There are different styles of interior design, just as there are different styles of clothing (are you into H&M or REI; Hermes or Versace) or hair styles (short and spiky or long and wavy). There is nothing to say one of these is better than the other, just different. And that is okay. If we all looked, dressed and decorated the same, this life we are living would look very boring.
I love a wide range of interior styles. Some style choices depend on regional location (colorful at the beach, moody in Seattle) or architecture (downtown condo or historic home). Regardless of the home’s architecture, location or your personal style, here are my top key tips for having a timeless, chic and serene home that will stand the test of time.
#1: Choosing color
Never choose your color palette on what is currently “popular”. Just because a “color marketing association” says coral is the color of the year, you do not need to redecorate your home. Choose the colors you love, and your home will always look fresh. If local chain stores are all showcasing a particular color scheme, you can be sure that scheme will be gone as soon as the next selling season rolls around.
Not sure what colors you love? Look at your wardrobe. Think about places you have traveled or homes you have loved. Spend some time exploring. Don’t let it sway you, but blue is the most popular color in America, followed by green. We get a lot of requests for ‘no color’ and we also get a lot of requests for blush and lavender. Don’t let someone else tell you what will look good in your home. Pick what you love and dive in confidently.
Back to the clothing analogy, there is a difference between a dress made at Old Navy and one sold at Neiman Marcus. You can usually tell in the tailoring, but also the fabric. It is ok to mix high and low, but my recommendation is to include a couple of fabulous fabrics in your room that are a splurge. Maybe it is just a couple of pillows, but it will make the room shine.
Try to find something exclusive and unique. Something that makes you happy. Fabric can be like a work of art and if you only need one or two yards for some pillows, it won’t break the bank. And, the world does not need any more pillows that look like Adam Levine’s Super Bowl Sunday tank top.
#3: Rug sizes
Nothing makes a room feel more off than the wrong size rug. If in doubt, go larger. Up to 6” away from the wall on all sides. Ideally 12”. The front of all furniture legs should be on the rug. If the back legs fit, even better. And, never put the rug on an angle. It throws off the symmetry of the room, which leaves most people with a feeling that something feels “off”.
If you can’t find a rug that fits your space, having a carpet cut to a rug is a cost-effective solution. We do this all the time with sisal, seagrass and wool. Just have the edges serged to match the carpet color and it will look great!
At the risk of repeating myself, lighting is the jewelry of the home. You don’t have to match all of your metals, but we do generally say go larger rather than smaller in a space. Your rule of thumb is to add the length of the room in feet to the width of the room in feet to get the ideal diameter of a hanging fixture. There are million other lighting tips like this on the internet. Just google it! No excuses for getting it wrong.
I believe in having fewer, better things. Buying the right thing the first time and not contributing to a throw away mentality is an important principle to me. There is a saying that says, “Buy the best and you only cry once.” If you want a classic, chic and serene home, take the time to plan out what you need and make it an adventure to find those items that bring you joy. We are trained for instant gratification, but the anticipation is part of the fun. When we do a project, it easily takes five months from concept to install. This is hard for most people to appreciate, but the day it is installed, and everything is in its place, it was always worth the wait!
There are so many fabulous resources to take advantage of that can help you tailor your tastes and hone in on your unique style. Just remember these key points: select colors you love, not what’s trendy, mix in unique fabrics to make your room shine, measure your space for the right rug and lighting, and buy the best and you will only cry once. Great things take time so be sure to make a plan so that you bring in items into your home that you will love for a while, not just for now. Most importantly, if you need help hire a professional. Our design team has the expertise and time to help you make the best decisions for a timeless space. Fill out our design questionnaire and let our team help you.