Furnishings to Complete Your Space
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Design Rx1 of 12
By Zoe Schaeffer
Whether your ceilings seem too high or too low, your room too empty or too cluttered, every home has its unique decor dilemma. Luckily, HGTV Design Star judge and interior decorator Vern Yip has come to the rescue. Here, he offers up 12 do-it-yourself solutions that will perfect any space and make it feel complete.
Plan Of Attack2 of 12
Problem: Your bedroom is on the smaller side but seems like it could use a lounge area.
Solution: Many master bedrooms aren't big enough for a seating area, and stuffing in a single chair doesn't allow a couple to really relax together. "Start with both a space plan and furniture that is space-efficient," says Yip. Minimizing the bed should be the first consideration. "A bold headboard—rather than a space-sucking style with rails and footboard—will allow room for a love seat, sofa or bench."
Trend Spotting3 of 12
Problem: You love all the new home decor trends but worry that you may have gone overboard.
Solution: Changing the color in your home should be a simple and enjoyable process. Because color trends can change often (and few have the energy and money to constantly redesign), style-conscious homeowners should think about adapting to these shifts by changing home accessories. "This will allow you to embrace the newest color trend through throw pillows, blankets and other changeable items without having to repaint your room the 'color of the year,'" says Yip.
Go Green4 of 12
Problem: You started decorating with the idea of being eco-friendly. Now your house looks like a burlap sack.
Solution: Green decor has come such a long way, and now there are fashionable options that allow you to respect the earth at the same time. Yip says that many furniture retailers now offer upholstered goods made with Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood frames, soy-based fillers and naturally dyed upholstery. "Purchasing antiques, for example, is [another] wonderful way to inject personality into your space without something new having to be manufactured."
Gallery Opening5 of 12
Problem: Your house has really tall ceilings that make decorating a challenge.
Solution: Rooms with extremely tall ceilings look great when the house is empty but become really problematic once furniture and art come into the picture. "The normal rule of thumb is to hang art 60 inches from the finished floor to the middle of the image," says Yip. "But when you are dealing with really tall spaces, then you may want to consider hanging a collection of art in lieu of a single picture."
Mixed Messages6 of 12
Problem: You like displaying your favorite finds, but you're afraid your house feels like a garage sale.
Solution: Eclectic spaces are the norm in today's design world, but making it look harmonious can be a real challenge. Yip says that the solution lies in finding a common thread to pull it all together. "If you want to mix different genres and styles, then consider establishing a common element such as color," he explains. "A universal shade, for instance, then allows you to include a wide array of items in an effortless manner."
Tall Order7 of 12
Problem: You have standard eight-foot ceilings, but they still seem low to you.
Solution: Ceiling-challenged rooms can be addressed in a few ways. If you don't have crown molding, then try painting the ceiling a slightly lighter shade of your wall color. "Colors read darker when painted on a horizontal surface—like the ceiling or floor—than when they're painted on a vertical surface like your walls," says Yip. A slightly lighter ceiling tricks your eye into thinking it's higher. "But if you do have crown molding, paint vertical stripes for an instant boost of height."
Prints Charming8 of 12
Problem: All the magazines are showing multiple prints and patterns in a single room, but you're not sure how to get this eclectic mix right.
Solution: "Pattern in home decor is back in a big way!' says Yip. "The key to making this work is to stick to a focused color palette and change up the scale of all of the incorporated patterns." Small-, medium- and large-scaled prints—along with some solids—will really pull the room together.
Family Feud9 of 12
Problem: Your family is outgrowing your existing house, but you're not ready to move into a bigger one.
Solution: Re-examine the use of your space and free yourself from the existing labels. "There is no reason why spaces can't be multifunctional," says Yip. "Allow your dining room table to be used as a desk or a crafting table for your kids." A garage can also be gold. If you don't need it for your car, then consider transforming it into a much-needed room that your home can't accommodate otherwise.
Open House10 of 12
Problem: Your house has an open floor plan, which makes it difficult to give each "room" its own character.
Solution: "Maintaining a flow throughout the house is easy with a fluid color scheme—for both the walls and the decor. Pick fabrics and rugs with several different colors, so long as you emphasize one color as the primary shade in one space and a secondary shade as the primary in another." The house will be united, but each space will still feel like its own.
Flooring It11 of 12
Problem: You don't like rugs or carpets, but your bare wood floors are so boring.
Solution: "Every room has six surfaces that present design opportunities, and your floor is the one that you come into contact with the most," says Yip. If rugs and carpets are not for you, then try painting simple stripes on your floor or even a more intricate design using stencils. "With enough planning, you can include a pattern into the actual floor itself by installing alternating colors of wood planks, ceramic tiles or other flooring material."
Small Wonder12 of 12
Problem: Even though all the furniture in your smaller living room is scaled to size, the space still feels tiny.
Solution: Most people think small pieces of furniture in a small room will make it feel larger, when in fact they can overcrowd and clutter the space. "Fewer but larger pieces will actually open the space up," says Yip. "The best strategy is to insert a couple of larger styles with clean lines, which will give presence to the room."
NEXT GALLERY: Unlikely Design Icon: The Showgirl