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6 Tips and Tricks Interior Designers Use That You Should Steal


A small room needs big furniture.

Small-scale furniture in a small room makes things look, well, really small. We all know how to make our legs look longer, or minimize our midriff. This is the same idea; we need to fool the eye. Guide the eye to “reading” or “assessing” the size of the room with a big visual reference. This could be a 3.5-seat sofa in a small room, or a high, grand bed in a small bedroom.

You may not need a sofa in your living room.

Living Room HTL

Photo: Felix Forest | Styling: Tahnee Carroll (Photo Credit: Homes to Love)

Some lounge rooms look great without a sofa. Think boutique hotel lobbies, cocktail bars, restaurants, and pop-up events. Image luxe, oversized chairs and high-back, upholstered, vintage clubs. Even a pair of Eames lounges and ottomans can give you more relaxing opportunities than a generous four-seater sofa.

You can get almost anything custom made.

Sofas, furniture, lights, art — you name it. You will be surprised that the end result will be on par with a large retailers’ offerings — both in terms of pricing and estimated installation times. Many furniture suppliers also offer a custom service; all you have to do is ask. But, you need to be 100-percent involved in the design process and understand what the specifications mean. Double check that your item will fit through the doors (or elevator if you live in an apartment).

Open-plan spaces can be overrated.

Every renovating show seems to pull out all the walls and voila, a miracle occurs. In reality, you need to think carefully before you get out the sledgehammer. Open-plan layouts are completely fabulous for relaxing on Sunday afternoons and entertaining but they can be busy and noisy, and it’s impossible to hide the mess. Open-plan spaces are best when they incorporate secondary spaces — like nooks — that remain quite separate.

Colors look different in different contexts.

Remember the blue versus white dress saga? That was a classic case of color metamerism. And what’s color metamerism? It’s a phenomenon that occurs when colors change when viewed in different light sources. Color mutations can be avoided by “testing” or reviewing large samples of color in the precise location that they are to be used. When viewing most samples, paint or carpet in particular, it’s important to note that the color will look darker in a small sample piece; conversely, when looking at an expanded version of the same material, it could look lighter.

Go wild in the bedroom.

Bedroom HTL

Photo: Felix Forest | Styling: Tahnee Carroll (Photo Credit: Homes to Love)

A great bed is all about mastering the mix. Let prints from different sheet sets collide. If you still prefer white linens, then make the cushions the accent — layer the same pattern from wallpaper to cushions to give it a modern edge, or make the cushions a single standout feature.

This article was written by Jacinta Preston. For more, check out our sister site, Homes to Love.

Watch the video below for more dos and don’ts of decorating:

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