6 design tricks designers want to keep to themselves – Abigail Ahern

Abigail Ahern's new blog

6 design tricks designers want to keep to themselves

Morning, today’s post is slightly earlier than usual as I woke at 4 and couldn’t get back to sleep so just thought darn it I’ll get up, too much on my mind I reckon. Problems with the new collection,  deadlines,  heaps of new things happening etc etc etc!

This morning I wanted to talk about tricks of the trade that us designers use. Some designers are a bit funny about giving away their tricks, not sure why. Same way I guess that people are when you ask them where they got something and you get that ‘oh I don’t remember’ line! People are just not happy giving away info I reckon, they want to distinguish themselves from the crowd and protect their ideas and sources.

We have had in the past customers telling us they don’t tell any of their friends about us, which is probably the worst thing I could here as a retailer. It’s hard enough as it is in this business so my heart sinks every time I get told that line. I freely give away tips every day on the blog, a ton of my sources in my design classes and never worry if people have the same stuff as I. On the contrary if it’s worked for me I am only too happy and excited for it to work for you. But that as they say is life I guess.

Anyways I digress below are some of the coolest design tricks around that you’ll often find  no one will ever want to share – but the heck with that!

Supersize your artwork

It’s not about the medium say oil v  print, it’s about the size.  The minute you large-scale anything is the minute you add more intrigue and kudos to your home. Works beautifully with artwork but that said anything supersized will add grander. No one ever believes me though until they do it!

Conceal the appliances

In kitchens consider concealing appliances – especially if they are open plan. Ugly fronts of washing machines and dishwashers should sit behind closed doors it makes the kitchen feel far more bespoke that way and integrated into your open plan space. And not just appliances anything ugly in my book goes behind closed doors, printers, remotes, keys all that kind of stuff goes away. What is out is cool what is not is hidden.

Paint outside walls dark

This is the biggest game changing trick ever for outside, foliage will pop, neighbours will be jealous!

Create friction

Sounds odd I know but the more friction you create through the materials you use in each room the more dynamic and intriguing the space will feel. If everything were shiny say it would feel flat so up the anty with different textural combinations.Texture is super neglected but its one of the most important components. If for some reason your space isn’t quite working before changing it all up consider adding a few contrasting textures; cushions, baskets for logs or mags, something shiny, something flocked that kind of thing.

Add a nook

Incorporating a clever seating nook into a room like a bedroom or a living room away from the main conversational area looks and feels so so so sweet plus it makes your space feel way more intriguing! I’ve just swapped out a little green tub chair in my studio that flanked my bookcase wall for a big winged leather chair which is way too big for the space but has suddenly cast a magical vibe next to my desk. Things don’t have to be in proportion, ditch the rules the more you do that the more interesting your space becomes.

Add a sense of wonder

Not everything in a room should make sense otherwise it will read like a big yawn, add a jolt of the unexpected. Could be some oddball art, could be a sculpture, or a vase in an intoxicating hue. Something that doesn’t follow convention it will make your space far more drool worthy.

Simple no, when you drill down into it. By all means have in your head the basic design rules but then twist them a little.  I didn’t get anywhere until I ditched them since then I’ve never looked back! Professionally but also personally. Personally my home has never looked better and professionally despite worrying and waking super early (I am a worrier by trade) my business has never been in a better position than it is today. Rules are made to be broken I say!

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