With internet platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram there is no shortage of inspiring images of beautiful spaces but they don’t always show you how to decorate like a design pro. Even though we can see that a space is exceptional and know we love it, it’s not always easy to see why that space works or what elements are contributing to it’s exceptional’ness.
You start the process of decorating your home feeling confident only to have your space visually fall flat. This leaves you feeling frustrated and sad because a having beautiful home that reflects you is a huge source of comfort, happiness, and freedom. Why isn’t it working? It’s not like you don’t know what you like or what you are trying to achieve.
The reason a Designer or someone naturally gifted at design is able to achieve the “wow-factor” is because they know fail safe ways to get there. They know where to splurge and where to save to get the most impact out of a budget and they aren’t afraid to make bold decisions. To achieve a designer-look isn’t you trying to be uppity or fake or you pretending to be someone you’re not. It’s actually you being equipped with the tools to help you be more of who you already are. You can take your unique style and create a space that wows and ALSO reflects you. You can achieve your perfect version of a dream home. Here are 10 sure fire ways to decorate like a design pro!
If it’s large, it makes an instant visual impact and gives the space a glamorous, high-end feel. The art can be anything too; a vintage photo of a rock star or a vibrant stack of donuts, whatever suits you. In addition, when you use art that’s playful or quirky, it adds a dash of casualness to the glamour and shows off your fun personality.
Swap out the boring flush mount lighting for goodness sake! Instead opt for a conversation starter: feminine or sculptural chandeliers, modern or vintage style pendants — you name it. Interesting lighting fixtures are a sure fire way to make your space unique and chic.
Here’s three of my favorite: 1) Mix glamorous fabrics, such as velvets and silks, with more casual fabrics, like linens or cotton. If you have a velvet sofa, try mixing it with linen-covered chairs. 2) Mix rustic, beat-up wood with glam brass and gold. 3) Mix periods and styles… modern with traditional, feminine with mid-century, ethnic with contemporary. You get the idea.
This is one of my favorite secrets on how to decorate like a design pro. Using a variety of textures keeps the space from feeling flat. Variation in texture adds interest in a subtle and sophisticated way. It also makes a space more inviting which is always a good feeling to have in a home! Lastly, using contrasting texture can help to highlight the individual beauty of each piece. For example, a polished marble that reflects light will visually stand out more when it’s next to matte material as opposed to other shiny textures.
Add a bold pattern somewhere in the space. This can be done with wallpaper, a rug or even patterned window treatments. And let’s be frank… spaces that have bold choices are what feel designed because they are making an artistic statement. You can mix patterns as well, but be mindful: patterns need to vary in scale in order to flow.
In other words, use something that feels unexpected! This shakes things up from appearing overly curated and makes the design feel more effortless. A wild card could be anything from a random pop of color to an object that stylistically differs from the items around it.
Using custom-made drapes in your space allows you to reflect your unique style without limitations! Ready-made options are only offered in limited sizes and those offered are not always a perfect fit for every window. When use custom, your options open up with a much wider variety of gorgeous patterns, colors, and trims. Not only can you design your drapes to match and flow with your space, but the drapes themselves can be one of the reasons your space is unique and elevated.
This is huge when it comes to decorating like a design pro! I encourage clients to splurge on upholstered goods. A sofa and/or chairs are worth spending good money on. It needs to be comfortable and well made to withstand… well… body weight and usage. It’s also VERY easy to spot a cheap upholstered good. I say spend on your sofa and chairs and save on goods like coffee tables and side tables. It’s much easier to find cost effective options for these pieces.
Now, hear me out. I’m not saying that you have to use a lot of color (or any color at all) in order to get the designer look. I am all for people creating a home that is perfect for them! For some people that means pops of color. For others that means layers upon layers of neutrals.
BUT I think color can sometime be intimidating so I want to encourage those of you who crave color to have the courage and the permission to go for it!
If deep down you’ve always wanted a pink sofa then don’t be afraid to go for it. You’ll love the pink sofa far longer than a plain grey sofa if it’s deep down what you love! When it comes to color make sure you make a plan! In my Thoughtful Nesting course I teach my students how to make a Color and Materials palette so they can use color with confidence!
They make any space feel instantly more vibrant and stylish. When you aren’t a pro florist, my suggestion is to buy double what you think you need and stick to one kind of flower per vase. A vase full of hydrangeas is more impactful than a poorly arranged bouquet, easier to achieve, and can make ordinary furniture, like coffee tables and credenzas, really pop.
See? Decorating like a pro isn’t so hard! Want to learn more tips on how to decorate like a design pro? Check out this blog post!