10 Tips and Tricks for Exceptional Interior Design

Sample basement media room designGetting ready to remodel or maybe just feeling like updating and freshening the look of your home? Enjoy these ten, professional interior design tips that will help you get it right.

  1. The most important renovation tip is: Always, always, always have a plan before you start. Whether it’s a big construction project or just a few changes you should think the project through thoroughly, make all your design selections, create a schedule and have everything on hand before you begin. Having a plan means you have thought through and prepared for each step of the project. If you’ve done that, you can deal with the hiccups that inevitably come along. But if you haven’t, the project will take longer, cost more and may not turn out the way that you hoped it would.
  2. Many interior designers say that the most important aspect of a room is the lighting. It makes a room. Perry Newman likes to restate “In great design it’s all about the light.” Get the lighting right and it will elevate the experience of living in your home.
  3. Sample of room with natural light and yellow accentsSpeaking of light, sunlight is a wonderful tool. Add windows (or at least clean the ones you have so they shine). Remember that glass sparkles and sunlight gives the illusion of a bigger space. Natural light is warm and inviting, it relaxes people. Choose accent pieces that accentuate the light. For example, yellow pillows or window treatments are bright and cheerful. In fact, the color yellow actually stimulates conversation in your gathering spaces.
  4. Mirrors are another tool that can increase the light in a room. They gleam and sparkle and they make the space expand so it appears larger. Think carefully about the placement of mirrors. Be sure that you arrange them so they reflect something beautiful. They can even be combined to form a point of interest or replace art on the walls. Most of the time even quality mirrors will be cheaper than art.
  5. Sample of feature wall with framed print collectionWhen it comes to art bigger is not necessarily better. Selecting appropriate art to use in design can be intimidating and the whole process is subjective. People like what they like and what one person considers incredible may not be interesting to someone else. Since art can be expensive, it is common for homeowners to get overwhelmed or frustrated while making these selections. If you find yourself in this situation consider using a collection of small prints and having them framed in matching frames. Then, carefully arrange these on the feature wall to make an engaging point of interest.
  6. There is no such thing as clutter in a well-designed room. There can be many things in the room but each piece should have intent and purpose. In most instances, a good rule for homeowner’s is “less is more.” The personal items that you do display should be carefully chosen, have a purpose and a story. You should like the items that surround you in your home and they should reflect your personality and passions.
  7. But, what do you do with all the rest of the junk you’ve collected? Simple, plan for storage in your design so the treasures you can’t bear to part with each have a designated place where they can be tucked away. “A place for everything and everything in its place” is a good guideline. If you don’t have room for it in your home then you probably don’t have room for it in your life.
  8. Layer your space. Your home will look cold, commercial and uninviting if you do not have rugs and furnishings. So, plan for these things when you are first making your selections and your budget. Getting the construction done is important but without furniture what use is a living room? It’s hard to live there if you don’t have anywhere to sit down. In the photos below you see an example of a Perry Newman Design room complete with furniture next to another Perry Newman Design room where the client had not budgeted furnishings into the cost of the project. Although both are beautifully constructed homes, not having a finished room will decrease the satisfaction of an otherwise stellar remodel. At minimum, be sure to include rugs, furniture and window coverings.

 

  1. Utah kitchen with dark cabinetry and a white ceilingWhen considering paint choose a base color and then purchase a 50% lighter mix as well as a 150% darker mix of the same color. Use these in your room to simulate texture (as would happen if you striped a wall) or to add interest with accent pieces. Another tip with color is that if your room feels dark (because of color or cabinetry) you can paint the ceiling a lighter version of the wall color and it will instantly brighten the room.
  2. People think that designer homes are all about “the look” but great interior design engages as many senses as possible. As discussed in a previous Perry Newman Design blog, textures add interest and help create the feel of a room. Another way to elevate your home is through fragrance. Fresh flowers bring the outside in to make your home lovely. The smell of clean linens gives people the impression your home is spotless, fresh and well taken care of. Whatever fragrance suits your style can become part of your home by using scented candles, air fresheners and other products described in the “Eleven easy ways to make your home smell better” blog.

call button small croppedCareful planning is the key to a successful renovation or redesign project. One way to plan carefully is to meet with a professional and Perry Newman Design offers a free consultation for homeowner’s who are seriously considering a remodeling project. If you want a new kitchen, master suite, or bathroom or if you are ready to finish or redesign your basement, give Perry Newman a call and we will spend an hour in your home going over your options. As part of our renovation experience, we take you from your conception, through all the planning and construction, to the completion of your designer home.

perry_logo-full cropped

Three ways to elevate your design by utilizing texture

Sample room with wood, stone and other textured elements.

Sample room with wood, stone, fabric, metal and other textured elements.

Texture is an important element to elevating design. To achieve a designer finish, Perry Newman advises “stay within your palette and use lots of textures for interest.” Utilizing different textures can help create the perception of a feeling, balance the room by weight or contrast and add interest while highlighting a focal point. Proper, careful placement and use of a variety of textures can lead the eye through a room and create the desired ambiance. Here are three suggestions to making the best use of texture:

 

  • Sample room with brick, wood, glass and metal textures.

    Sample room with brick, wood, glass, plant and metal textures.

    Texture adds dimension and different moods can be achieved through selecting the right combination (even while staying within the colors in your palette). For example, rough textures feel warm because they do not reflect as much light as a smooth surface. They also have a rustic vibe, while smooth textures seem more modern and feel cooler because they reflect more light. A bold texture creates depth and enhances the feeling of warmth. Movement and tranquility can be achieved by repeating shapes and patterns (the way being near water and seeing the ripples on a pond can soothe and mellow a person’s emotions). Unity and integrity can be conveyed by matching borders on different elements in the room. Playing with textures can strike any mood between creating drama or giving the impression of a relaxing, faraway place.

 

  • Texture on shower wall

    Adding texture to accent a plain white wall gives an upscale, luxury feel without adding any color at all.

    Different finishes (smooth, matte, course, fine, etc.) can add interest and depth to a neutral room, keeping it timeless but making it homey and livable. When placing objects in the design consider whether the texture offers a visual or tactile experience or both. The more bold or rough a texture is, the heavier the piece will appear. Smoother or shiny textures look lighter and can be used for contrast. Utilizing texture to make features in the room appear heavy or lighter provides an opportunity to balance the room or create imbalance and angst, depending on the look a designer is striving to achieve.

 

  • Finally, consider placement and selection of textured objects to combine into an appealing overall concept. Things like tree branches, wood, textiles, draperies, art or brick can be altered to stand out as a focal point or blend in to conform. For example, a brick wall left as it is may be a feature in the room but painted a neutral color it fades away, offering the interest of the brick texture, but not detracting from the carefully placed focal point. Natural elements that are incorporated into the design add an appealing, earthy feel. Things like plants, sisal, wood, etc. are elements to consider incorporating for added interest.

 

 

texture sample room with horse art

Sample room displays texture of glass, brick, sisal rug, fabrics, stone, metal, plants and wood.

Perry Newman says an easy way to bring texture into a design is carefully selecting fabrics on the furniture but a less expensive alternative is to choose different fabrics on throw pillows. Remember that adding a variety of trims and fringes adds interest. The same is true for draperies and art. Just stick to your palette plus white, black and grey. If you would like a designer eye to help make your texture choices, the professionals at Perry Newman Design can help you take your home renovation project from conception, through construction, to completion. Call Perry today at 801.971.0868 or fill in the contact form at perrynewmandesign.com.

perry_logo-full cropped