Tricks of the Trade

Top 5 designer tips that make any room look better!

I am often asked, “Why do some rooms look like they have been professionally styled and others don’t?”.  It rarely is based on the total amount of money spent or even if a professional interior designer was hired – more frequently it is subtle characteristics that make a space comfortable to live in and beautiful to experience.  There are hundreds of tricks that a good designer can use, but I have chosen the top 5 tried and true that will never fail you!

1. Invest Wisely

We all live within budgets and if we don’t, we should!   With that in mind, when you are choosing the larger more expensive pieces of a room like a sofa or sectional choose a durable, neutral fabric that you can live with a long time.   Add color and pattern to your room with pillows, throws, accessories and art.  Done well, the room will not feel dull or colorless.

Nandina Home & Design Blog

The large sofa in this room is in a neutral – a colorful rug, pillows, and lamp shade amp up the style.

2. Make the Bed the Focal Point of Any Bedroom

When you walk into a bedroom, if it is at all possible, the bed should be the focal point of the room.  It is awkward to enter the bedroom and see only the side of the bed.  If the item is in the title of the room it should definitely take center stage!

Nandina Home & Design Blog

In this room, in order for the bed to be the focal point it had to be placed in a bay window. The striped drapery adds a dramatic backdrop to the tufted headboard.

3. Hang ’em High

Mount curtains as high as possible to give the illusion of height in a room. If you have soaring ceilings take drapery 12” to 18” above the window frame; otherwise hang them anywhere from right under the crown molding to half the distance from the top of the window frame to the bottom of the crown molding.  When it comes to the drapes meeting the floor –   I prefer a 1’’ break on the floor just like the perfect trouser break on a well dressed man!

Nandina Home & Design Blog

The drapery is hung just below the crown molding in this elegant room.

4. Give Art and Accessories Room to Breathe

When it comes to accessorizing your bookcases, mantels, coffee tables, etc.,  live by the rule of  “less is more”.    When you provide white space around your accessories, it allows the eye to rest and gives greater weight to each item.  Remember to edit, edit, edit!

Nandina Home & Design Blog

Strategically placed accessories add color, and the simple composition is easy on the eye.


5. Don’t hold your furniture hostage!

Don’t be tempted to line your furniture around the walls.  It is much better to define the room by activity and to pull furniture into small conversational settings that are specific to that activity – TV viewing, game playing, reading, dining.  Allowing furniture to float in a room helps to define space and gives you the opportunity to jazz up the back of a sofa with a beautiful sofa table.

I hope you found these tips helpful! Stop by Nandina to chat with our designers for more of those “hundreds of tricks” that we can use in your home.

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