Friday, August 24, 2007

Libby’s Insider Secrets –Interior Designers Tricks of the Trade

- Think Contrast rather than “Matchy-Matchy” – Designers combine contrasting colors in a room where most other people say “will that go with everything else in the room” or “is it going to match?”. Sometimes when everything “matches” or is in the same color tone the room can look a little blah but if you bring in a hit of a lighter tone or a darker tone it can add depth and dimension to a space, as well as a little personality! (Faxon Living Room afters – HC&G Bedroom afters) 

– Hang it Up (High!) – Hang drapes and blinds up where the ceiling meets the wall. By hanging them up so high it draws your eye upward making the ceiling seem higher and the room feel larger. It also can make a room feel very comfortable and look super luxurious. (Faxon family room before/after – Moses Bedroom before/after)

– Don’t Buy Furniture in “Sets” – (example: dining room set or bedroom set) – Designers never buy furniture in sets, it can look stiff and uninteresting…sort of like a furniture showroom! Don’t be afraid to mix it up, old pieces with new pieces, modern furniture with antiques. People say “well I don’t know how to mix it all so it looks right” I tell them that there are no rules, if they are pieces that they love and cherish it will all work together to create their own signature style. (Moses apt dining room, buffet, chairs, table – Loeffler Living Room)

– Choose Color on your Walls instead of Color on your Furniture – Designers love to re-do the looks of their own spaces more often than the average person and they know the quickest and least expensive way to completely transform a space is with a few cans of paint. If you buy neutral furniture (tan, black, white or gray) you can easily change your wall color for an entirely new feel in your space without having to go out and but new furniture (which costs much more than a few cans of paint). If you have a red, blue or green sofa you are limited to the quick dramatic changes you can make, they may be subtler and less gratifying! There’s more impact, less commitment and lots more fun in putting color on your walls. (Asian Room, before and after – Beach room, before and after – Brown room, before and after)

– Mix Textures and Surfaces for a High Style Look – Combine several different textures such as silk, suede, wool, linen, chenille and cotton to add visual interest to your space. If all the furniture in your space is one texture (cotton) it can lack dimension and feel cold. Mix surfaces on furniture as well like wood, iron, glass, mirror, rattan and steel. This again, will help create a look all your own and less “cookie cutter”. Remember to have some fun with your space! (Loeffler master bedroom – Moses Living Room Southampton)

– Think in terms of 3’s – An important part of what an interior designer does to create an overall look is the “styling” aspect of the space. This is when they take accessories, simple or ornate, and artfully arrange them on shelving, mantles tabletops to give a “homey” lived in look. This final stage is what takes a space from ordinary to extraordinary!

The trick to arranging items like a pro is to think in terms of 3’s – 2 vases on a shelf are too little, 4 vases are too many but 3 vases are just right! Also, mixing 3 items in varying heights balances the scale and looks very chic. Items range from everything from pillar candles, to vases to books; these are things that make your house look like a home. Just don’t go overboard because you don’t want it to look cluttered, a little styling will go a long way! (Faxon Mantle – Dining Table – Bedroom Wall Unit)