Pro­fes­sion­als’ tips on chic dec­o­rat­ing

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - STYLE - GABRIELLE SAVOIE

Peo­ple say that you can’t learn style — you’re ei­ther born with it or you’re not. While this may be true to some ex­tent, we be­lieve you can learn how to make your home pol­ished and put to­gether, whether you’re a born stylist or not. But here’s the thing:

To de­mys­tify the se­crets that make an in­te­rior mem­o­rable, we turned to the most stylish women to grace our In­sta­gram feeds. They are art di­rec­tors, in­te­rior de­sign­ers, brand mar­ket­ing man­agers and fash­ion stylists. They know a good room when they see it.

Cu­ri­ous to know the dec­o­rat­ing mis­takes they al­ways no­tice in other peo­ple’s homes and how to fix them? We asked each woman to share what they con­sider to be the big­gest dec­o­rat­ing faux pas.


“Peo­ple with great style have a natural un­der­stand­ing of scale and pro­por­tion,” New York-based in­te­rior de­signer Alyssa Kapito says. “Hav­ing ev­ery­thing in a room at the same height and scale is a rookie mis­take. It’s the con­trast that makes things in­ter­est­ing. Try over­size art­work next to a pair of petite lamps or in­cor­po­rat­ing height into your room with sky-high cur­tains.”


“A lot of peo­ple dec­o­rate their apart­ments sur­round­ing their tele­vi­sion, but your TV does not have to be the cen­tral fo­cal point of your room,” says Babba Canales, a New York-based Swedish “It” girl and brand mar­ket­ing pro­fes­sional. “In­stead, it’s much nicer for a beau­ti­ful long ta­ble to be a fo­cal point of a room where friends and fam­ily can gather.”


“The main thing that I want to re­di­rect peo­ple from fall­ing into is fol­low­ing trends or copy­ing what they see on Pin­ter­est and In­sta­gram,” says Paige Gef­fen, a Los An­ge­les-based stylist and art di­rec­tor. “It feels in­au­then­tic. We are so sat­u­rated with beau­ti­ful im­agery, and I think we can all agree that we see the same things over and over again. Our spa­ces can re­flect who we are, and they can be­come en­vi­ron­ments that meet our needs both aes­thet­i­cally and pur­pose­fully. Pick a color scheme that in­spires you. Ac­quire pieces that speak to you. Start pay­ing at­ten­tion to what col­ors, ma­te­ri­als, tex­tures and shapes make you feel happy, cre­ative or what­ever it is you like to feel.”


“It’s a myth that white walls make a room feel big­ger and lighter,” says Lucy Williams, Lon­don-based blog­ger, stylist and writer. “This is only true if there’s great natural light. In Lon­don (or darker ground­floor apart­ments), you’re bet­ter off em­brac­ing dark nar­row cor­ri­dors and bath­rooms by us­ing dark, rich col­ors, like navy, char­coal and emer­ald, to add depth and co­zi­ness. I still love bright, white in­te­ri­ors, but only if you have plenty of natural light. Other­wise it can end up look­ing dank and drab.”


“I think the thing peo­ple get wrong the most is pro­por­tion, like pick­ing arm­chairs that are too big for a room or a rug that’s too small,” says So­phie Ashby, a Lon­don-based in­te­rior de­signer. “All the most so­phis­ti­cated spa­ces I’ve seen are beau­ti­fully in pro­por­tion over­all. Of course, you can break the rules, but you have to fol­low them first.”

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