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How to start thinking like a designer

Posted on August 18 2014

This time next week I’ll be in NYC, I’m whizzing over on the weekend to shoot some amazing homes for my new book on Colour. Two days NYC, two days LA then home! Regrettably my bonkers schedule (I’m in Paris shortly afterwards) means that its the quickest trip Stateside yet! I couldn’t manage to stay out longer and run classes but fear not in September we are launching a pretty comprehensive Design School Tour which includes both cities.

Lets get down to biz shall we, the low down on some designer tricks that many designers use but rarely want to share! You don’t need to hire us you know in order to get that jaw on the floor space; you just need to start thinking like us.  Easier said than done I realise that but you can totally create a mouth-watering jaw on the floor interior by yourself. Here is how!

Have a few statement pieces and build everything else around them!

If you have only one statement piece your room won’t feel complex enough but more than 3 or 4 it can feel like a hot mess. Have a few statements and then build the rest of the room around it. It’s a bit like pulling together an outfit really.

Don’t over clutter

Fine line I know between having so much stuff that it looks cluttered and too little it looks bare. My trick is the ugly paraphernalia of everyday life like remotes, keys etc. goes away and the cool stuff stays out! Listen to your gut. If your gut says its feeling too much do what I do and clear it all out, start with a blank canvas and re-introduce.

Small changes can have the biggest impact!

Little things like switching up ugly plastic light switches for metal ones or nasty door handles for ceramic ones gives room an instant upgrade. Painting out rads and skirts the same colour as your walls is another small change that has the greatest impact!

Take a photo

Sounds odd I know but sometimes when a space  here is not working I take a pic of my room on my phone. By seeing things through the lens it highlights areas that work and areas that don’t so you can either further develop them or leave as is. It’s the easiest trick out there!

Use colour as a starting point

Limit them though especially the strong ones. I’ll temper strong hues with sludgy inky bottom of the  lake type hues it allows the eye to be intrigued but at the same time it allows the eye to rest and breath.

Think of a room in layers

No layers no interest, how many times a day do I say that phrase in Design School! Visual interest comes through layering different materials and textures together. It also comes through staggering the heights of your objects – layers are key.

Make a home feel cosy

In order to prevent rooms from feeling too uptight and formal add something a bit cozier. Lets say you have a marble coffee table with a group of beautiful books, you’ll not be wanting to plonk an orchid on top (way to formal and structural)! Instead consider a vase with a bunch of flowers that are soft and looked like they’ve just been picked from the meadow. This tread is an important one, anything that looks too done feels uptight so casual it up a bit with stuff that shouts homely. Candles, baskets, softly woven throws that kind of thing.

Simple tricks for making a house look amazing!

Happy Monday

think

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