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Home Upgrade Secrets from Top 10 Designers

Interior Design

If you are about to embark on an interior design project, you could find yourself both intimidated and confused. The Decorist and Homepolish sites can assist you with your trek through interior design. There is also Modsy to help you to actually visualize the decorated space, and choose items to inhabit the space. You could also pick up the book: Interior Design Master Class: 100 Lessons from America’s Finest Designers on the Art of Decoration (Rizzoli), to provide you with a classic knowledge of interior design. The following is a brief synopsis from some of our favorite interior designers that may assist you with the process.

Respect Craftsmanship

To add a layer of luxury to your project, Brad Ford suggests handmade pieces, natural materials such as wood, clay, leather, wool and plant fibers. These items will warm up your area, and if you live in a city, they will help to naturalize the area. If you can’t afford a $24,000 table, you can probably find your hand-made piece at a vintage shop.


Being inspired by movies is popular with Stephen Shadley. Using backdrops such as The Grand Budapest Hotel or Something’s Gotta Give, you can derive great ideas and have wonderful results. Many celebrities have utilized Stephen Shadley including Jennifer Aniston and Diane Keaton. Oftentimes when we see a movie or production, the interior design will jump out and stay with us, laying the groundwork for our own project. From small accents to furnishings, the message they portray can be one that you use in your design project. Such is the “California” sign Diane Keaton picked out for her home that provides a rustic accent to the surroundings.

Don’t Force It

It’s important to work with the space you have available to you. Partners Daniel Sachs and Kevin Lindores are experts at creating a strong sense of place, as demonstrated in their work on the bowery loft of artists Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin. You can create spaciousness by painting baseboards the same color as the walls, or in their case, the end result was reminiscent of a painting canvass. Another idea would be to cover a narrow entryway ceiling that needs light. This shows how you can accentuate your space availability.

Creative Thinking

Taking a cue from interior designer Celeste Cooper, solving room size issues can be an adventure when you put your creative thinking cap on. High gloss ceilings, mirrors, and reflective floors can triple the light in an area with limited space. Home entertainment systems can be enclosed, wires hidden, and the space can become a focal point of the room.

More Artwork

As designer Martha Angus has demonstrated, art plays a more dramatic role than a couch. Art will enhance a small space, or illuminate a large space. Avoid fad-type art and your room won’t get rapidly outdated. Keep furnishings simple so that the accent is upwards and outwards. One piece of bad art can ruin the entire affect.

Bring People Together

In today’s time of high-tech and electronics, designer Windsor Smith recommends that we highlight intimacy, human interaction and stillness. Rearrange furniture and change the focal point of a room to assist with this transformation. Placing a piano in the center of a room may seem dramatic but it could work for some areas.

Architecture & Decor

Integration of furnishings with architecture is a hallmark of S. Russell Groves of the firm Groves & Co. The term gesamtwerk is a German word demoting a ‘complete work of art and architecture’. A consistent flow can be achieved when you have an architect who is also the designer. Frank Lloyd Wright was popular for designing the complete project from the building to the fabrics as shown in the Robie House of Chicago.

Let There be Light

To make your space feel and look brighter, designer Victoria Hagan recommends that you trick the eye by ideas such as painting a floor black or placing dark accents throughout the area. There are also many types of lighting fixtures available to provide and enhance the lighting for the area. Using window treatments that are sheer or white will allow light in to showcase your area.

Stop Buying into Trends

When you purchase an expensive suit, you usually ask yourself if it will stand the test time. Good quality clothing can be worn year to year and virtually never become outdated. The same philosophy should be applied to your home and its accessories. Alan Wanzenberg suggests that you ask yourself this question before making purchases of accessories or furnishings for your home. Ask yourself if the piece will be something you will like and enjoy in five or ten years.

When You Can, Look for Luxury

Luxurious items can be found in different places and at different prices. When you choose fabrics such as mohair and linen you are purchasing items that can heighten the luxury of your home. Tom Scheerer suggests that you not base the luxury score of an item by its price tag. It doesn’t need to be rare and expensive. Handmade types of accents or furnishings will appear luxurious and can promote that feeling in the area you are decorating. When you are traveling you can easily pick up items that will fit into your decorating scheme.

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