My Fav 5 Of House Beautiful's Top 25 Interior Decorating Secrets

Today I'm writing you from sunny and humid Manitoba as I'm out for a bit to help out my fam jam.  Driving out I seriously thought I should post a pic for you and say "Have office, will travel" since all my computers were tucked into my very hot back seat.  However, I have arrived and wanted to do a fun piece for you this week (although I generally think most of them are fun :D ).  So here we go...

Top 25 Interior Decorating Secrets the Pros Swear By!

According to House Beautiful, there are 25 top 'secrets' that decorating pros use to enlarge, infuse, stretch, cosy up, glam, and generally boost interior spaces.  There are some interesting ones - like the one that suggests adding skirts to furniture because it makes a room "nervous" to have so many legs showing - and there are some well-known ones but there are also some really genuine gems.

I've picked my top 5 to share with you today and I'll post the link at the bottom so you can go and read the full story for yourself if you like.  In no particular order, here's my top 5:

#5 - Thought Behind Mirrors

Designer Jan Showers notes to think about what is reflected in the mirror.  She suggests you pick up a pretty scene like a lovely chandelier (such as shown above).  Something else you may want to consider if you're looking at mirror is the actual mirror itself.  Do you want a beautiful new mirror or would you like the look of an aged, antique mirror?  More and more antiqued mirrors are showing up in interiors everywhere, not just as wall accents but also in tile.  It gives great character to a room without making it heavy or 'historic'.

#4 - Window Trims - Glam Them Up!

Each decorator and designer has a different approach to window trims (and trims in general) but this one is kind of fun.  Decorator Jeffrey Bilhuber notes that he'll often paint them green to match the landscape or black to virtually fade away in the evening.  Whatever you decide, one thing is certain, they don't actually have to match throughout the home.  Depending on the flow of your home, you can paint different rooms differently.  Admittedly, this is a style that yours truly is still exploring.  I've seen it done successfully but have yet to suggest the option to a client.

#3 - Bring On The Pillows!

This is what I would consider a relatively well-known 'secret' among design aficionados, but Melissa Warner, a designer based in California makes a point of stating that just one set of pillows looks skimpy.  More and more you'll notice in furniture stores that if you order a custom sofa, you'll get to specify a fabric for a complimentary set of pillows.  Typically, you'll only get two pillows per item, depending on the size of the item.  Go bold on the fabric and have a little fun and then go out and find yourself another 2 or 3 pillows to toss on.  And do your best not to be all matchy matchy.  Unless it will drive you crazy if they don't match, get a little flair going and pop in some bling or attitude or just a different color or texture.  And play around with the sizes and shapes.

#2 - 'Flood Warning' Side Panels

Admittedly I was a little confused when I read about 'flood warning' side panels until I realized they were talking about too-short panels.  Think 'flood pants' - you know, when you've outgrown your pants and they're too short and not stylishly so?  This is a major one that pretty well every Do It Yourselfer (DIY) homeowner screws up (no offense).  What most people do is they buy a pretty set off the shelf, hang the rod exactly even with the trim at the top of the window and let them hang at whatever length they fall to, even if it's 6" above the floor.  I won't say that this is a "no-no" as I don't like the connotation but truthfully, it looks like your house grew bigger and you didn't bother to buy it new pants.  You want your drapes either just skimming or slightly pooling on the floor.  My personal preference is just shy, about 1/2"-1" above the floor depending on how level your floor is.  Pooling needs to be done carefully and as a former farmgirl, I just see dirty hems.

#1 - Gold & Silver Are Great Buddies!

Remember what I said before about avoiding matchy matchy?  This is one that I constantly am suggesting to clients and they just are too afraid to try out.  Mixing metals is not only quite on trend at the moment, it allows you to pair together period pieces with new pieces and make the whole thing look amazing!  Designer John De Bastiani states, "The key is to use a lot of both; you can't be shy with one or the other."  So pull out your metals and play around with them.  And, when you've played around for a bit, walk away and just let it sit.  Sometimes new ideas take a while to settle so let your brain think on it.

BONUS - Don't Hide The Booze!!!

Who doesn't love a good drink after a long day?  This is the last of the top 25 and I have to say, I think it's my favorite!  The idea here is that guests feel more comfortable when they can serve themselves.  If you have a friend who loves to play bartender but is rather messy (we have one of those lol), then be sure that wherever your cart is set up, you have an easy clean, spill-ready surface to store the drinks and glasses on.  This way, you don't need to babysit the cart, unfriend your bartender or buy a new piece after every party.

For the full read, click here.

Coming Up!

As I mentioned in my last post, I'm working on something new to bring out to my clients and to you, my Diamond Elite Fam Jam.  What I've been working on so diligently is a webinar targeted directly to those of you doing DIY renovation projects.  This webinar is packed with:

  • Great information you can USE NOW to move your renovation ahead
  • Tips and examples from my own DIY project and other projects I've worked on
  • A handy worksheet to make notes and capture the information you're learning
  • DIY Renovation Blueprint - a guide book to help you know where you're going
  • Plus, a free gift to show you how you can make a few big impact changes for LESS THAN $200!

If you're interested, or know someone who could benefit, please email me for dates.  I'm still working out the details but it looks like mid-August will be the next one.

Oh yeah, and it's LIVE!  So you can send questions in at the end and I'll answer them as best I can.

Let's Work Together!

So many clients I've worked with love love LOVE their home once we're done, even when we only do some of the 'lipstick' effects!  If you want to fall in love with your home again, or for the first time, connect with me and let's get you and your home on the same page.

I love to working with you to help you create your very own beautiful, personal spaces but I only take a small number of clients at a time to ensure I give each homeowner the best service I can.  So call me today to book your appointment before the September rush!!

And don't forget, if you have a friend or loved one who's talking about it, the Referral Program pays you $$ for hooking us up!

Until then, enjoy the sunshine and do something good in the world today.  Hey, did I mention I actually helped an elderly lady cross the street the other day?  True story.  And if you've read to here, the first person to email me and tell me they read this will get a $5 gift card to your favourite coffee place!