Interiors director Meg Crossley shares her best decorating advice.
A universal truth is that the best decorated rooms take time to evolve. But what if there was a checklist that could help you shorten that time frame? Here are some of my favorite tricks and tips that can help make your room feel complete before you know it.
Every room needs a
hit of black. It adds weight and gravitas to a room, preventing it from feeling too sweet despite the color scheme. It could be as large as a piece of furniture or as small as a pair of candlesticks.
In the design department, we believe in adding something to throw off the look of a room. When decorating quickly, it’s all too easy to fall into a pattern of sameness. Make one or two unexpected moves — it could be a color that seems a little off, or an
objet that seems out of place — to keep the room from feeling matchy-matchy.
Although trimwork looks great in any color room, it is especially needed in white rooms. We encounter a lot of rooms where the homeowners and designers choose a white envelope that ends up feeling flat. Luckily just a bit of trimwork — even inexpensive molding — gives the walls dimension.
This is a tip that can be a bit difficult, and not even all designers have the knack. Just remember that by mixing patterns in different shapes, sizes and colors (as long as you stick to a defined palette) makes a place feel less perfect and more evolved. Try it slowly, adding one cushion, rug, drape or upholstered piece at a time.
H&H, we constantly talk about “the mix”. By mixing eras, you can create a timeless space that doesn’t fall into the trend trap. One of the best ways to do this is by adding styles associated with different time periods. As a first step, add some old objects (we find a vintage butter bowl works in any kitchen, and propping vintage books on a shelf with modern ones always looks great). Even better, find something you want to collect. A collection gives the impression that you’re interested in history — or at least in the history of that one thing.
We design editors love plants or florals
en masse. Given its ability to fill up a room, greenery delivers big bang for your buck (especially if cut roadside). Here, designer James Davie uses a collection of crockery mixed with little lime hydrangeas cut from the garden.
This could be art (including framed kids’ drawings or something from a yard sale) that isn’t important, or an amusing coffee table book that gets people talking. Just don’t take decorating too seriously — have some fun!