase accent walls is behind the headboard in bedrooms. Keep in mind the importance of color coordination from room to room. Continuity is key, so try to keep the same color throughout and add accents if needed.
How to Hang Art
Lisa Yates, Interior Designer
I find that art is more often noticed and appreciated when placed at the appropriate height. The center of the piece should always be right around eye level, which typically falls around 60” above the floor. You can adjust accordingly if you’re shorter or taller, but this is the best way to ensure that you’re getting the maximum view of the piece.
If you’re hanging something above a piece of furniture, the magic number tends to fall between four to six inches above the piece of furniture. Be sure to consider relative scale; Art that is two-thirds the width of the piece of furniture is a good rule of thumb. When in doubt, go larger!
Groupings (and this is the most common mistake I see) should always be placed close together and read as one. When hanging two pieces vertically, your center line from the floor will still be sixty inches and should be centered between the two pieces. The sample applies to larger groupings – always find the center line. There should only be a couple of inches between the pieces, so they don’t look disconnected.
Gallery walls, too, fall within this category and deserve a few pointers. Patience is key! It will take a while to hang a gallery wall. Measure and check two, three, four times, so you only hammer once. A great trick is to trace the frames on paper and lay them out on the wall with painters’ tape before you set the nails.
Either find a theme and stick with it – for example, black and white photos or all botanicals – or go completely eclectic. Eclectic walls are a great way to mix in framed prints with other unique objects like mirrors, skulls, or even wall hangings. You can have fun here and nothing is off limits.
How to Select Lighting
Bri Rasmussen, Interior Designer
Start by establishing the need for the light. Is it decorative or task oriented? With decorative lighting, I love it to be an extension of art in the home. Selecting a piece to be a focal point and create interest in a space is always great for discussion. When selecting decorative lighting, be sure it is proportionate for the space it is going in.
When selecting task lighting, again, determine a definitive purpose. Is it light for wall art or is it reading light? Typically, you want task lighting to blend away or be discrete. Lighting selections can make or break features in your home. Make sure you provide accurate lighting where necessary. Steer away from under lighting or providing so much light that it’s glaring or distracting.
How to Mix + Match Fabrics
Elle Schwab, Interior Designer
There are endless ways to mix and match fabrics but there are rules of thumb to follow to do it right. When creating a new space, style and color schemes are where you need to begin: What do you want your color palette to be? What is your overall vision of the space?
Remember to keep tones consistent. Pick your favorite furniture piece and work off its theme to incorporate other fabrics with the same colors and tones. I love to use multi-color fabrics that read as solids for larger upholstery items. If you’re willing to put a little bit more of a “wow” factor into the piece, an occasional chair with a pattern is fun and unique.
Feel free to get bold and creative with pillows by including an array of fabrics. Mixing one to two different patterns with a coordinating solid is my favorite. Even after picking the main fabric for a pillow, there are ways to make the scheme even more cohesive by using those same fabrics for edge detailing on other furniture pieces.
I always love fabrics with a “good hand” as in a soft touch. Texture is always a plus. My favorite color themes in fabrics are cool tones and neutrals – blues, teals, grays and whites. Ultimately, the theme you choose should always reflect your personal preferences and the vision you’re trying to achieve.