Ten Interior Design Secrets That Only Pros Understand

Realistic tricks to make small spaces appear larger, from choosing paint colors to creating illusions in small spaces.

I need to learn how to make a gallery wall. Are you afraid to use a bold color? Here are some of our favorite interior designers sharing their best-practice decorating tips, as well as their easy solutions to decorating problems. These are the secrets interior designers don’t know that novice home decorators probably don’t. These ideas can be used to transform your home and saved for later. Fair warning: These pros-approved ideas might make you want wallpaper in your bathroom, and inspire you to paint everything.

Choose a Consistent Color Palette

Mixing pieces from different styles is not a good idea. Designer Emily Henderson assures that you can mix and match pieces of different styles. There’s one thing to remember. She explains that you can mix and match almost any style, provided the pieces are in harmony with your chosen color palette. I believe three to four colors are the best.

You should consider materials and silhouettes. Everything should look at least like they are related, or share some design DNA. It is best to keep your colors consistent in order to make your space look well-organized.

Powder Coatings for Bathroom Fixtures

“Powder coating! Powder-coating bathroom accessories is my favorite thing. We recently worked together on a project that used a bright yellow Vola faucet. To match, we custom powder-coated the towel ring and trash can. This is a great way to add color to your home! You can powder-coat most metals.

Plan Your Gallery Wall

Designer Taniya Nayak says, “Let’s face the truth, once the hole in the wall is in, it’s unlikely that we’ll be able to move framed parts around.” You can create templates from cardboard to hang your photos on a gallery wall. I re-used the cardboard that my art came in. Trace the image, cut it out, and place it on the wall. You can move it around until you get it just right. To ensure that you don’t remove the paint, use Frogtape or a high-quality painter’s tape.

Use Bold Wallpapers in Your Bathroom

We love wallpapering small spaces or powder rooms with odd angles. It hides soffits and jut-outs, as well as weird angles. Plus, it makes tiny rooms seem larger because it tricks the eyes into thinking there are corners.

To make a small space seem larger, use large art

We often think that art and furniture should be small in a small space. But Tracy Morris, a designer, encourages us all to do the opposite. She suggests that if you have a small space, one large piece of art can be used as the focal point. One large piece of artwork will make the space seem larger and more grander. Too many pictures can clog up the space. This concept is used in at most one space per client. You could have a foyer that requires an anchor or a smaller living space that needs a focal point.

Use colors and patterns to create a calm space

You can add color and pattern to any space, even if you aren’t a style minimalist. Designer Rebecca Atwood said, “I love creating quiet, painterly designs in a soft-toned color palette with a mixture of gray, white, and taupe.” The texture is important and can add a lot to the room’s dimension and movement. You can make your bedding more rumpled or cozy by adding a textured coverlet or throw to the mix.

For a more dramatic look, use a simple stripe or monochromatic colors in different shades of one color. You can add pattern and color to your home by choosing a multi-colored palette. Mix up the scale of the pattern with a variety of small, medium, and large-scale prints.

Do not be afraid to mix patterns

Christina Bryant, founder, and CEO of St. Frank say that layered looks are something she loves the most. St. Frank was built on vibrant, pattern-heavy textiles that we styled in unexpected combinations. Contrast the patterns, a geometric one with a flower or a small-scale one with a large one.

Are you feeling anxious? You can start with a low-cost, low-commitment component. Pairing pillows are the easiest and most cost-effective way to get started. Try out different patterns on your pillows before you move on to wallpaper or drapery. This works well!

Use pins to keep your bed skirt in place

Are you having trouble keeping your bed skirt in place? Katie Raffetto is the founder of Katie Raffetto Interior Design. She has a simple solution: Use upholstery pins to keep your bed skirt from moving over time. The skirt should hang evenly if you pin it through the skirt’s top and box spring.

Use performance fabrics indoors

These fabrics are easy to clean and can be used indoors or outdoors. Jana Bek, the designer, says that indoor/outdoor textiles can be used in high-traffic areas or spaces with small children.

As a mother of two, I am often questioned about my white sofa. Sunbrella is a great fabric for outdoor and kitchen seating.

Black paint can be used as an accent color

Studio Munroe founder Emilie Munroe says, “We love to paint window mullion charcoal black, regardless of whether a building’s architectural style is modern or traditional.” The key is to only paint the trim 1- to 2 inches thick that touches the glass and not the whole window casing. The fear that the paint might feel heavy or dark is common among clients. However, the paint transforms the window into an image frame and draws your attention to the view beyond.

Katherine L. Branton

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