Design Tips: Like with Like

10593053_SDo you have a collection – either small or large – that you value? If so, think about finding a way to display it in your home with flair.

One fundamental design rule is to position like objects together: like with like. But don’t limit your thinking to only combining things that are exactly the same. Like can mean from the same period of time, in the same color or colors, the same shape, the same theme, or anything you can discover that makes a connection.

Now, the old leather-bound books shown above are together, but they don’t have much of a chance to make a statement sitting on a bookshelf.

7786742_STake a look at about the same number of books combined with a roll of older paper, an old inkwell and a feather that could be a quill pen. By combining the books with other items related to writing from approximately the same era, they change from a few interesting bindings to a design statement.

For small items or things that you don’t mind people playing with, look for interesting ways to build displays that use more than the sense of sight. For example, set music boxes or wind-up toys together on a table with a little note that says, “Please touch.”

10847524_SMaybe you have your grandparents’ old collection of buttons or marbles tucked away in a closet. How about pulling them out and placing them in a container that fits the time those buttons or marbles were used? Set them on a side table next to a favorite spot for your visitors to sit, and you may have created an interactive accessory that your guests will really enjoy. For example, by setting the buttons in the photo in an open old tin box, you encourage people to stop, look, and touch the different materials, sizes and shapes.

These are just a few ideas. Now, when you draw on that designer tip of “like with like,” stretch your imagination to create home accessories that are as unique and interesting as you are.

Quick and Easy Refreshers for Boring Rooms

At first glance this room is attractive enough. The space and the furnishings are new and the flooring is beautiful. It also has lovely architectural details. But the owner seems to be hesitant to add much in the way of personality to the room and this makes the design safe but also rather boring.

Any room can become more interesting with a few design refreshers. Let’s take a look at a room that incorporates some of these options and see what you may want to include in your own home. This room is modern also, but a few different choices make it much more interesting.

Paint: One wall is painted a dark rich brown. Comparing the two rooms, the brown wall softens the space and adds warmth.

Pillows: Something as simple as adding a splash of color or style with contrasting throw pillows makes a real difference. Take a look at how the pillows in the photo above disappear because they match the sofa. The pillows to the right pop!

Art: A large piece such as the one displayed here adds drama and interest to any room. Or you may want to add several smaller pieces in an arrangement. No matter your preference, art allows your personality to shine in your home.

Accessories: This image on the left shows how just a few accessories can add to the appeal of a room. The simple ladder-style bookshelf holds a few books and an interesting bowl and lantern that look as though they came from other countries. They open up the opportunity for conversation: did they pick them up on their travels? Do they collect folk art?

Look at your home objectively. Have you chosen to create rooms that disappear into the background or are you willing to add color and personality to make your home shine? How about taking a chance and adding one or more of these ideas to refresh your home décor?

Finding Design Inspiration

We are so lucky to live in an age where great information is available in so many outlets. Today’s world of design is no longer a secret.  Tips, tricks and secrets of the trade can be found online in so many places.

Design inspiration and information can be found through articles, blogs, websites and Pinterest boards. You can find blogs on specific topics, like flooring or paint or furniture, or general information on projects all over the internet. There is so much information out there you can get addicted to searching for design inspiration!

If you are looking for design inspiration online, start with sources you already know. A basic Google image search, online magazines and sites like Houzz and Pinterst are all good places to start. Each of these will probably have links to other resources. Researching online can be daunting so pace yourself!

Design inspiration is all around us. You can find inspiration in any store, in nature or at a friend’s house.  Ask for paint colors! Snap pics of things you like! You never know where you’ll find inspiration for your next project.

We’re here to help if you need us, but until you’re ready, spend sometime seeing what inspires you online!