First , let me say thank you to everyone for all of your incredibly kind comments and words…they mean more to me than you’ll ever know.
Ok, so I’m on a little roll and decided to take advantage of it and blog again. People ask me often if there are any secrets that stylist or designers use to give your house or space that certain look and feel....Kind of, "tips of the trade" . Well, I’ve given this some thought from time to time and I’ve come up with some ideas. Actually, these"tips" are things that I do for both styling and interior design. I’ve used them professionally and personally , and they work.
To start, review your space. Stand back and get a different view of your room. That same room that you look at day in and day out. It is however that room that you sometimes stop noticing . This sounds so silly , but when I have a new styling job or a new client, I usually take scouting images that I can look at. You’d be amazed at how different this one tool can be .
|before picture and the after below|
|room with a different view after styling|
When you have these images gives some thought to my next biggie, yup, it's one that we've all heard over and over BUT makes so much of a difference…de-clutter. This sometimes is all you need, get rid of those chotchkies (had to look that one up) , remove the old plants that have cobwebs and dust accumulating on them. Its ok to say good bye to a plant when it it’s had it’s day (this from a woman who won’t kill a spider, I pick it up in a Dixie cup and let it outside…for another story). While doing this try if you can to find a place for “your stuff”…newspapers, magazines, pictures that have accumulated, books, laptops, headphones, slippers,…… At this point you may want to head to my next tip and find some great baskets or places for all things that drive you crazy( if they don’t drive you crazy, just leave them there and skip this section).
|get rid of those plants that have had better days|
Adding texture to any space makes the most amazing addition to a room. Large baskets, area rugs, vessels or containers can add just what any room needs, whether its contemporary or traditional, it always works. You'll be adding a different dimension and that never gets busy. Pottery barn has a heathered chenille jute rug that I use over and over and over. It’s reasonably priced and works with kids, pets, etc…I love it; my only negative is that the largest size is 9 x 12 (bummer). Pottery Barn also has great baskets, try the beacomber for wood or one of their basket type coffee table trays.
|texture from rug, texture from chair, texture from window treatments|
|texture and contrasts|
I’d like to write a book about contrasts, they make my heart sing (ok, not really but they do work). I love black and white, shiny and dull, wood and metal, old and new…A home with all antiques looks great when you add a mid century modern chair to it. Just like a very country traditional home can really come to life with some modern light fixtures or lamps. Try it, add some simple black frames from west elm and put some old black and white images . Try repeating the same frame on a wall or creating an arrangement of any sort.
|mid century modern chairs in a modern dining area|
|contrast against the white wall|
|contrasts at March in San Fran|
And that brings me to my next secret (well, not really a secret but a tip), Light fixtures……lamps, wall sconces, chandeliers, etc, etc, etc…They can add so much to your space. Check out West Elm, Circa lighting, Restoration Hardware, School house electric… I have my electrician on speed dial…this will be well worth any money you spend.
|christopher peacock and amazing light fixtures|
|modern pendant in a traditional setting|
Art work….I was always rather afraid of art ….I never really knew what I liked and I tended to shy away from purchasing. It wasn’t until years ago that I made the decision to take the plunge and buy only what I liked. It didn’t need to be expensive or trendy, it only had to be something that spoke to me. I'm an avid birder and I love having framed images of them in my house. I found black and white prints from an old aviary book and framed them. I’ve also collected maps from various trips and framed those as well. Anything goes. My stairway has become a kind-of art gallery for me. I’ve framed anything and everything, including my kids letters from long ago. I love the trip up and down the stairs and look forward to seeing so many of these things that were stored away for years.
|bird prints and artwork photo eric roth|
Well, there are so many more tips that I'd like to share and I'll keep some for another day. But, if all else fails or doesn't excite you...try a bowl of green apples.. They are a sure thing..
All my best, kelly