Consider the scale of your space.
In most cases, when working with small spaces it’s important to remember that comfort should always come first, as Seattle-based designer Brian Paquette told One Kings Lane. “Forgo the need to fill the space with everything you think you need and focus on comfort and usage—a real dining table you can spread out on, a sofa rather than a love seat, comfortable accent seating, and plenty of lighting options,” he said.
Remember that less can be more.
As it turns out, a more minimalist approach to your design scheme can open up the room and allow guests to focus in on the curated accents that you’ve worked so hard to incorporate into the space. And, according to Kendall Wilkinson, the Bay Area’s consummate celebrity designer, you should be approaching home design in the same way that you might approach your outfit ensemble. “Coco Chanel famously said that women, once dressed, should remove one accessory. I think that’s true for rooms as well,” she told One Kings Lane.
Add paint to your walls.
While it may seem like an obvious piece of advice, choosing challenging or compelling colors can really liven up any space in your home, according to Yael Meromy of the home staging and interior design firm Studio D. “This might seem obvious, but a lot of people don’t realize that something as simple (not to mention inexpensive and totally DIY-able) as a fresh coat of paint can completely elevate and transform a space into a sleek, chic and shiny-new version of its former self,” he says.
Work to create an emotional experience.
According to legendary interior designer John Saladino, your home’s interior should provide an emotional experience for every guest that steps into your home. “When you see a room for the first time, your blood pressure should go up. I like to create an emotional experience. A well-designed space doesn’t give out its secrets right away. It should never bore you or feel dated,” he told Elle Decor. Creating a truly compelling look is rather simple—just work to make every room a mixture of completely unique antique items and simple staples.
Experiment with color and texture.
As it turns out, the focal point of your room could exist on the walls—in the form of textured wallpaper or a brightly colored wall amidst a sea of neutrals, says Saladino. “One of my favorite wall treatments is brown-coat plaster, which is also called a scratch coat. It’s like the difference between bleached and unbleached flour,” he said.
And, as far as color goes, it’s perfectly acceptable to break the rules as well. “I do the opposite of what most people do: I paint north-facing rooms a cool color and put warmer tones in west or south-facing spaces,” he told Elle Decor.
Use layers of lighting.
When lighting your home, it’s also important to make every space feel light and open. According to Saladino, each kind of light has a different purpose, and you should be utilizing every single variety of light to suit your needs. “For ambient light, try a chandelier with little brown paper shades, which give a beautiful, warm glow, and table lamps for intimacy. You need practical lights for reading and to keep you from falling down the stairs,” he said. Plus, this influx of lighting has the ability to transform your space by providing a light to display those treasures that might have been hidden in the dark previously.
Find inspiration from nature.
While inspiration doesn’t have to necessarily come from the great outdoors, using outside sources for inspiration can serve you well when creating your ideal space, says celebrity interior designer and television personality Kari Whitman. Even something as simple as trying to incorporate the color of your favorite food into your space can be a novel way to imprint your own aesthetic on to your home.