By: Leanne Mueller
You know the feeling when you walk into a room and it just feels right – not too simple, not overly designed, just perfectly imperfect. Then you start pondering your own home…Why doesn’t my kitchen look that inviting? Why doesn’t my entry foyer feel welcoming? We have all been there and I am here to tell you that effortless design does not require extensive schooling or an inherent creative gene. Successfully styling a space, so that it appears effortlessly designed, is quite possible with a few simple tricks of the trade. I discussed this topic with a few of my designer friends and am here to pass along our strategies for styling a room with ease.
That doesn’t match Don’t be afraid to mix things up! It is perfectly okay to blend modern style with vintage charm, or clean-line furnishings with more relaxed fabrics. For instance, adding a wool or chunky throw to a contemporary leather sofa will balance out the sleek, cool feel and send an invitation to curl up and relax.
Layer tones and textures To add depth and dimension in any room, try mixing different textures, as well as varied tones within the same color family. You will see that this provides interest and detail. Your space will have a subtle yet inviting feel with very little effort
Make a statement Every space needs a focal point and designers have a variety of approaches to creating focal points in each room. For some designers, the star of the show is a statement light fixture; for others, it is a piece of collected art or an interesting area rug. Whatever statement piece you choose, be sure that the surrounding furnishings and accessories subtly blend in and don’t compete for attention.
Tidy up A clean and organized space is a must! Esthetically-pleasing baskets and containers are two of my favorite little helpers for containing my clutter and fulfilling my need for organization and balance. For example, my pantry has a wide variety of “stuff” that lives there. To keep it looking tidy, I use a set of glass storage containers on my shelves to maintain organization. This approach makes small spaces more visually appealing and leaves you feeling organized. This same design strategy can be used in your mudroom with baskets on open shelves or placed under a bench.
Let there be light Last, but definitely not least, on all of our lists is the importance of properly lighting your space. A room that feels bright and airy during the day because of natural light flooding in through the windows can turn to a dark and uninspired space at night. Make sure to provide a few different light sources for each area of your home, allowing you to control the level of light. Dimmers are definitely worth the extra cash to help with effortlessly setting the perfect mood in any room. If you are not confident in how to properly light your home, there is a lot of information available online, or stop by North Coast Lighting (NorthCoastLighting.com), Seattle Lighting (SeattleLighting.com), or Destination Lighting (destinationlighting.com) for ideas, inspiration, and advice.