“Your home should tell the story of who you are and be a collection of what you love” – Nate Berkus
My goal is to create living spaces that are beautiful, functional, and sustainable.
We bought our place three years ago, and I vowed that while our home couldn’t stand out architecturally from the outside (it’s a “cookie cutter” builder townhome), I wasn’t going to settle for a basic interior design.
TIP #1 – Start with your permanent colours (Wall & Accent).
When I began designing my home, the first thing I did was choose my wall colours. I repainted them from the builder original “Treasured Moments” by CIL (now known as “Antique White”) to:
Kitchen & Bathrooms – Chantilly Lace (BM)
Bedrooms and Living Areas – Distant Gray (BM)
Master Bedroom (in progress) – Accent Wall – Hale Navy (BM)
Entry – Stonington Gray (BM)
Playroom (in progress)
Chalk Wall (BM)
Still Life with Shadows Blue Wallpaper (Ellie Cashman)
Ground Pink (Farrow & Ball)
Once I was clear on my permanent wall colours I decided on my permanent accent colours:
* White (cool)
TIP #2. Realize your design style and what you want each room to feel like.
These are 11 of my top categories of design style:
- Classic Contemporary
- Shabby Chic
Your home should have an overall cohesive design but please do not think you must stick to one design style.
While I wouldn’t go to the extreme of having every single room represent a different design style, don’t be afraid to mix it up.
For example, my kitchen is a combination of rustic and traditional. My bedroom, (in the works) is Lux, while the rest of my home is traditional and classic contemporary.
TIP #3. Work within your means.
If you don’t have the budget to change large items each season (i.e. your area rug, drapes, and art) choose colours that will go with all your seasonal design choices.
For example, I don’t want to change my living room rug multiple times a year, so when deciding on a rug to purchase I wanted a colour and design that would not clash with future decor.
My Seasonal Colours
Spring & Summer: I stick to my permanent accent colours – Blush, Navy, Black, Grey, and White.
Fall: Navy and Maroon.
Winter: White, Red, and Silver
When I was initially planning my home, I was obsessed with rustic and shabby chic decor. So much that EVERYTHING I bought reflected one if not both of those styles.
Well, I ended up with a house full of brown and gold that was dull and one dimensional, that’s where my next tip comes in.
TIP #4. Planning your layout, colours and overall look in advance helps you from buying items you will end up getting rid of.
Planning your layout doesn’t mean you need an expensive program like AutoCAD; I find that taking proper measurements and using graph paper (to scale items) can making planning a room easy.
TIP #5. DON’T RUSH. I use this philosophy a lot in my life. While you may love the adrenaline rush of having a deadline, it’ll end up costing you later.
When we moved in, I took two weeks off work and wanted to have my entire place decorated and ready for a couple of housewarming parties. BIG MISTAKE, HUGE!
I would say 85% of the items I bought I’ve either sold or given away. Decorating on your own takes time, research and tweaking. Don’t worry about having an empty room while you plan; it’ll be gorgeous in no time!
TIP # 6. Know when to splurge and when to save. I’m not saying to buy knock offs. I mean if you must have that $3000 chair, maybe wait until it goes on sale.
For example, one of my favourite stores to shop for home decor is Pottery Barn. When I’m purchasing larger items, I wait for the “Buy More/ Save More” sale.
Also, think about the reason you’re buying the item. If its a piece that’s in style now but may not be next year, you might want to pass.
Items Not to skimp on
While this list will be different for every home and every need, there are two pieces I believe you should always splurge on:
- Mattress & Boxspring – self-explanatory, your sleeping on it every night and you cannot put a price on restful sleep.
- Main Couch – this is probably going to be used every day and will not be swapped out each season. Make sure it comfortable and will keep its shape.
Be smart with your money, you worked hard for it!
TIP #7. Don’t be afraid to mix metals.
Another design myth is you have to pick a metal and stick with it. I have a lot of silver in my home, but you’ll also find pops of gold, pewter, and copper. I find when you mix the right metals in the right settings, it brings more depth to the space.
TIP #8. Use greenery as a decor piece.
I love greenery but can’t be bothered to take care of a ton plants. So if you’re like me, find yourself some good faux floral and mix in some low maintenance real!
I found this great aloe plant at Crate and Barrel that even has faux dirt!
I hope you’re inspired by these design tips.
Remember above all else, work with your budget, the function of the room for your family, and your existing furniture to create spaces you’ll absolutely adore!
Do you have any comments or questions? Share them below, I would love to hear from you.
Want to see more? Don’t forget to visit #myhome for updates and more tips.