Guest Post: 10 Insider Tips from the Files of Top Interior Designers

Decorating, How-To | | | 1 Reply

Shane Inman is an interior designer located in New York,  New York. Today, he’s sharing his top 10 professional tips to help you design and decorate your home.

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Small rooms. Most people make the mistake of thinking that smaller rooms require lighter paint colors to brighten them up. But, as strange as it may sound, smaller spaces actually appear larger when painted a darker color. Darker colors hide ceiling lines and corner shadows to make walls and ceilings appear to be farther away.

Low ceilings. Painting low ceilings using the same color as your walls will blend wall and ceiling shadow lines. The eye will not know where the walls end and the ceiling begins.

Flawed walls. When you have badly worn or damaged walls, try using a faux finish to cover the dimples, scrapes and mars. A good faux finish will camouflage everything with its many variations of color and random pattern. The eye will not be able to detect the difference between paint and flaws. A word of caution, however: Be careful when choosing and applying your faux finishing technique, because if it is done poorly, it will accentuate the problem rather than camouflage it. For this trick, you will need to gauge whether a faux finish is in order or whether you should use that money to repair your existing walls.

Damaged wood flooring. Damaged wood floors that have no sanding life left in them can be painted to make them look fresh again. You can make a dramatic change in your space by using a very durable garage floor paint that comes in many color variations.

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Little windows. To gain the illusion of more windows and to bring more natural light into a room, try adding mirrors. Mirrors create a sense of depth – much like windows. By placing a mirror across from an existing window, you will create the appearance of having two windows in the space.

One good piece. Serious home improvement enthusiasts will want to start off their venture with one really good calculated piece and work around it in future years. Structural integrity, not cost, is the key here – even if the two usually go hand in hand. A room full of inexpensive furniture has no longevity.

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Dark rooms.  An inadequately lit space can appear dreary and can make anything placed in it look dull and unattractive. Any good-looking room, no matter the budget, starts with the right combination of general, task and accent lighting to show off color and texture. For exceptional general lighting, add a torchére to reflect light directly off the ceiling onto the whole room. Recessed can lighting located adjacent to walls create a scalloping effect that will provide not only general lighting, but also accent lighting. Table lamps and picture lighting will draw emphasis to surfaces and artwork for a warm feeling.

Less is more. Put everything you want in the room you are redesigning, and when you are finished, edit yourself by taking 25 percent of it out. A person entering a room for the first time should be able to experience the space as a whole and not be overwhelmed by its contents. Remember, the more you have in a room, the smaller it becomes.

Add personality. Not everyone has to fit into either a traditional or contemporary style – follow your good instincts! Nowadays, pretty much anything goes, as long as you do it with some sense of style. Remember, you can’t buy good taste!

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A perfect paint job. Even though paint is known to be the least expensive way to update a space, it pays to hire a professional who knows the correct coat coverage, sheen and application process. Even the best furniture arrangement and the highest-priced accessories will look awful if their backdrop is a sloppy paint job. Not only will a properly painted interior come off looking like a million bucks, but it will also have greater durability to stand the test of time in an active household.

One thought on “Guest Post: 10 Insider Tips from the Files of Top Interior Designers

  1. scott peterson

    In this article you said “the more you have in room the smaller it becomes”, you are the only person i have heard it from apart from me. people like to decorate their room with all the fancy things but it takes a lot of space. I personally like good quality and fancy things but only which suits my room.

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