Similar to adding the right accessory to an outfit, adding certain design elements to a room can take it from plain to put-together. Two designers, Jamie Gibbs of Jamie Gibbs and Associates and Elaine Griffin of Elaine Griffin Interior Design and author of Design Rules: The Insider’s Guide to Becoming Your Own Decorator, provide five practical tips to add drama to a room, while still leaving you with money leftover for the right accessories.
Elaine Griffin, along with At Home editor Diane Carroll, is also a judge in our “What Inspires You?” contest (more info here). To enter, simply find a photo that inspires you, explain why in 100 words and send in your entry form (available here). The winner will be going to Maison & Objet in Paris, France!
1. Flowers: âYou donât have to tear down a room and build it up from a perfect blueprint to have a great space. There are certain things you can add to any room to leave guests wowed without much effort or cost. Flowers are a great first step,â says Elaine Griffin. Add flora in eye-catching colors like bright pink, purple or yellow to brighten up any interior. To add extra flair, choose a vase in a complementary color and mix types.
2. Print Rug: âFor the pattern, try graphic, animal or stripes,â says Jamie Gibbs. Use a large rug that covers most of the room and experiment with the shape of the rug as well as the pattern. Rather than the standard square or rectangle rug, try a circle or oval shape. While handmade rugs can become very costly, there are several inexpensive machine woven styles at various retailers that pack all the punch and are still affordable.
3. Pillows: âPillows can be the most cost-effective way to add color and texture to a room. Try silk, suede and even linen. Mixing color and materials is key for a dramatic and styled room,” advises Griffin. To save money, go to a local fabric store and buy several striking fabrics to make your own pillow covers. These can easily be swapped seasonally or by mood.
4. Wall Art: Painting in bold colors is not the best idea. It is often expensive, time-consuming and when too exotic, people usually get overwhelmed and want to change it after only a few months. A great way to have a splash of color and add pattern to your walls without the cost and time is to use WallPops wall art from http://www.wall-pops.com/.
“It is non-commitment decorating that is fun and can easily be changed,” says Griffin. The peel-and-stick wall art comes in dots, blocks and stripes in various colors and patterns that can be arranged to create patterns, stripes or cover an entire wall. New styles have recently been added including:
Bali: a black-and-white intricate design with an ethnic/tribal feel.
Carnivale: a red, orange, yellow and brown circular pattern with blossoming floral patterns inspired by Brazilian margaridas
Esprit: a colorful, modern floral print
Habitat: a nature-inspired leaf print with popular colors like teal, chocolate brown and a grassy green
Go Wild: a black-and-white zebra print
Twister: a violet, tan, deep cerulean blue and olive green retro pattern with free-flowing swirls and dots with die-cut stripes
5. Mirrors: âA mirror can not only add space to a room but also style. Look for large mirrors in vintage stores and flea markets with interesting frames. Place the mirror so it is one of the first things you see when you enter the room or place several mirrors together to create an accent wall to add depth and design,â offers Gibbs.
By adding these elements to a room, you can go from basic to dramatic without spending a lot of time and money.