sMARt Decorating Tips

This week I was given the challenge to update the home of my Executive Producer for BetterTV!  She happens to live here in town now, and can I do four rooms for $1200?  Given my recent success with the Today Show’s Deck Makeover, I was excited and in no time, I was off and running.

So here are my top six smart Tips:

1. Before I start I always think about the person I am designing for – so you need to think about your lifestyle – and you will certainly draw inspiration. So do this first, yourself, before trying to actually buy things or paint a wall. In the end, you will be more able to focus on what you want and what will make you happy versus focusing on what you can’t do with your space. For example: Do children need to share the space? If so, what space will be “theirs”? How durable does the furniture need to be? What colors make you happy? Sad?

2. I love to help people jump off of the “matchy-matchy” design treadmill. How? I really encourage them to mix and match styles, pulled from different stores, and it’s the easiest way to get the most “professional designer” look without spending that kind of money. You might not put the whole look together at one time, which is actually okay. And more good news: you can continue to add to your look in your next place.

3. I think it’s critical to take photos of the space and any measurements with you when you go shopping so I can be more decisive when I find something I think might work. Being able to say “I want it” on the spot is something I call “Pulling the trigger.” Today, with almost everyone having a camera on one’s phone, there is no reason to not be able to do this.

4. Go green: find a way to add something natural. For example, a large plant like a fichus or a palm can easily fill empty space. Just please get a real one!

5. Get a style in mind and stick to it. I usually ask for photos from magazines of styles my clients love, so you should keep a file of similar images for your own reference. It also helps you save money; viewing this before you shop places a mental note in your mind of the overall feel you are drawn to rather than focusing your wallet on a specific piece. You will have more fun when you create the look and feel you love rather than just duplicating it.

6. I tell people to look up and dream – about new light fixtures, that is. Design is in the details, including the lamps. What would you change overhead? With so many people handy, why not swap out your light fixtures, as many are a snap to put back. Consider a dramatic change – it adds a distinct look easier than painting your walls.

Note: All these tips that work whether you own or rent your place.

Those are just a few of my tips and tricks. What do you guys do? Find me on Pinterest or Facebook and tell us your favorite trick – better yet, post a photo!

Want to get inspired by more simple & smart ideas? Check out these articles:

Attention to details

Architectural decor