I’m always searching for what’s happ’nen in decor and design. Though, the process of keeping up feels a bit like running on a hamster wheel, I do enjoy the creative exercise. Today, by way of a few of my favorite sites and shops, I’ve collected five tips to faking your way into designing your dream room (especially for those of us on a budget)…and, you know sometimes ya gotta fake it to make it, right?
#1. No brick wall? No big whoop!
Depending on your budget and DIY acumen, you can:
• install a single panel of brick (like in the top photo above, between two windows, flanking a fireplace, like in the immediate photo above, or a single small wall) – there are easy-to-install products like brickweb (see how-to video), or you can go another way like this brick wall by MyCrappyHouse.com (hilarious name, btw).
• hang an oversized, detailed photo of brick – go urban and snap some off on your smartphone or SLR then frame a few. It may not be the real deal, but the eye (and wallet) will be tricked into seeing the feel of this classic feature.
#2. Be bold with patterns!
So often, there is a lack the confidence of going bold when it comes to placing patterns (let alone color) in our home. Fabulous online fabric shops like the one pictured above (marimekko – see how one of their patterns transformed one of our benches!) are great resources when it comes to going for it. Try these easy tips:
• purchase a group of seasonal pillows an online or local furniture shop features in one of their styled rooms – why not? They’ve spent loads of money hiring designers to make their photos look good!
• choose ONE color to repeat with different patterns/designs – especially in threes…you really can’t go wrong and it’ll look quite like you meant to do something so bold!
• visit a local furniture store and ask their in-house designers for advice. Potter Barn in-home design services offer pros who will be more than happy to spend time with you choosing exciting colors and patterns for your spaces…and it’s free!
#3. Let there be more light!
Dark spaces, unless you’re a musician or a groundhog, are typically “challenges” we need to overcome. Try these tips I learned from apartmenttherapy.com.
• leave off window treatments – or keep them sleek and out of the way of the glass.
• add mirrors near any windows or by light sources such as lamps, fireplaces, and/or candles.
• add oversized plants – since plants are drawn to light this trick will help give the impression of a lighter space.
• (the obvious) add more lamps, swag lights, fixtures, etc. Even with artificial light, if the corners of your room are illuminated, the effect will be dramatic and bright.
#4. Start living the dream with ONE wow! piece.
Now, on your current budget, you may not be able to buy that Herman Miller Eames lounger you’ve always dreamed of, but you may be able to try this:
• go treasure hunting on sites like DiggersList, ebay, etsy, etc., or pillage your higher-end neighborhood garage or estate sales. You just may find one super-duper cheap, or something similar in design.
• shop around to find ONE designer piece – typically a sofa, love seat, large chair, or light fixture. Even one special piece will wow up a room to appear dreamy.
• re-cover, reupholster or paint a wow piece – often times we can refurbish a family heirloom, hand-me-down, or flea market find and give it new life.
#5. Add personality and go quirky!
Some of my favorite designers suggest adding one quirky or humorous element to a room. After all, design should be fun and should definitely not take itself too seriously. Some unconventional ideas include:
• install an indoor swing or hammock – this is added seating and has an art installation vibe as well (be sure to have a professional install the hooks for necessary weight baring needs or do your DIY homework!)
• paint a wall, furniture piece or ceiling a popping color
• hang wall art or a sculptural piece to add dimension and texture
Now it’s your turn!
What are some ways you would fake your dream home? Add your thoughts in the comments below…we’d love to hear from you!