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Design Insight

Design Tips to Make a Big Impact at a Small Cost

Often, a quick refresh is all you need to make you feel like you have a whole new room. There are so many things you can do yourself, without the help of a professional, and without investing a fortune. Here are some of our favorite tips on small tweaks that can completely transform a space in your home:

Use small rooms to take big risks
A wallpaper pattern that would overwhelm your living room will be fabulous in your powder room or a small foyer. Pick a pattern you love, that you could never get away with in a larger space, and have fun with it!

Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Pinterest

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We all need to resist our urge to hoard! Simple stacks of books mixed in with a carefully curated collection add interest without adding clutter. Try color coordinating your books for a fun look.

Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Pinterest

Think in multiples
A cluster of small tables can create a bigger impact than one table on its own. The same goes for seating at the end of the bed. Plus you can re-purpose as needed!

Photo: Chameleon Design

Photo: Chameleon Design

Add some life to your spaces
Adding plants inside blurs the boundaries between inside and out and can add color  and life to a room like nothing else. Just picture the room below without the plants and you’ll get the idea!

Photo: Chameleon Design

Photo: Chameleon Design

Find a rich, unexpected paint color
It may take some trial and error, but when you find that perfect color it’s a statement by itself. The dark wall in this room really pops against the bright white bed and other walls.

Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Pinterest

Build a Kitchen Fit for Entertaining

You might throw the best party in town but if your kitchen isn’t company ready you’re missing the mark. People love to gather in the kitchen and your guests will often gravitate there during parties. Not to mention, the kitchen is the most popular spot in the house for most families! Luckily, we have some experience with this and we’ve rounded up a number of tips to share. From things you can conquer over the weekend to small scale renovations, these will all help you to create the ultimate kitchen for entertaining:

Grab-and-Go Shelving
Open shelving is not only chic and eye-catching, it also makes grabbing tableware and glasses a breeze. Plus, there’s your incentive for splurging on a new  set of dishes.

Photo: Pinterest

The Second Sink
The worst part of hosting parties is definitely the cleanup. Keep the dish situation under control with a second sink for dirties. The island is the perfect place for a second sink.

Photo: Pinterest

The Center Island
If your gatherings happen to involve lots of family-style dishes,then a center island is key. Display all of your appetizers on the island (the focal point) and let guests mingle in the kitchen at their leisure. It takes the pressure off you to serve.

Photo: Chameleon Design

The Dedicated Wine Fridge
The next time you’re planning a kitchen renovation, a built-in, under-the counter, temperature-controlled wine fridge is a no-brainer. It will give you easy access when entertaining and assure your wine is always the right temp.

Photo: Pinterest

The Double Range
To ensure that all of your dinner-party fare is ready at the same time, splurge on a burner-heavy stove top. It will make your life so much easier if you can whip up everything at once instead of in shifts.

Photo: Pinterest

Versatile Seating
Lightweight barstools around your island are essentials. Use them to create a pre-dinner cocktail hub or a spillover dining area–or drag them into the living room when seating there becomes too scarce.

Photo: Pinterest

The Cocktail Bar
While we’d love to hire a bartender for the evening, a handy cocktail station or bar cart is the next best thing. Encourage guests to help themselves by corralling all of your glasses, libations and cocktail fixings into one centrally located hub.

Photo: Pinterest

The Open Floor Plan
When you entertain it’s important to enjoy your own party. And that means being a part of the action. So what’s the best way to do this?  Knock down that dividing wall!

Photo: Chameleon Design

Give Your Bathroom An Instant Makeover

No matter how small the bathroom, remodeling it is a big project that can be very costly.  If a major re-model is not in your near future, that doesn’t mean you should settle for a bath that feels less than inviting. These quick-fix solutions will give your bath a major facelift without demolishing tile, hiring a plumber or taking over your weekends:

Swap in Storage With Hotel Style
Bath towels, hand towels and many soaps and shampoos cycle through your bathroom. It’s time to retire storage pieces that read as college dorm. Bring in a linen cabinet, sturdy shelves or a classic metal rack that would be right at home in a five-star hotel.

Photo: Pinterest

Update the Medicine Cabinet
You spend a lot of time in front of your bathroom mirror so much sure it’s not an eyesore. Switch your outdated cabinet for one that’s more stylish.

Photo: Pinterest

Invest in Luxe Linens
First impressions are everything, and those worn, faded towels have seen better days. Invest in a set of fresh towels and you’ll instantly see and feel the difference it makes to your overall bathroom experience.

 

Elevate the Small Stuff
Boutique hotels know this design trick. Display your toothbrush, hand soap, tissues, and cotton balls in something fancy that adds a little shine and polish- elevating even the simple task of reaching for a cotton ball.

Photo: Pinterest

Easy Tips to Make Your Home Look More Polished

Whether perking up your living room or furnishing a new home, what’s not to love about hiring a professional interior designer? However, if it’s not in your budget we have some tricks up our sleeves that are simple enough to do on your own. Here are some of our favorite and inexpensive ways to make your home look more polished:

Layer Your Rugs

Nothing says comfort and style like multiple layers under your feet. In this room, a woven patterned rug is layered over a larger sisel rug.

Photo: Pinterest

Hang Drapes High and Wide

Hanging your drapes close to the ceiling and wider than the window frame is the trick to creating a bigger, taller and airier space.

Photo: Chameleon Design

Photo: Chameleon Design

Display Books

Books are the greatest accessories ever, as they have the ability to add warmth to any room. Stack and intermix tomes with fun objects for an instantly polished look.

Photo: Pinterest

Avoid Being too Matchy-matchy

Different textures make any interior look more expensive. Combine sisal, leather, metal, linen, glass and different fabrics to make a simple space seem as if it’s been curated by a professional.

Photo: Pinterest

Throw Some Pillows

Accent pillows can look high-end but are super easy on your wallet. They’re a perfect low-risk chance to play around with color and pattern.

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Photo: Chameleon Design

Include a Statement Plant

The fiddle leaf fig is beloved by design pros for its large size, lollipop shape and cheery shade of green. Adding it or a similar big green plant to a room will instantly inject color into an otherwise mostly neutral palette.

Photo: Pinterest

Create the Ideal Master Bedroom

We all live hectic and busy lives and at the end of the day, you deserve to retreat to a place where you can relax and unwind in comfort. Your master bedroom should be beautiful, luxurious and highly functional and here are some ideas to ensure you’re able to turn your bedroom into your very own sanctuary.

Ample Seating
Turn your master bedroom into a master suite with a comfortable sitting area. Adding a couple of comfortable chairs and a small accent table for books or magazines creates a space where you can enjoy time away from the main social areas in your home. If you love to read, you can even create your own bedroom reading nook. A custom window seat is the perfect place to lose yourself in a great novel after a busy day.

Photo: Chameleon Design

Focused Lighting
After the sun goes down, it’s helpful to have a variety of light sources to create the perfect ambiance. Installing a dimmer switch allows you to enjoy bright light or romantic dim light from the same light source. Lamps flanking either side of the bed will create drama and interest, while serving a practical purpose.

Photo: Chameleon Design

Luxurious Linens
The bed is arguably the most important piece in the room and a one that you will not regret investing a bit of money in. Not only is it the focal point in the space, but a plush and layered bed will create a sense of ultimate luxury. White linens are always a good way to go, as they give you that luxe five-star hotel feel with their simple elegance. Cozy throws and soft blankets are wonderful additions to your bed and essential for cozying up with a good book.

Photo: Pinterest

Key Accessories
Make your bedroom truly your own by adding pieces that have personal meaning and reflect your style, interests and personality. Hang your favorite piece of art over the bed, add a collection of black-and-white photos to the sitting area or choose an accent wall with a bold color. Your favorite scented candles are also a nice touch and can create a romantic or relaxing setting, depending on your mood!

Photo: Pinterest

Plenty of Storage
Nothing makes your master bedroom feel smaller than clutter! If you find that clothes, accessories and other items are scattered across your bedroom, you likely need more storage space.  Work to create space-friendly storage options that exceed your expectations.

The Modern Playroom

With the modern trend of minimalism and clean and well defined design lines taking over, playrooms are quickly following the same path. Marrying beautiful themes with smart storage solutions, the perfect playroom is a space that both adults and kids appreciate. Designing the right children’s playroom can be a tricky but there are a couple ingredients to keep in mind to make sure you get it right:

Maximize Storage and Shelf Space
If you aren’t careful about providing ample space to tuck away the mountains of toys when your little ones are done with them,  you’ll likely regret it. Add shelving to the playroom with plenty of space- modern bookshelves are great in this regard. Fill them with colorful containers or cool woven  baskets that are both elegant and efficient. Benches with hidden storage and sleek storage ladders tucked away in the corner also do the trick.

Photo: Pinterest

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Photo: Chameleon Design

Photo: Pinterest

Combinations of Spaces and Zones
Planning for the playroom should ideally start with its placement. Open playroom designs and floor plans are becoming far more popular as they are both safe and easy to incorporate. Multicolored rugs, carpet tiles and a special ceiling will differentiate the space and make it feel far more special than the reminder of the house.

Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Pinterest

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Photo: Chameleon Design

The most essential component of it all though is the input offered by your kids. Talk to them before you get started with the playroom. Incorporate colors, themes and activities that they want the most while adding your own safety and storage solutions to them. At the end of the day, the playroom is their space!

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Photo: Chameleon Design

Luxe Up Your Living Room

When designers are revamping a space the living room is often the first place we’ll look. A central component in any home, the living room should reflect your tastes and aesthetic, but you don’t have to spend a fortune for it to look like a million bucks. Read our tips below and you’ll be on your way to a more luxurious living room in no time:

Simplify Your Styling
A cluttered, over-accessorized space can look messy and disorganized rather than chic and sophisticated. Pare down your collection and keep the pieces that have sentimental value or evoke strong memories. A simplified space will enable the remaining elements to really shine.

Photo: Pinterest

 

Hide Your Television
Nothing brings down the feeling of sophisticated luxury in a space quite like a huge black television placed front and center. If an armoire or modern console is not the right look for your space, you can visually minimize the presence of your screen by creating a gallery wall or salon-style art arrangement around it. Although it won’t entirely disappear, the frame of the television will blend in with the other artwork to distract the eye.

Photo: Elle Decor

 

 

 

Incorporate a Bold Textile
Give your room a custom look by using vintage or antique textiles to make throw pillows or cover small pieces such as seat cushions or upholstered stools with a great print. The unusual fabric will inject your room with a unique element, and will personalize your space.

 

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Photo: Commune Design

 

Add a Sculptural Item
Prevent your room from becoming a sea of straight lines and circular forms by introducing an element with an interesting shape or unique silhouette. A tree root coffee table or unusual side chair will feel like a piece of art in your living room, adding an unexpected and wholly artistic component to your design.

Photo: Pinterest

 

Hang a Large Piece of Art
Create a focal point and give your space some wow factor by hanging an oversized piece of art by itself on one of your living room walls. The look is chic and high-impact with very little hassle. Keep your eyes peeled at flea markets and thrift stores for large pieces at reasonable prices, or get creative and make your own.

Photo: Chameleon Design

 

Mix Your Textures
A layered, thoughtful mix of materials and textures will give your space a custom-designed, luxurious look. Mix metals, glass, wood, a variety of textiles, and leather items to create a dynamic, inviting space.

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Photo: Chameleon Design

 

Hotel-Inspired Design Ideas

No matter where we go on vacation, the hotel is admittedly the destination we look forward to most. But all of that four-star luxuriating might be the reason why we often feel less than enthusiastic about returning to the daily grind. So why not bring the hotel experience home? Here are a few ways to do it:

Start at the Door
The entry to a nice guest room is the place where you may find a small table or shelf to place keys and other items, and a small lighting fixture. Take a look at your entryway at home and consider if you’ve got those special touches that will make it count.

Photo: Pinterest

Make the Bed
No single item makes the hotel experience more than the bed. To achieve those incredible layers of pillowy goodness, skip the pillow-top mattress and buy a featherbed instead. A featherbed is much more economical and serves just as well for making you feel like you’re sleeping on a cloud. The same goes for super-high thread count sheets. The maximum you need is 300 to 400 thread count, though going higher is up to you.

Photo: Pinterest

Use Mirrors to Open Up the Space
There’s actually a reason for that mirror many designers like to hang right above the writing desk. Strategically placed mirrors can make a small space look more expansive.  Utilize this tip in your own home and see what a difference it can make.

Photo: Pinterest

Splurge On Details
It may be a fogless mirror in the bathroom or a set of super-luxe oversized bath towels. Think about those little luxuries that you enjoy most during your hotel stay and bring them into your home!

Photo: Pinterest

Keep It Fresh With Flowers
You’ll almost always find a bouquet of fresh flowers in the lobby of a nice hotel. If you don’t mind spending an extra $10 a week at the grocery store for a simple bouquet, you can bring that same freshness into your kitchen, bathroom or bedside table.

Photo: Pinterest

Rethinking the Coffee Table

One could argue the coffee table is the most important piece of furniture in your home: You can eat dinner on it, work from it, store your latest reads on it, the list goes on and on. So why not show some creativity with this furniture staple?  Large traditional coffee tables may not fit your space, or the look you want in a living room or family room. For this reason, designers often look at alternatives that can be used as a coffee table as well. These smaller tables allow you to place a drink or snack down on top, yet are more compact, and can be moved around when needed.

Moroccan Tray
Besides being eclectically glamorous, a Moroccan tray table is multifunctional. Take the top tray to the kitchen to fill up with teatime essentials and then carry it right back to its stand.  You won’t miss your stationary coffee table for a second.

Photo: Pottery Barn

Ottoman
If you’re prone to kicking your feet up on the coffee table, why not make the ritual more comfortable by replacing your coffee table with an ottoman? A tray placed on top of the ottoman will provide a place to corral your essentials, while keeping your drinks steady.

Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Pinterest

Poufs
If you have kids who constantly need more play area, poufs may be your solution. Easy to move and undeniably chic, poufs give coffee tables a run for their money.

Photo: Pinterest

Side Tables
When the look of a behemoth coffee table is too heavy, consider grouping side tables together instead. The collection will make for a lighter coffee table solution. Another plus- they can easily be moved to open up the space when it’s time to entertain.

Photo: Pinterest

Garden Stools
Ceramic garden stools are colorful, versatile and will add a bit of whimsy when decorating a room. They’re great as side tables, but just the right size to hold a book and a cup of coffee, a single garden stool may be all the coffee table you need. Or if you need more space, group a few together.

Photo: Chameleon Design

Trunk
Not only does a trunk add structure and style to your living room, but it will also increase your storage options. If just one trunk isn’t enough to store all of your blankets and children’s toys, try placing two next to one another.

Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Restoration Hardware

Create a Beautiful Dining Space

Dining rooms can be a difficult to decorate due to limited furniture pieces and limited styling opportunities. However, if you combine certain elements to create high-impact designs, you can easily achieve a beautiful space that your guests will enjoy. Here are some easy elements to incorporate, then when combined will create a space that impresses every dinner guest:

Install Overhead & Accent Lighting
Cast a flattering glow on your dining companions and create a strong focal point in the room by placing a statement fixture directly above the dining table. If you can go a step further and layer your lighting sources by adding wall sconces and table lamps on a sideboard or console you’ll really be in business! And don’t forget the importance of putting lighting on dimmer switches to control the room’s brightness.

Photo: Pinterest


Hang Engaging Artwork

Since furniture in dining areas is usually placed in the center of the room, these areas offer the perfect place in the home to display oversized, interesting artwork. Go with a gallery wall or salon-style arrangement, or place one incredible piece on the main wall to anchor the room.

Photo: Chameleon Design

Create Seating Variety
Whether you opt to use a bench that coordinates with your side chairs on one side of your table or a different, larger-scale pair of chairs at the heads of a rectangular table, switching up your seating styles is a nice way to add interest to your dining room decor.

Photo: Pinterest

Mix Your Materials
Since furniture pieces in dining rooms tend to be limited, keep your room fresh and intriguing by incorporating a mix of materials and textures into your design. A table with a top that coordinates but contrasts with its base, along with chairs that introduce another texture, will add depth to your design.

Give Yourself a Serving Surface
Keep yourself from having to run back and forth to the kitchen by adding a surface where you can serve food and drinks. A console or buffet will do the trick and prevent disruption during dinner parties. As an added bonus, a piece such as this will add valuable storage space.

Photo: Chameleon Design