I love transforming spaces, especially with easy tricks that take things to the next level. Take this past weekend as an example. I needed to change up the studio and get a larger desk, however when first installed it made the room feel super corporate. I had gone from a snug and sweet studio to something very office-y looking in a nano second. I knew immediately that I needed to layer things up. So I added lights (one very large one), art, flowers, books and suddenly the space transformed itself. Not only does the space look so much cooler I have the longest desk on the planet to design on! Playing with scale probably knocked it out of the park the most. A supersized lamp turned it around, art again supersized intrigued the eye. I coupled photographs with sketches with oils and butted one up against the other. My colour palette as always was reined in – the desk is a natural cork so I added a big white light, echoed the white with big white mounts on the art and added just one dark accent a little desk lamp in black. Voila!
So it’s the perfect time to talk about my 5 failsafe game changers when it comes to changing rooms up!
1. Add layers
Anyone who has attended one of my Design Classes will know how often I bang on about this. Layers add interest to a space it’s as simple as that. You need to create lots of them in a room. So tuck a little occasional table or stools under a console (sweet!), plop a side table beside a dresser, add a bench or baskets to the end of the bed. What happens is that you’ll find you’ve created a well rounded, beautifully collected look that is three dimensional and much more intriguing.
2. Add pattern
If you suspect your space is feeling a little too dull add pattern to shake things up a bit! Textiles are perfect for this, I’m thinking patterned pillows, throws, rugs with a super subtle motif. But there are tons more ways to bring in pattern from vases to sequins. I’m very thoughtful with pattern in my pad – I’m quite restrained but if you look for it you’ll notice some in every space. Without it all my rooms would look as flat as!
3. Draw the eye up
So many people neglect the ceilings. Why spend so much time on the rest of the space but leave them bare and unloved?! When you draw the eye up you’ll create a truly expansive feeling in your pad – it will instantly feel much more luxurious and spacious. Easy to achieve by hanging paintings a smidge higher than you normally might – or taking gallery walls up and over door frames even. Adding a big chandelier or light fixture to draw the eye up, perhaps a tall mirror hung vertically. Or even make the ceiling a feature in it’s own right. Basically don’t forget your vertical lines, and give people a reason to look up!
4. Add in some closed storage
Yes I’m a fan of open storage and intriguing shelves, but the sad fact is not everything’s pretty enough to be out in the open! Anything ugly in my pad gets shoved behind closed doors (printers, kitchen clutter, sacks of t-lights, dog bones…). It stops it looking messy and cluttered so all shelves and tables only display the cool stuff. The boring ugly bugs are shut away.
5. Add something that’s off
I know this sounds weird but a bit of ugly or unpolished will help a space from feeling “too done”, or uptight in other words. Rooms that look too suspiciously perfect just come across a bit bland and saccharine (to me, anyway). There is great value in making space for something a bit threadbare, well loved or slightly shabby. A dash of imperfection adds character to your space and makes it feel more relaxed.
Pretty easy when you drill down into it no?