I care about interior design. Not everyone does, which is totally fine. But I do. I love watching design shows on interior design networks–like Income Property on the DIY Network. I also look at tons of photos of interiors from design websites. It’s just something I love, so it’s something I think about a lot.
I make a concerted effort to make my house attractive and unique. I work hard to take my builder-grade finishes and change them to make them elegant and luxurious. But that doesn’t mean I live in a museum where nothing can be touched. It still has a cozy and inviting feel, a lived-in style. And it’s not always pristinely clean. But here are five design tips for everyday to achieve a little more attractive and unique appeal to your home.
The One Piece: The one piece you love, the one piece to rule them all, so to speak. You find one item that has all the colors you adore for the space, that captures the feel of the room all in one. Start with this inspiration piece and the rest of the room will fall into place. It can be a print or a pillow, a blanket or even a book. Something that has color and interest and most importantly, that you LOVE.
Texture, Pattern, and Material: Every room needs a little of these three elements. Texture is easily brought in with pillows and blankets, maybe some unique 3-D art. Things that have dimension, that make you want to touch them. Pattern can be from artwork, rugs, curtains, pillows, and blankets. Even furniture, although that’s a bit more of a risk. Finally materials–change things up by using soft linens, leathers, metals, woods, real plants, etc. Think about what the season needs: cold would need warm and thick materials, warm seasons like bright and warm colors, light materials.
Make it Work for Your Life: I think this is something not often stressed enough in design. Sure, I’d love to have clean white floors, but that is completely unrealistic. We actually LIVE in our house. And I don’t want to spend my days scrubbing away dirt. So I have to find suitable and stylish alternatives that still work. Can’t have white floors, so I have a white slipcovered couch. Every time the couch gets dirty, I just throw the slipcovers in the wash. It’s a win-win. My husband has to sit in a recliner chair. Recliners are notoriously hideous, so right now it’s my mission to find a comfortable AND stylish recliner. I know they exist. I will find it. And I won’t settle for anything less. In the meantime, I throw a blanket and a pillow over it and disguise it a little.
Don’t Spend a Lot of Money: I DIY nearly everything to save money. Did I always DIY? Not really…but I always had the can-do attitude. So I have taught myself how to do practically anything. I know how to saw wood, tile walls, change a faucet, re-wire a light fixture, and paint everything. It’s not just ‘for the honey-do list.’ My husband is way too busy to do everything I want, so I just taught myself how. And we have saved TONS of money doing it. I also shop thrift stores, IKEA, Target, Walmart, Home Goods, and plenty of other discount retailers. I have a very hard time paying for anything expensive. Yet I’m pretty proud of my pretty house. You don’t have to spend a fortune to have design.
Don’t Marry Your Design: Who says you have to be lifelong monogamous to one style of design? Just because I dug red and black when I was first married doesn’t mean I have to keep all my red and black stuff I registered for at my wedding. Styles and designs are constantly evolving and changing. Decide what you like and go for it! You can find ways to match things from different styles together. My kitchen has industrial lighting but very traditional styling. And it works. And I’m always changing the pillows in my house. Sometimes what is in the living room will move to the bedroom the next day and vice versa. It’s fun to have a little collection of decor that I can shop from, based on my preferences. I just add new things here and there and make it blend with my existing decor.
One of my favorite shows for everyday design is DIY Network’s Income Property. I’m interested in actually having my own income property someday, but I actually just love licensed contractor Scott McGillivray’s final designs. Most of the properties are basement apartments, which are traditionally kind of dank, dark, and haunted. But his are bright and modern and have beautiful finishes.
It’s on Thursdays at 10/9 c. on the DIY Network. Be sure to catch it–it’s such a fun show!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of DIYNetwork.com. The opinions and text are all mine.