If you’ve ever flipped through one of the great shelter magazines like Traditional Home or Elle Decor and thought “why don’t my rooms look like that” – you’re not alone! Even for those of us who are trained to be interior designers, creating a magazine-worthy room is hard work. There is so much thought and planning that goes into each room. But I’m going to make it easier for you by giving you my top 5 tips for getting that editorial look!
1. Edit! Coco Chanel always said: “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and remove one accessory.” That’s exactly what you should do for a room, too. You want to clear out the clutter and knickknacks and give your room space for the eye to move around! Look at your favorite homes in House Beautiful or another magazine and you’ll see what I mean. The rooms are free of “noise” and even the smallest space seems more open and airy because it’s been edited with just the right amount of furnishings.
2. Use original art. You can really set your room apart from others by using original art – it gives your room personality, and a look that can’t be replicated. It can also give you inspiration for the color palette in the room – just be sure to let the art be the star.
3. Fortune favors the bold. Consider a bold color or an out-of-the-box pattern in the room. The spaces that really capture attention aren’t cookie cutter – they have a personality, too. You can add that through a fun color on the wall or a graphic pattern on a fabric. Don’t do something just to be different, though. It should be a choice that makes sense for you and for the room!
4. Fresh flowers. Notice all of those amazing homes in the magazines, they almost always have flowers, branches, or live plants in them. But now look closer – they are usually fresh and in one color family. That again lets the eye “rest” in the room – a big multicolored bouquet would be fighting with all the other colors and points of interest in the room.
5. Proportion and placement. If a room is big but the furniture is smaller proportioned, a room will always feel “off.” And the reverse is definitely true, too! You want a room with a mix of proportions so the space feels balanced. You also want to be sure that they’re placed in the room correctly – balancing heavier items with lighter ones and skirted upholstery with exposed legs, will give the room a great look. I’m also a stickler about the placement of lamps and lighting. Be sure you put the lamps where you need them – my pet peeve is to see lamps on the outside edge of a bedside table unless you’ve also layered swing-arm lamps at the bedside so you can see, for example. If you’re going to read in bed, lighting should be close to the bed. So use this sort of common-sense approach for getting published and just good function of your space.
Most importantly, study the rooms that you love from your favorite magazines. Notice the color, balance, proportion, and personality in each one and pull out the details that you love for your own spaces! It can be great inspiration for your finished room. Good luck!