Go room by room to reimagine your house
We’ve all been there: You want to revamp at least one room in your home — or maybe every last one of them, but you’re stumped on where to start. You might have a definite style in mind, or you fear you might lose your mind trying to select one. That’s where our panel of professional designers comes in.
Our experts offer top tips, techniques and styling advice that will get you dreaming yet keep you grounded. Whether you’re starting with a blank canvas or just an empty nest, their best ideas for redecorating each distinct space include where to start and what to consider along the way.
Livable, lovable living rooms
Living rooms are attractive, hardworking chameleons, serving as both public and private spaces. Their design challenge lies in achieving a flexibility that lets them be used daily in a meaningful way, then turned around for hosting guests in elegant surroundings at a moment’s notice.
“Creating that alchemy where the energy of a person or family extends its welcome is part of the fun,” says Lisa Kahn of Lisa Kahn Designs, in Naples, Fla.
Decorating begins by envisioning the ultimate “after” picture, Kahn says.
Don’t let your budget deflate your dreams. “Even if you can’t afford to implement all changes at once, take it in phases so everything meets that end goal,” she says.
In a living room, she finds worthy splurges in a knockout piece of artwork, an exquisite light fixture or gorgeous drapery panels.
A custom rug or handmade table also has star potential.
“There is a movement toward seeing our spaces as sanctuaries — spaces that speak to the comfort of the body, the curiosity of the mind and the nurturing of the spirit,” Kahn says.
“I think we want more than just beautiful backdrops. We are looking for deeply restorative spaces that facilitate living more joyful lives.”
She has personalized living rooms to foster hobbies such as reading, a cherished activity such as sharing a bottle of wine, and to feature a collection of books or objet d’art.
Season your kitchen to taste
Installing new decorative lighting or a new backsplash in your kitchen adds sizzle without evolving into a full remodel, she says. To season the overall design, she is partial to unique counter stools or a vintage-style runner rug that functions as artwork underfoot. A gleaming sink and pull-down faucet will improve prep, cleanup and your mood.
Reflect your priorities in the few quality items you leave out on the countertop.
Unless your fridge, dishwasher and stove are on the fritz, you may not want to replace them.
A remodel often involves revamping your kitchen layout to accommodate your wish list, which can affect the size of appliances you’ll need. No remodel on the horizon? A quick kitchen turnaround might come down to paint, hardware, lighting and accessories .
When decorating a bath space, limitations can lead to transformation.
A few savvy updates can create the jewel-box effect that attracts all those “likes” on social media.
Dining rooms made for gathering
The dining room is a place for making memories,” says Marcelle Guilbeau of Marcelle Guilbeau Interior Design in Nashville.
The table is the focal point of your space. Guilbeau says her traditionalist clients favor a farm table paired with cream linen-covered chairs.
The built-in banquette has become extremely fashionable, she adds.
At its best, a bedroom is a serene place where you feel free to be yourself.
Keira St. Claire-Bowery of Anthony Wilder Design/Build in Cabin John, Md., believes calming colors, coupled with natural materials, are the first step.
“You want everything in your bedroom to exude comfort,” she says.
A sitting area elevates the feel of a bedroom to that of a suite, says interior designer Keira St. Claire-Bowery.
Use open shelving to display favorite items and declutter counters, says designer Elizabeth Cross-Beard.
Displaying personal items can make a living room feel inviting.