This is a weird tip, but it totally works! Here’s how to get a designer look with accessories:
Buy accessories at least big as your head.
When you look at a design mag or gorgeous interior photos on Pinterest, one of the things that gives a room a “designer look” is the accessories and how they’re styled. And if you start to pay attention you’ll find that most designers use large-scale accessories.
Check out the photo above. Vase with flowers? Bigger than my head. Framed artwork leaning on the piano? Definitely bigger than my head. Brass vase with ferns? Maybe as big as my head…but on top of the stack of books, it’s bigger for sure.
Small accessories tend to look like clutter, even when they’re grouped together. Think of your Grandma’s china cabinet. No matter how organized and neat all of those tchotchkes were, that thing looked like a hot mess!
If you want to get a designer look with accessories,
fewer larger ones are far more effective than a collection of curiosities.
Large vases, bowls, plants, bookends – and even brass peace-sign hands – look awesome as styling accessories. And if something’s feeling too small, place it on top of a stack of hardcover books or a decorative box to give it more importance.
What about candles, you might ask? They’re not usually as big as your head.
Yup, you’re right. I’d consider candles the exception to this rule. But it the majority of your accessories are as big as your noggin, a more delicate candle will be a welcome visual change.
With a few styling secrets like this in your back pocket, you can get a kickass designer look in your own home too. And I’ve got a FREE printable Cheat Sheet that you can unlock right here to help you out when accessorizing your own home.
Designing a kitchen is a TOTAL BEAST. There are soooo many details to consider, from countertops to cabinets to cooktops. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve forgotten to select grout or overlooked including undercabinet lighting when creating a kitchen design for a client. Don’t you wish there was a kitchen design checklist with all the items you’d need to select for your kickass new kitchen?
Get ready – I’ve got something rad for you.
It took me years (and a few mistakes along the way) to come up with a comprehensive checklist to make sure I had all my bases covered, and this thing is IT. And I’m sharing it with you, totally free, to save you time, money, and mistakes:
The Essential Kitchen Design Checklist
There are four major categories to consider when designing a kitchen:
Fixtures + Finishes, Plumbing, Appliances, and Storage.
Fixtures and Finishes includes the fun stuff, like counterops and cabinet colors. It also includes the boring (but necessary) stuff that needs to be selected, like the edge style and thickness for the countertop, and the grout color for the floor tiles. These are the kind of seemingly small design decisions that have a big impact on the overall result of a kitchen remodel, yet most homeowners aren’t prepared to make these kinds of selections and this indecision can really bottleneck a project.
Plumbing also seems simple (you need a faucet, right?) until you realize how many other elements are part of this decision, like the type of faucet mount (Centerset? Widespread?), finish (Chrome? Brass? Matte black?), or features (Pulldown? Touch-activated?).
If you’re designing a whole new kitchen layout, then the world of appliances is your oyster! Be sure to pay attention to size and electrical needs so that your contractor and electrician make the correct allowances (and so that your fancy new oven works properly!).
If you’re working with an existing kitchen layout, pay attention to how wide the openings are for your appliances – a 24″ wide opening will not fit a 24″ wide appliance, and you’ll need to factor in a little wiggle-room to make sure things fit.
And of course, storage is a major consideration in a kitchen design. This is the time to look into awesome storage solutions to make your life easier, like pull-outs, drawer dividers, and baking sheet dividers.
This FREE kitchen design checklist is the exact tool I use at Lesley Myrick Art + Design when I start a new kitchen remodel project. It includes four major categories to consider as well as alllll the nitty-gritty details you’ll need to cover in each category.
Having this checklist as a guideline helps me start and manage a kitchen design with confidence, and I hope it will do the same for you. Download it right here.
How much does it cost to decorate a living room?
It seems like one of those well-guarded secrets: how much does it cost to decorate a living room? Whenever I have a consultation call with a potential new client, I always ask what they’ve set aside to invest in their design project.
And nine times out of ten, the answer is, “I have absolutely no idea.“
You know what? I don’t blame them! Unless you’ve sat down to make an itemized list of every single item that goes into a typical room, it’s such an abstract concept to come up with a budget. I mean, $10,000 sounds like a lot of money and you can probably decorate a living room for $10k, right?
Unless you’re shopping exclusively at IKEA and garage sales, a dreamy living room for $10,000 isn’t going to happen. Think about it: you likely need a sofa, and two accent chairs, and a coffee table, and two end tables, and an area rug, and a couple of table lamps, and a light fixture…oh, and did I mention window treatments, accent pillows, wall art, maybe a mirror, and accessories?
There’s some interior design #realtalk for you – it’s probably going to cost more than you think to furnish your living room.
While you probably haven’t made an itemized list of things you’ll need for your living room, I have! Here’s a quick breakdown of what you can expect to invest in a living room at a Good, Better, and Best price point.
One of the best indicators I’ve found for helping clients establish a project budget…
…is discovering what they’re comfortable spending on a sofa. For some people, $1000 is a lot; for others, $10,000 is starting to reach the end of their comfort zone. Having real numbers to work with – not just intangible language like affordable or expensive – means I can get a sense quickly of what vendors to source from and at what price point.
So, now what?
I’ve created a handy-dandy FREE guide for you called How Much Does It Cost to Decorate a House? In it you’ll find real room-by-room budgets to help you plan your design investment – at a price point you’re comfortable with – to take the guesswork and uncertainty out of the financial side of decorating.
Get ready to kickstart your interior design project and plan your budget like a boss! Download our super helpful guide with room-by-room furnishing budgets and printable worksheets right here.
I know, I know – interior designers make styling look easy! But if you’ve ever tried to accessorize your living room, arrange a bookshelf, or style your kitchen countertop, you know it’s not as easy as it looks.
That’s why I’m sharing my cheat sheet with 7 Designer Styling Secrets. (There’s a free download for you at the end of this post!) Getting an expertly-styled space can be within reach once you know a few tips and tricks.
Tip #1: Create Balance
Use symmetrical (formal) or asymmetrical (informal) balance when you’re arranging a grouping of items. Symmetrical means that everything is the same on both sides (like a matching pair or lamps); asymmetrical means the items aren’t identical but have the same visual weight to balance each side out (like a lamp on one side, and a tall vase on the other).
When creating a grouping of accessories, always use odd numbers! Arrangements of 3 or 5 items look way better than things in even numbers, which can visually fall flat.
Tip #2: Pay Attention to Proportion and Height
Use stacked books or boxes as pedestals to display items on to create height, and look for vertical accessories like vases, branches, and candlesticks to break up horizontal items.
Tip #3: Have an Anchor
Choose one item in each grouping of accessories to become the “anchor” – the focal point. Allow the anchor item to take center stage, and for the other accessories to support it.
Tip #4: Less is More
Let your “anchor” accessory – your statement piece – shine. If something isn’t working, consider paring down! Sometimes taking away is better than adding an accessory. And as much as I love
Tip #5: Bookshelves Are a Beast!
Yeah, that’s not really a tip – just a heads up that styling bookshelves
Tip #6: Bring In Something Natural
Organic elements are often the missing item that can take a room from feeling incomplete to perfectly styled. Introduce florals and greenery (faux is fine!) to soften up your shelves or coffee table, and think about bringing in a tall potted plant to a lonely corner.
Tip #7: Buy More Than You Need (And Return the Rest)
Stylists always have options! Always buy more accessories than you think you need so you have the flexibility to play around and see what works best. You might be surprised what looks best in your home! Keep the price tags on, and return what doesn’t work in the end. Be sure to check the store’s return policy first.
Want to take these tips to go? Download your FREE printable cheat sheet with these 7 Designer Styling Secrets to reference when you’re decorating and styling your own home.