$1,688, Interlude Home Lestari Petrified Wood Side Tale, Houzz
When Lee Cavanaugh and Sarah DePalo of Cullman & Kravis make their yearly trip to the Paris flea, they send finds home in a group container to keep costs down.
DIY Projects How to Renovate Great Design Tips for Small Bedrooms Genius Small Living Room Design Ideas The Best Paint Colors for Your Kitchen How to Decorate Your First Apartment Amazing Small Space Design Ideas Home Decorating Ideas and Products For Every Style from BestProducts.
com pinstructions home makeovers
Designer Zim Loy discovered Hackerware on eBay: “There’s tons of it, and it’s so cheap!” She started collecting it for her dining room, then covered the whole wall with plates to create the same effect as one big piece of art.
When renovating a building that already has plenty of character, like this 1920s Spanish Colonial home in Los Angeles, it’s all about striking the balance between what you add and what you leave. “We wanted to make it feel more holistic while still honoring its heritage,” designer Steven Johanknecht says of the decision to keep the original hand-carved ceiling beams and wrought-iron chandeliers while removing mismatched materials from previous renovations.
Designer Kelie Grosso opted for open shelving in this kitchen, which allows for fast and easy decor changes. Blue accents stand out against a neutral palette.
Faux fur has quickly become a luxurious way to add a bit of depth and variety to a space. “When we use faux fur, we’re looking for some really luscious texture in the room,” says Erin Gates. “If you look at a space and everything is neat, tidy and clean, you want something that’s sumptuous and cozy. It’ll really elevate the space.”
Looking at your home from a holistic perspective—seeing how each room works in balance against the others—can help craft a welcome variety in your spaces, like this emerald and charcoal dining room that adds a touch of formality to an otherwise contemporary Los Angeles home.
Instead of tossing that random roll of wallpaper, use it to give your window treatments some color. Designer Zim Loy used Pierre Frey’s Espalier to wallpaper the vinyl shades in her guest bedroom, but to speed up the project, use stick-on paper.
Allow your space to continuously change—as your life does. “Remember that your home should always be evolving, just as you are,” says Kelly Framel, creative director, stylist and founder of online magazine The Glamourai. “I am constantly picking up new treasures on my travels. Your nest should always be a place of comfort and inspiration, and it’s a constant work in progress.”
Kiss your cluttered countertop days goodbye. You’ve arrived.
To replicate the light, bright and airy look in designer Zim Loy’s Kansas City home, you’ll need lots of white paint. She bought an old $60 table at an estate sale and gave it a fresh new look by the painting the base high-gloss white.
In the living room of an Atlanta house by designer Beth Webb, an elm plank table from Clubcu doubles as a dining table and a display for a collection of Chinese porcelains. “The pieces don’t have to match, but they do have to play together well,” she says.
The guest bath in Fulk’s vacation home feels authentic to the period of the house, but also clean and modern. However, a vintage barrel adds a ton of personality in the space.
It’s exactly what Jenny Cipoletti, founder of fashion, beauty and travel blog Margo & Me, did in her decidedly Parisian office (which is actually in West Hollywood). “Just like when you walk into a cafe in Paris, and you see all the details and the golds, silvers and light blush tones, all of these elements in this space really sing to me,” says Cipoletti. This lets you travel to your favorite destination without stepping outside.
Jonathan Scott, home design expert and brand ambassador for Stearns & Foster, recommends owning two sheet and comforter sets, so you can swap them out by the season. “In winter, you want warm and inviting bedding, like faux fur and bulky blankets,” he says.
The best way to balance out sleek lines and contemporary furniture is by adding a few unique natural elements, from drift wood to greenery. “I don’t like to look around a house and not see touches from the outdoors,” interior designer Tamara Magel says.
For the entrance hall of this Pennsylvania farmhouse, designer Jeffrey Bilhuber opted for a curtain instead of a door. The deep yellow fabric pops agains the regal blue wall color and adds rich texture to the space.
Treat yourself to one of these relaxing retreats and we promise you’ll wake up happier.
Swap out your formal chairs (in this case, bright blue and green ones) for a few rustic metal ones. Designer Ramsay Gourd did this to create a more casual atmosphere in the dining room.
Designer Alex Hitz admits the huge portrait of his close friend (the late Nan Kempner) is a bit “ridiculous,” but fun. This placement adds interesting texture when in a spot you don’t usually see paintings hanging.
Can you imagine how simple this bathroom looked before it had a bright blue floor? The quick change by designer Kari McCabe allows the tub to take center stage and makes us want to soak in there all day long.
$375, Arturo 8-Light Rectangular Chandelier, Ballard Designs
$225, Safavieh Adirondack Round Area Rug, Bed, Bath & Beyond
This bathroom is so small that designer Krista Ewart knew it would be too much to cover the entire room — but a small section of Albert Hadley paper makes a statement and is much faster from start to finish.
“Bringing a touch of the Old World into the mix creates a home that will never feel dated,” designer Alex Papachristidis explains of the art-studded Manhattan apartment he designed for a family friend. For example, the silver leaf–and–rock crystal chandelier from Liz O’Brien that he hung in the otherwise modern dining room.
Take cues for your own home from these picture-perfect spaces.
Rather than art, a high-impact wallpaper can give a subdued room some wow-factor. The 19th century wallcovering from this luxe Milan apartment was purchased at auction in France and adapted to the room. “We created the missing parts, the plinth and the ceiling frame, to depict an Italian capriccio, a fantastical and bucolic landscape with architectural features,” Laura Sartori Rimini of Studio Peregalli says.
Sure, your eyes may want the most modern, chic couch in the showroom. But your back may not. “In my experience, it’s really better to test out seating and take the time to look at the dimensions,” says Sharon Blaustein. If you’re tall, for instance, you might want to opt for a depth of between 40 to 42 inches for a sofa (rather than the standard depth of 36 inches).
This is not the time for e-shopping, people. “It’s just so hard to tell on a computer screen what the color really looks like,” Arnold says. “You might think it looks red, but in reality, it’s watermelon pink.” Not to mention the texture of the rug may be totally different than what you were expecting.
It’s easy to gravitate toward the usual suspects like wood and leather when trying to craft a textured living space, but branch outside of your comfort zone. Emilie Munroe of Studio Munroe recommends drawing from your own personal style, especially the articles of clothing and patterns you’re attracted to.
$5,400, John Stuart Clingman for Widdicomb Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs, 1stdibs
To soften the modern edge of stainless steel, decorator Alisa Bloom put a traditional spin on the kitchen cabinetry of her 1920s Chicago penthouse with brass inlays. With the help of a local hardware maker, she even designed her own hinges and drawer pulls. “I would never go into a store and just buy something,” she says. “It’s all about the process and the hunt.”
Shop a similar look: yellow pillow ($7, amazon.com), yellow throw blanket ($36, amazon.com)
Make what’s old new again by invigorating antique pieces with colorful fabric from the 21st century. Take, for example, the two 18th-century French bergère chairs here, upholstered in a hot pink Maharam fabric. “Maharam is a very modern, contemporary fabric company, with velvets that are really bright in color,” says Bikoff. “That color was such a pop of freshness and youthfulness on these old chairs.”
To avoid being locked into a single style, lighting designer Lindsey Adelman switches up the fixtures in her Park Slope home on a regular basis. “It’s part of my creative process,” she explains, “I love to see things in context, in real life—to live with them.”
Shop a similar look: orange pillow ($22, jossandmain.com), orange tray ($30, crateandbarrel.com), orange paint ($30 per gallon, homedepot.com)
Half of the wall means half of the time, right? Here, gray creeps up to the middle, while the rest remains white, creating a subtle, yet super stylish, statement.
Instead of meshing a color scheme with a sense of place, designer Irakli Zaria used rich gold and turquoise as an antidote to gloomy London days in this chic pied-a-terre. “In a place where there are such cloudy skies, it makes no sense to have a gray interior,” he said.
What you’ll need: painter’s tape ($6, amazon.com), paint brush ($4, amazon.com)
Shop a similar look: high-gloss white paint ($11, amazon.com)
“You mix things up with old and new,” suggests textiles and interior designer Kathryn M. Ireland, as she did in the living room of her Santa Monica home; a room where the furnishings include 17th-century French chairs, an 18th-century Mexican console, and a cocktail table from her furniture line.
“A lot of people love the idea of really simple, modern living—it’s appealing, it’s nice and it seems serene,” says Erika Yeaman, a Homepolish designer and owner of YES Associates. “But the reality of maintaining that is a little tricker. Mixing Scandinavian design with bohemian style warms it up and makes it feel more homey and attainable.”
Want to make a variety of bright colors cohesive? Think about how you would arrange a flower bouquet, as Sasha Bikoff did in this SoHo apartment. “The same can apply to a space, but you need to find a connection,” she says. “Here, that connection is the fabric on the dining room chairs, which showcases colors also found throughout the room.”
A little wallpaper, paint, or a few colorful accents can make such a big difference in your home. You can tackle each of these ideas in one day, even though the results will look like it took so much longer to pull off.
If Chip and Joanna Gaines have convinced you that your abode needs shiplap, you’re usually best off installing the boards horizontally rather than vertically. “It can really expand a space, making it feel larger than vertical boards can,” says Jason Arnold. “Horizontal boards also feel more contemporary.” Vertical boards, however, can be ideal for rooms with high ceilings.
Shop a similar look: vase ($80, jossandmain.com), charger plate ($72, jossandmain.com)
Shop a similar look: John Robshaw bedding ($30 and up, amazon.com)
These designers explain why you shouldnt play it safe (no white paint!) in a tiny room.
To switch up a room’s vibe, designer Ashley Whittaker recommends replacing one piece of furniture in an otherwise totally traditional living room with something super modern (it can be from another room in your home) — like this acrylic coffee table.
Kate Reynolds, co-owner of Studio Four NYC, believes in pairing big-ticket items with budget finds. “I think a room balances out better when you have different levels of price and craftsmanship,” she says. “It helps you notice the statement piece more.”
$3,295, Rococo Iron & Crystal Chandelier, Restoration Hardware
In Josh Groban’s “The Great Comet” dressing room, interior designer Mike Harrison selected this constellation artwork as a clear focal point for the room. “I loved this piece for its dimensions and colors, but also as a tip of the hat to the ‘Comet’ influences that I know were of importance to Josh,” says Harrison. “I was searching for artwork that would tie together all of Josh’s design sensibilities.”
Just because your designer of choice lives in another city doesn’t mean you can’t work together. Services like Homepolish and Decorist, among others, make it easy to find decorators across the country, while Allison Harlow of Curio Design Studio uses Skype to work with clients virtually.
Just because the back of these shelves are tucked into the walls, doesn’t mean they can’t make a dramatic difference when painted a bold orange (which designer Kay Douglass knew all too well).
Shop a similar look: blue drinking glasses ($43 for 4, amazon.com), white dishes ($28 for 4, amazon.com)
Before this red and white patterned tablecloth hit the table, this room was quite traditional. But with designer T. Keller Donovan’s touch, it becomes an eclectic room with tons of personality. (And fun fact: That tablecloth matches the custom Thibaut furnishings in the adjacent sitting area.)
“Floating furniture away from the walls creates more intimate seating,” Burnham says. That means all you have to do is shift your furnishings a few inches to totally transform the vibe in a room — as seen in this California home.
$6,950, Pair of French Louis XVI Style 1870s Wingback Bergères Chairs with Upholstery, 1stdibs
Looking beyond the traditional with wallcoverings can create a truly standout design presence. “I do think I might have scared [architect Ken Linsteadt] a little bit when I announced I was planning to install two levels of green floral fabric on the walls of the grand salon,” says Ken Fulk of his Sonoma Valley lakeside retreat, yet the fabric gives the high walls a richness that wallpaper alone might not have achieved.
“Everything in this room has a story,” designer Podge Bune says of her Hamptons living room. “The easy chair is covered in my old dining room curtains, a Designers Guild fabric they no longer make.” An easier way to achieve this: Buy a slipcover!
Style Your Home Designer Advice Design + Decorate Chic Ideas for Decorating Blank Walls The Best Bathroom Design Ideas Ever Elegant White Kitchens You’ll Love The Best Kitchen Paint Colors Chic Living Room Decorating Ideas Celebrity Inspired Master Bedrooms decorating tips home decor ideas
Instead of hanging a painting on a bare wall, accent it with a rich, velvet curtain background. “Curtains just create a great, calming energy in which you feel very shrouded and comforted, making for a luxurious and restful environment,” says Framel. “And being able to put a really great pop of artwork in front of that textural colored backdrop has a lot of impact.”
Shop a similar look: sofa cover ($21, amazon.com), chair cover ($30, amazon.com)
In this case, designer Gideon Mendelson added a bright yellow throw and fresh flowers to flip an otherwise tame, blue-and-white color scheme on its head.
“I love to see the layers of time and renovations,” says California-based interior designer Patrick Printy. “To me, it deepens the effect.” Achieving a sense of harmony that feels organic is key.
The A-List: 100+ of the Best Interior Designers From Milan to Miami
Designer Betsy Burnham picked out Turkish runners from Rugs & Art to add instant style to this California home’s hallway. The floor coverings also draw eyes to a Moroccan-inspired reading nook.
You don’t need to go bright in order to create visual impact in a room. “[My wife] wanted to dial it back into her aesthetic, away from the color,” says David Kaihoi of the 400-square foot New York studio he renovated for his family. “I agreed, but suggested we do that with texture and pattern.”
Soft colors give this Savanah, Georgia kitchen, designed by Mary Jo Bochner, a calming presence, which allows accessories to stand out. Reorganize your bookshelf by color to add a pop in the corner of your room.
Shop a similar look: wallpaper (contact for prices, donghia.com), towels ($10 and more, pbteen.com)
Instead of fighting against rusticity, embracing the natural character of a home can create a natural richness in the space.”My father found artisans to decorate the bathroom in red limestone, a typical Rajasthani material,” Siddharth Kasliwal, heir to India’s famed Munnu the Gem Palace, explained of the former-cowshed-turned-home he inherited from his father. “All the other elements—the brass sink and hardware, the mirror— are vintage or antique.”
Whether you’re decorating your first home or your fifth, great design is in the details. We’ve consulted top designers and scoured our archives to find the best ideas for every room in the house.
Art director Vivia Horn’s zen upstate New York home makes use of an unexpected gift to give her traditional kitchen a dose of fun. This breakfast table made of a refurbished hibachi—a present from the late wrestler and Benihana restaurateur Rocky Aoki.
Allowing unique items to dictate some design decisions can lead to unexpectedly beautiful results. On the hallways leading into this Art Deco Chicago apartment, dramatic doors and paneling were inspired by a special stack of uncommon lumber. “There was a guy out in Oregon who had a barn full of exotic wood and everything was marked ‘NFS,’ as in Not For Sale,” architect Phillip Liederbach recalls with a laugh. “It gave us a responsibility to elevate it. We obsessed over it.”
Designer Ken Fulk keeps the bedding playful in the bedroom of his Massachusetts vacation house. “The mix-and-match nature of the patterns and faded batik prints make it feel like it’s a collection of old textiles brought back from a journey at sea,” he says.