How to Create the Perfect Guest Bedroom

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With the holiday season upon us, we may find ourselves welcoming more overnight guests into our homes. Whether it’s friends traveling in from another state, extended family from overseas or a friend who’s had one too many at our festive cocktail party, ensuring your guest bedroom is a welcoming space is more important than ever at this time of year.

How do you make sure you’re prepared and guests leave feeling like VIPs in your home? It actually comes down to some of the finer details of our space. Creating a cozy and private room for guests to relax doesn’t have to cost the earth but it can be important to pay attention to a few things that are easy to prepare ahead of time.

First up is possibly the most obvious. You should always have a set of crisp, clean, good-quality sheets at the ready for last minute guests. We all know that great bedding can lead to a great night’s sleep so give your guests the 5-star treatment with a high-quality thread count. As with all bedding, buy the best that you can afford.

You’ll want to include an additional blanket folded at the end of the bed in case they get a bit chilly in the night too. There’s little denying that a great looking throw gives any bed a luxurious finish.

A set of clean towels (preferably a matching set!) is also a given. You’ll want to include at least one bath sheet, a hand towel and a face towel for each guest.

Have a fresh pitcher or carafe of water at the bedside table to quench your guest’s thirst and remember to refill it with fresh water for every night they stay. Want to create an ever more exclusive feel in your home? A small tea or coffee station in the room will allow guests to help themselves in the morning.

via Lonny / Photographed by Toto Labrador

via Lonny / Photographed by Toto Labrador

It’s always helpful to have a free electrical outlet somewhere (preferably near the bed) to allow your guests to plug in and recharge their phone or devices overnight. And don’t forget to share your wi-fi password too!

Leave some space on a hanging rail or in a wardrobe to allow guests to hang up their clothing. You can also clear out a drawer in a dresser and be sure to let your guests know it’s there waiting for their personal items.

Fresh flowers polish off any room so a small vase of blooms on a nightstand creates a lively welcoming atmosphere. Be sure to change them out if they start to droop during a longer stay.

A small empty bowl can be placed on the bedside table to corral any jewellery or watches that guests may remove so they won’t lose track of it during their stay.

A small box of travel toiletries is also a nice touch just in case your guests have forgotten something – shampoos, conditioners, body wash and moisturiser could come in handy. A new toothbrush, a small tube of toothpaste and a fresh disposable razor are always helpful too. Want to go the extra mile? Include some luxury bath products to up the 5 Star factor!

Why not leave a selection of books and magazines you think your guests might enjoy in the room as well? If they are staying for a longer time period, you might wish to include a map of the area, highlighting any great sightseeing spots they might want to take in during their visit or restaurants you would recommend.

For a real taste of luxury, consider leaving a fresh bathrobe and new slippers for each guest – always in crisp, clean white!

And for a final flourish, a small bowl of chocolates or candy will create a luxury hotel feel without a lot of effort.

It’s the little things that clearly add up to a great stay in your home so make sure your guests feel welcome at all times with these little tips!

Looking for the perfect pieces for your guest bedroom? Check out our Bridgehampton Collection! Here’s our take on the perfect guest bedroom.

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wallpaper / art / bed / nightstand / lamp / octopus cushion / blue pattern cushion / woven throw / armchair / armoire

 

How to Create a Cozy Neutral Look for Winter

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With the colder weather finally here and looking to stay awhile, you may be wondering how to create a warm look in your home to carry you through until the warmer months are here again. For me, the best way to have a room read as ‘warm and cozy’ is through layers of textiles and colors inspired by our natural surroundings. Neutral hues are not only beautiful, they also rarely go out of fashion so incorporating these colors into your design is always a great way to ensure you won’t tire of it any time soon.

Of course, there are varying shades of taupe, chocolate, beige or the many other shades that could be construed as being in the brown family which may immediately come to mind when we think about neutral shades. However, varying shades of white and ivory – from linen and cream to pearl and brilliant white – all come under the neutral family as does shades of black – from deepest slate to soft charcoal and the dusty blue and green greys as well. The color grey – proclaimed by interior designers everywhere as the ‘new neutral’ – has over 500 different shades that can be seen by the human eye.

Source: Style Files

Source: Style Files

So when we start to consider the wide range of colors we really have to choose from, why not understand how to use this vast array to create a perfectly cozy retreat from the cold weather?

If we consider textiles, winter is the perfect time of year to bring in soft touchable textures to play against harder surfaces in the space. So you might want to consider using a shaggy deep pile rug with a soft worn leather sling chair or choosing to pair a velvet footstool against wooden parquet flooring. These textures will play against one another creating interest and layers in your design.

Source: Swoon Worthy

Source: Swoon Worthy

When using neutral colors, be sure to mix up the range and saturation that you are using. While the colors may be more muted, you’ll still want varying shades of light and dark to contrast each other. Use less variation to create a calming effect or use both dark and light shades to create a space with more energy. The greater the contrast in your colors, the more energy created so think about what feeling you’d like in your room and let that be your guide.

You’ll also want to think about patterns. With neutral tones and shades, you can layer patterns more easily as there won’t be the strong colors to distract the eye and it’s a little easier to play up a good mix and have fun with it. Try to keep in mind when mixing patterns to stick with one large-scale pattern, one medium scale and one small scale pattern along with some solid colors that pull everything together and keep the look calm and comfortable.

Finally, consider adding some organic shapes and color to your design by way of houseplants. Whether you use large potted trees or tiny succulents dotted along a windowsill, plants will add their own unique layer to a home whilst also purifying the air and adding an additional layer for cozy style. Choose natural terracotta and ceramic planters alongside woven baskets for textural warmth or consider macramé planters for a boho chic vibe.

We’ve chosen some of our favorite neutral furniture and accessories to bring in a bit of cozy warmth to your home this winter!

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Why Gold Is the Metal of the Moment

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The inclusion of brass and gold in interiors is nothing new. From centuries past, gold was seen as a marker of wealth – that of kings and those in power – because it was so impossible for the common people to attain it. While happily, times have moved on so that this metallic finish is really available to all, it’s not lost its ability to create drama, glamour or status.

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Just like so many trends, gold has moved in and out of fashion and most recently it was considered very ‘out’ towards the end of the 1990’s and early in this century. However, it’s enduring appeal is having a resurgence in decor with antique, brushed and polished gold appearing in nearly every form. It’s a return to a bit of opulence and the display of status but it certainly doesn’t need to be done in excess to look stunning in any setting. Even smaller touches will go far to creating a warm display.

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From the image above, we can see that a single gold chair stands out in a setting of mostly monochrome hues with a touch of blush pink, proving that sometimes less is more. A few simple touches of the metal of the moment will create a luxe look without overwhelming the senses.

In fact, using golden metallics in your interiors are a wonderful way to bring a bit of luxury into your home. With reflective surfaces in many forms creating a stir in design shows worldwide, there’s little wonder that this trend is being adopted by interior designers and architects as well as homeowners in recent years.

bedroom-with-gold-light-fixture

One thing to keep in mind is that gold is a warmer metal than finishes like chrome or stainless steel. The golden light that’s reflected in it casts a softer glow to surfaces and it’s a great way to make a space that feels cold come to life. In the bedroom above, cool hues like the blue wall and green footstool combine effortlessly with a vintage rug and rattan bed but it’s the gold light fixture above that gives the room a touch of glamour and pulls these hues together.

gold-velvet-cushions

If you love decorating with darker shades, brass and gold will gentle reflect light around the space and sit beautifully against a deeper backdrop. Pull in other luxurious fabrics like velvet and faux fur for an opulent touch or a rug with golden threads as seen above. The rich palette, textures and the touches of gold make for an inviting bedroom scheme and will create a cozy feel come nightfall.

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Even mid-tones and neutrals will benefit from the use of gold or brass. The soft grays become warmer and richer with the inclusion of gold accessories and lighting and even the walls have benefited from a bit of sparkle, bringing attention to the architectural details in the space.

gold coffee table with stylish accents

In a predominately white space, using a gold accent in your tables will create a relaxed and glamorous vibe when combined with touches of warmer shades like pinks, oranges and corals. A bright pale space is instantly uplifted and using clean lines will mean the look remains unfussy and grown up.

We’ve gathered together a few of our favorite gold and brass furnishings and accessories to bring a little warmth and luxury to your own space – which is your favorite?

Gold Furniture and Accessories from My Two Designers

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Image sources:  Swoon Worthy / Adore Home – Photography by Annette O’Brien / Alexandra Evjen / Adore Home – Photography by Armelle Habib / Lonny – Photography by Toto Labrador / Ceres Mercurio – The Pink Dream

How to Style a Coffee Table

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While a coffee table may just end up being a repository for coffee mugs, magazines and the various remote controls you may have, it really can be so much more. Your coffee table, in a prime position in front of your sofa, can be the perfect location to share a bit of your own personality and style. Ignoring this hard-working piece of furniture when styling the rest of your room would be a grave injustice when it could be a star player in your living room design!

style me pretty living room

Today, I’m sharing my top tips on creating a stunning coffee table display, using items you probably already have around the house! There are a few things that I always use on my coffee table that provides me with a pleasing display that’s fairly practical as well so I’m breaking it down for you below. You can use a variety of these or all of them, depending upon your personal taste so it’s easy to create something that still works with the rest of your home in terms of the style you choose.

Beautiful Books

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One thing that works especially well on a coffee table is coffee table books. Yes, it does seem obvious but a short stack of books will add some height, color and interest to your table display. Choose hard back books that speak to you in terms of their subject matter – whether you have a favorite artist or designer, if you love classic cars or the great outdoors, crafting or interiors, your coffee table should share your interests with your visitors and guests by way of the books you choose.

I often try to use books with jackets that carry the colors of my living room so that they coordinate but this is a personal preference for getting a more pulled together design. It’s entirely up to you which books you’d like to choose.

Greater Heights

Design Daredevil elegant coffee table

You always want to include something with a bit of height on your table as well. This draws the eye up and around your display, creating interest and makes for a more attractive vignette. Think about using an obelisk, candle sticks, a tall vase or a potted orchid to create height. You can always layer these items on top of the stack of books too.

Tray Chic

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A tray will always be handy in any vignette to corral smaller items together to make them look more purposeful. Choose one that marries well with the style of your home. If you love the rustic farmhouse look, a weathered wood tray would be the perfect companion to your coffee table. If you have a more glamorous style, then perhaps a simple mirror tray or a brass and glass tray will provide the right finishing touch.

Gorgeous Glow

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I nearly always include candles on my coffee table as well. When the sun goes down and I want to create a cosy atmosphere for movie nights, candles will provide a beautiful ambiance like nothing else. Whether you go for taller candle sticks or small votives, again, this is entirely a personal choice but the inclusion of a candle or two will always look beautiful on any coffee table.

Go Green

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If you look at styled images of coffee tables in magazines or online, you’ll rarely see one without some kind of life on it. A potted plant or a vase of flowers will add an organic touch to your table as well as color and texture. Consider a display of succulents in a variety of plant pots for a more casual display or a tall glass vase filled with cut flowers for easy elegance.

A Bit of Whimsy

Swoon Worthy coffee table with brass cranes

Finally, to really bring your personality into your room, consider adding one thing that gives your coffee table a bit of personality. I like to include something that might be a conversation starter, whether that’s a brass lobster (yes, I have one of those!) or a piece of jewelry handed down from your grandmother or a set of beautiful old paint brushes that belonged to your artist father. So always try to include something in your styling that may raise a question from your guest and add a personal touch or some whimsy to your table.

Get the Look!

Of course, having a beautiful foundation for your display is always a great place to start so check out all our favorite picks below!

Coffee Table Style

 

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Image sources: Photo by Lindsay Salazar, Designed by Studio McGee for Style Me Pretty / Home via Laura / The Design Daredevil, Photo by Megan Thiele / Amber Interiors, Photo by Tessa Neustadt / The Brunette One / The Everygirl, Styling and Photography by Alaina Kaczmarski and Danielle Moss / Swoon Worthy

Get the Look: Modern Boho

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If there’s one look that’s very ‘hot’ right now (well, it is summer after all), it’s the modern interpretation of bohemian style. We’ve had boho style since the late 1800’s – the look of transients, artists, poets and those who wished to live unconventionally. In the 1970’s, we had the hippie movement which was, at its core, a rebellion of the status quo and the styles of the times reflected that bohemian past and a relaxation of the rules. Today, we’re seeing that 70’s influence in both fashion and interiors but it’s been tapered by the times we live. One in which we are immersed in technology day in and out and so people are seeking a balance, a sense of peace, a feeling of community and a return to bringing nature into our spaces.

Happily, you don’t have to book a ticket to Marrakesh nor do you need to put your mattress on the floor and hang up a canopy (unless of course you want to, then absolutely go for it!). This is really more about embracing textiles and patterns, mixing styles and creating a laid back look that’s easy to love and easy to live with.

Today, I wanted to talk about getting a modern boho look in your home and how to incorporate a few touches for an eclectic, well-travelled look and I’ll share some products to help you achieve it too.

Clashing Textiles

boho style with clashing textiles

Textural accents are one of the key elements of the boho style. Get comfy with mixing patterns in your rugs, cushions and throws. This look works best with heavily patterned fabrics in Ikat, tie-dye and traditional designs from Turkey to Morocco, Mexico to India – areas where traditional dying and hand weaving are still being used today. You can create some cohesion by looking for commonalities in the colors but don’t get too caught up in trying to find a perfect match. Allow yourself to be guided by your eye – many of these types of prints look wonderful clashing with each other and the layered look is paramount to this style.

Lots of Plants

boho kitchen with plants

While a single plant on a windowsill will bring life to your home, if you want to truly embrace the boho look, then it’s not a time for minimalism! Hang plants from ceilings in macramé planters, create a wall feature using greenery and utilize a sunny corner in your home to show off your plant gang. Every room can benefit from some plant life including the kitchen and bathroom. It’s really about quantity here so look for plants in various sizes and contrasting leaf shapes, utilize unusual vessels and create your own little indoor garden. When it comes to boho, go big or go home.

Moroccan Inspired Lighting

boho style bedroom

Stealing inspiration from Morocco, dot lanterns along your floors and hang pendant lights that create fractured patterns on the walls. Even paper lanterns casually strung along a surface or mirror create a welcoming atmosphere that invites you to sit back and bask in the starry glow of warm ambient light.

Natural Elements

boho style gallery wall

One of the other components of boho style is that it embraces of idea of bringing the outdoors in so incorporating elements from nature is the final flourish of relaxed living. Consider warm and unfinished wood finishes in organic shapes, rattan and bamboo furniture, sisal and jute rugs. Accessorize your space with objects found in the great outdoors – feathers, beautiful mineral and agate stones, shells, branches and even ethically harvested animal skulls and hides.

Scents

stone incense dish

And finally don’t forget to play on all your senses. Infuse the air with incense for a touch of the exotic warmth of other cultures for a truly bohemian touch.

GET THE LOOK

Get the Look Modern Boho from My Two Designers

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Image sources: Jennifer Harrison-Ciacchi via The Glitter Guide / Danae Horst for Justina BlakeneyJennifer Harrison-Ciacchi via The Glitter Guide / Ms. Tungsten / The Future Kept

 

How to Create a Perfectly Styled Bar Cart

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With retro all the rage for the last few years and a love of 60’s and 70’s design infiltrating both fashion and home, having a stylish bar cart has not just become a sign of any self-respecting socialite, it’s practically de rigueur for anyone wishing to have a trendy home. While there are lots of options available here on My Two Designers (check out our favorites at the bottom of the post!), what you put on your bar cart is almost as important as which particular style of cart you choose.

So how do you create a perfectly styled bar cart that looks just as good in use as it does in between those cocktail and dinner parties you’ll inevitably want to throw once you have it in place? We’ve got you covered. Here are the only things you really need to create a gorgeous “Pinterest-worthy” display:

Glassware

glassware on bar cart

While a good selection of various glassware will be an essential, you certainly don’t have to stock every type of glass to create a well-styled area. If your go-to drink is a dry martini then you’ll of course want to make sure you have a few martini glasses but take cues from your favorites and then add two to three other varieties as well. Consider red and white wine glasses, champagne flutes, high-ball glasses and tumblers. Vintage glassware can be found in thrift shops and yard sales – mixing and matching with those from big box stores will often make for a unique and collected look.

Interesting Bottles

bar cart in blue room

You’ll want to stock your favorites so why not choose those varieties of alcohol that not only taste great but look good too? From the bold turquoise glint of Bombay Sapphire Gin to the allure of gold embellishment on the Chambord bottle, the morose glam of Crystal Head Vodka and the stately simplicity of Hendricks Gin, there are plenty of beautifully designed bottles which will make your bar area shine.

Cocktail Shaker

new darlings on domino

How else will you create your legendary signature cocktail without a cocktail shaker? There are so many on the market now that will make any home bar look professional and they come in at every different price point so there’s really no excuse not to have one handy to get the party started. For bonus points, consider adding a matching selection of other bar ware tools like a jigger, tongs and a bottle opener.

Something Living

waiting on martha bar cart

Adding some freshness and height to your bar cart using flowers or plants is always the perfect finishing touch. No need to go with an expensive bouquet here – a few simple subtle blooms in a tall vase or a small leafy plant can be just enough to add that organic touch to your display and goes a long way to creating an inviting look.

Art or Books

bar cart with art and books

While these may not be the first things we consider for our bar cart, a small piece of art or a few stacks of books creates added interest for a look you simply can’t ignore. Stack books and magazines and pop a small bowl filled with lemons or limes on top and lean artwork against the wall to add visual height and color. Try to incorporate either one or both for a great looking display.

Champagne or Ice Bucket

ice bucket on bar cart

A great looking champagne or ice bucket deserves to be seen so why not include this on your bar cart too? Perfect for allowing guests to mix their own drinks and not have to raid your freezer for additional ice, keep it well stocked to ensure every drink is cold and refreshing.

Check out our very favorite bar carts below and see our full selection here on My Two Designers.

Bar Carts on My Two Designers

 

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Image sources: Toto Labrador for Lonny / David Dines for Apartment Therapy / Michael Wiltbank for Domino / Waiting on Martha / Brittany Ambridge for DominoEmilia Jane Photography for The EveryGirl /

How to Style a Buffet or Sideboard

Assymetrical styling on a sideboard

One of my favourite pieces of furniture, often overlooked, is the humble sideboard or buffet. In a dining room, it’s often overlooked by the star of the space, the dining room table, but it’s a master of practicality as well as aesthetics. With either drawers or cabinet doors, it can house all manner of items requiring hiding away like the ‘fancy’ china you bring out on special occasions, the additional table linens, even the kid’s craft supplies and the waxed table cloth that protects your table when they are getting creative.

But even if you are already well aware of it’s practical side, are you missing out on creating something a little extra special with your buffet? While we may lavish attention on other areas of our homes, neglecting the top surface of this piece can be a styling trick you don’t want to miss out on. Allowing the day’s mail, stacks of old magazines or the clutter of the day pile up can only be described as a crime against this wonderful piece of furniture in your home. Why not give it the attention it deserves by creating a beautiful display that will only enhance the room it’s in?

sideboard styling in black white and gold

Styling the top of your sideboard needn’t be a minefield of decorating decisions, however. It’s a small area upon which to flex your styling muscles and try out a few new things. You can suit your arrangement to nearly any style you desire – whether you love a more rustic country look, crave something minimalist or modern, or like a touch of the eccentric and eclectic and pretty much anything in between.

dining room sideboard with large art

There are many ways of course you can decorate the sideboard and in my post today we’ll talk about a few different options you might have. The most important thing, however, is that your sideboard tells the story of you. So whether you use family photos to show off your warm and welcoming side, use it as a makeshift bar for your legendary cocktail parties with friends or use it to display the eclectic finds from your travels, it should reflect your personality and style.

For a more formal look or to convey a sense of elegance, symmetrical displays are a great start. Consider twinning a pair of lamps on either side or a pair of two large vases filled with flowers or branches. As your brain can understand and interpret symmetry quickly, this look is easy on the eye and there is an innate sense of calm that is conveyed immediately.

symmetrical styling on sideboard

Asymmetrical displays have a bit more energy and interest and as such, will contribute to a more casual approach in your décor. If your space is less formal, you may wish to think about those items you display on top and how they might reflect your more eclectic personality and style.

Assymetrical styling on a sideboard

Whether you choose a symmetrical or an asymmetrical display, the objects you use and the height and scale of them play an important role in the final look.  You can create height by stacking books and placing objects or plants of various sizes on top and you can consider contrasting smaller objects with tall vases, lamps and collections of photographs or art leant across the wall.

Without that variation in height, the collection can read as “flat” and your eye will stagnate along the straight line created. Using objects of different heights layered upon the surface and hanging art or a large mirror above it, your eye will have an interesting line to follow and this variation of height allows it to take in every piece on display.

sideboard styling with rustic and global touches

You will also want to vary the scale and size of your objects, layering some objects in front of others, with larger pieces at the back and smaller items towards the front. A single placement of items all lined up like little soldiers will again appear uninteresting so consider leaning artwork against the wall, with larger or wider objects at the back and smaller items in front of it to vary the depth of the accessories.

And finally, don’t forget to consider mixing up your textures – rough with smooth, glossy with matt, natural fibres and metals – all of these variations create interest and layers in any display.

Check out our favourite sideboards and buffets from our wide selection…

get the look sideboards

traditional / eclectic / modern / hollywood regency / vintage / mid-century modern / glamorous

 

How do you decorate your sideboard or buffet? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

 

Image sources: AM Dolce Vita / French for Pineapple / Apartment Therapy / Suburban Bitches / Claire Brody Designs

10 Tips to Make Your Home Look More Expensive

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While most of us wouldn’t mind living in a fabulously expensive home, there are very few of us that actually have the budget to do so. Well, there are plenty of little tricks you can employ to make your home look more expensive – without blowing the budget! So if you are interested in getting a high-end look without the wallet-busting high price, read on…

Tip 1 – Swap out your light fixtures

light fixture in dining room

Something that is often neglected is the main lighting in a room but nothing adds to the atmosphere (or takes away from it!) more than the quality and quantity of light your room receives. Replace that boring light fitting with something more dramatic and you’ll instantly raise the profile of the entire room. Consider adding wall lights to create small pockets of light to add additional ambiance.

Tip 2 – Invest in neutrals for your largest pieces

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Ever notice that homes decorated by interior designers use plenty of neutrals? While you can add color with your accessories, keep the largest pieces like sofas in a neutral color to maximise it’s longevity, allowing it to easily fit into your scheme, no matter what your style. Check out our range of high quality sofas in a wide range of neutral fabrics and colors to bring that designer look home.

Tip #3 – Line Your Curtains

pink curtains in dining room

While breezy light-filtering curtains are fine for summer, once cooler weather sets in, having your curtains lined adds weight and luxury to even the most inexpensive curtains. If you are a daft hand with a sewing machine, you can easily do this yourself but if not, a friend or relative may be able to help you. If you don’t fancy the hassle, there are also plenty of ready made lined curtains that can do the job just as easily! Consider using a heavier weight fabrics like velvets and jacquards for a luxury finishing touch to a room scheme.

Tip #4 – Hang Your Curtains High and Wide

Speaking of curtains, hanging them right up to the ceiling and slightly wider than the edges of the windows actually gives the illusion of much larger windows, a higher ceiling and a loftier, more open space. It’s a clever trick that’s easily employed – just make sure your curtains hang all the way to the floor! Never use curtains that don’t touch the floor – it will instantly cheapen your decor and spoil the illusion of height.

Tip #5 – Consider Re-tiling

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Changing out old, damaged tile from your bathroom and kitchen needn’t be expensive. By using inexpensive subway tiles, you can instantly update the entire look and feel of your space for a great price. Even better? Subway tiles have been fashionable for a century and so you need not worry about them going out of style – they are a true classic!

Tip #6 – Add Panel Moulding to Walls

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This works particularly well in period properties but you can add height and interest to walls even in a newer property by using inexpensive wood trim to create a luxurious look. Paint out to the same color as the walls or consider painting them white or gold for an interesting contrast against a wall color. Keep the spacing even and symmetrical for a stunningly luxurious look.

Tip #7 – Add Ceiling Roses

Ceiling-Rose

Architectural details are a great way to make your home look more expensive. Give your light fixtures a grand accent by installing ceiling roses. Again, this works particularly well in period homes (it’s best to use styles that are in keeping with the age of your property) but even a simple rose will make an impact on a newer property.

Tip #8 – Add Crown Molding to Your Ceilings

Again, adding those all important architectural details really make a room stand out. Adding crown molding to the gap between walls and ceiling instantly trims out a space and elevates the look and feel of a room. Whether you choose the more expensive decorative cornicing in plaster or simple and inexpensive wood, there’s no doubt that a feeling of luxury can be achieved on any budget.

Tip #9 – Display Fresh Flowers

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You don’t need to spend huge amounts of cash to add luxury to your space. A simple inexpensive bouquet from the local supermarket can be all you need to add sophistication. Simply break up the bouquet by stem type and create several small arrangements to spread around your home.

Tip #10 – Clear the Clutter

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And finally, a messy home will never look quite as expensive as a tidy one. Keep clutter at bay with simple storage solutions and banish the mess with our organisation tips for every room. Having a place for everything will instantly update and create a calm and welcoming atmosphere whether you’ve spent a lot or just a little on your home’s decor.

I hope these tips today have helped you to see you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a luxurious look in your home. Have you any tips to add yourself? I would love to hear from you.

Get the Look - How to Make Your Home Look More Expensive

Chandelier / Wall Sconce / Geometric Fabric / Ikat Fabric / Grey Sofa / White Chair / Bench

 

Image sources: Belathée Photography for My Domaine / The Skinny Confidential via Apartment Therapy / Ashley Gieseking for Domino / Brooke Davis for Lonny / Metrie via The Hunted Interior / 47 Park Avenue / Sabra Lattos Photography for My Domaine / Studio McGee

5 Small Changes That Make a Big Impact in a Room

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If you are looking for a way to refresh your space but don’t have the time, budget or inclination to do an entire redesign, then you’re going to love my post today.

There are certain shortcuts you can take that make a big impact in a room without having to go through the trouble of starting all over again and none of these changes take very much time. They are all game-changers that can make the difference between a room seeming a little bland or flat to giving a space that va-va-voom you were hoping for.

Paint it in a different color

Pale blue kitchen

There’s nothing more transformative to a room than changing its color. Consider your soft furnishings, artwork or accessories to pull your paint color from and allow these existing hues to influence your final decision. If you want a really big change, take your room from a light color to a dark one or vice versa. It’s something that can be accomplished in a single weekend and is relatively low-cost for the impact it makes in a space.

Change the rug

Caitlin Wilson home tour

We often forget about our floors when decorating but the right rug can make all the difference to a space. You always want to go larger than you think when choosing a rug and while this may add to the cost, the impact it makes is well worth the investment. As a general rule, in the living room, any furniture on the perimeter needs to have at least the front legs on top of the rug – no ‘postage stamps’ beneath your coffee table! It will only make the room look smaller. In a dining room, make sure that chairs can be comfortably pulled out without coming off the rug. Consider something high-impact with lots of movement or pattern or calm the room with a neutral that has a subtle but inviting texture.

Check out our full range of rugs here.

Swap your artwork to something large and in charge

large artwork in workspace

While gallery walls have been popular for some years, we are starting to see a movement to larger pieces taking their place. Consider replacing your smaller, less significant pieces with statement-making artwork that really speaks to you. One great piece can really take a room to the next level, draw the eye and pull together a color scheme.

Check out our full range of beautiful art pieces here.

Create a wall of shelving

wall of shelving

If you have a large wall that’s looking a little bare, why not transform it into a place to display your beloved books and belongings? Not only will it create huge impact, but it will also allow you to show off your personality with pride. Keep the clutter to a minimum by not overfilling the shelves but do add interest by incorporating a few pretty pieces like bowls, plants, ceramics or objects to break up the look and ensure there’s some negative space where the eye can rest.

Check out our full range of accessories for the home here.

Add wallpaper

feature wallpaper

Finally, if your room is lacking in color or pattern, consider adding wallpaper. You can create a single feature wall to draw attention to a particularly lovely view or if you are feeling brave, cover every wall in your chosen pattern for maximum impact. There are so many wallpaper styles available, you’re sure to find something you love. For rented spaces or if you are afraid of tiring of a large pattern over time, consider removable wallpaper which will add all the impact without the commitment.

Check out our full range of inspiring wallpapers here.

So those are just five ways to add really big impact to a room without having to start from scratch! Have you adopted any of these ideas in your own home for quick results? I’d love to hear from you if so!

 

Image sources: Idha Lindhag for My Scandinavian Home / Elija Hoffman for My Domaine / Bliss at Home / Mademoiselle PoirotEmily Henderson

5 Decorating Rules It’s Okay to Break

striped wallpaper hallway

If there’s one thing I always say it’s that you must learn the basic rules of interior design before you can go ahead and break them. There are of course certain things we hear by various design experts, bloggers, the media – and hey, even our parents! – but if we followed every single rule out there and applied them to our home, well, what we might end up with is something a little bit bland.

And so, while it’s absolutely recommended to have a good understanding of your space, understand the light it gets, how you’ll use the room and what your budget is, and then plan for all those accordingly, it’s more than fine to rebel a little bit from certain tried-and-tested rules we hear all the time. And in that spirit, here are 5 often-repeated rules that I’m giving you full permission to break!

All your furniture must match.

Gabriel-Hendifar-living-room-dark-gray-walls-fireplace-Turkish-rug-black-lucite-chairs

Long ago, a fully matching set of furniture was seen to be a luxury but more and more, people are starting to realize that your home can look so much more interesting and ‘collected’ when you bring pieces of different styles to create a unique, eclectic look.  The trick to mixing and matching furniture lies in finding commonalities among your pieces in their shape or style or tying things together with a limited palette of color.  The most important thing, however, is that you love the pieces themselves – if you do, you can always make it work and you will always be surrounded by the items you truly love.

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Break the Rules Eclectic Mixing

chair / art / bar cart / throw / lounge chair / coffee table

 

Dark paint colors will make a room look small and cramped.

dark wall colours

While darker colors don’t recede the way paler colors do, there is absolutely no reason not to go with a darker color if you love the look and it certainly doesn’t have to make a room look small. Create interest in a darker room with lots of texture or bold brights and allow each piece to shine against its dark backdrop. For tips on using dark paints, check out our post How to Create Drama with Dark Paint Colors.

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Decor for Dark Walls

chandelier / sofa / art / coffee table / cushion 1 / cushion 2

Scale all your pieces to fit your space.

oversized light fixture

Now of course I’m not saying to try and fit that sprawling L-shaped sofa into your tiny studio apartment but playing with scale is a great way to fool the eye into thinking your space is less bijou than it looks. The best pieces to break the rules in terms of scale are your accessories – consider a large oversized mirror or piece of artwork, a large light fixture over a dining table or a playfully large floor lamp to create a bit of interest and wow-factor.

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Play with Scale

mirror / lighting / chair / dining table / pear

Don’t ever mix your metal finishes.

kitchen-renovation-smittenstudio

While years ago, most designers would have repeated the same metallic finish throughout a home, these days, it’s absolutely fine to mix and match your metals. Consider bringing in a brass light fixture with copper accessories, using stainless steel appliances with gleaming gold cabinet pulls or a shiny chrome coffee table with gold lamps. In 2016, mixing metals is a great way to get a totally up-to-date look.

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Mixed Metals

fingers crossed ornament / coffee table / bar cart / vase / trunk

You should only use neutrals for maximum resale value.

striped wallpaper hallway

Sure, every contractor out there would be happy to cover every available surface in the dreaded but inoffensive ‘builder’s beige’ but the only time you should be considering this rule is if you are looking to sell your home within the next 6-12 months. If not? Well, then you should be decorating for how you live NOW not where you think you might be living in a few years down the line. So go ahead and use that wallpaper you love, paint the walls in a fun color and get creative with your space.

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Decorate for you

striped wallpaper / animal print fabric / mirror / table lamp / side table

I hope that with these tips you can see that sometimes breaking the rules can lead to a very interesting and vibrant home that you’ll love! Which design tips have you broken lately?

Image sources: Gabriel Hendifar via Erika Brechtal / Swoon Worthy / Abigail Ahern for Design Sponge / Sarah Sherman Samuel / Studio Ten 25 via Domino