We are excited to kick off our guest tip series with Jill Rawson!
Jill is the principal designer and owner of Jill Rawson Designs and Interiors. She has spent over 11 years renovating, staging, and designing homes across Ontario. As an industry maven, Jill knows what works, and what doesn’t when it comes to converting a dreary dwelling into a vivacious villa. Interested in working with her? Jill is accepting new clients, and would love to discuss your design and staging needs. Information to contact Jill is at the end of this article.
Jill, over to you!
After a decade in the professional design and staging industry, there are some questions that you can expect everyone to ask. The most common of which, is “How can I make my space beautiful without breaking the bank?”.
Most people think the only way to enhance a living space is by hiring an interior designer. As a designer, I don’t disagree with this advice at all. Our job is to arrange every minute detail of your home, in a balance of form and function. Yet, what few know is that there are a few simple rules you can follow to glamorize your space without having to take out that sixth mortgage.
The simple rules to follow are:
Keep what you love, drop what you don’t. Every space has things that live in it because they don’t belong anywhere else. Clutter creeps up around you and before you know it you’re knee deep in your own living room!
Don’t know how to begin? Use the 30-60-90 Rule. Here’s how it works:
– Has something been sitting in view for more than 30 days and gone unused? If so, its time for it to go into storage.
– 60 Days in Storage? It’s time to donate or sell that item.
– Is 90% of the items in any given space hidden from plain eyesight? Great Job! Don’t get caught up trying to cut. It’s time to move to the next room.
2. Find Inspiration.
As a designer, inspiration is in the job description. If I spend a part of my day immersed in inspiration, you should definitely be doing the same. Take pictures of objects and colours you are drawn to, and collect them! These can be used as your springboard inspiration in how to create that dreamy space.
Don’t go out much? Pinterest is a great place to start.
There’s nothing more defeating than walking into a store, only to find items that are 5 times the price of your budget. I have found amazing deals at furniture thrift stores. There are also some great big box stores that sell amazing furniture and accessories. You will see me here too!
Even if you rent your space, try to see if you can paint. Landlords are usually okay with this as long as they agree upon the colour beforehand. Paint is such an easy way to brighten up and change a space immediately. Seem too daunting? Invite a few friends over and have a painting party!
Real flowers, please! Even if it is a plant or a succulent, it instantly warms up a space. Greenery provides life and the feeling of luciousness and plenty to any room. You can find fresh-cut flowers and small plants at most hardware stores, no need to take a trip to that designer florist! Buy the colour you love, add water, and you’re done!
6. Buy what you love.
The best things take time. While we all want to create overnight change in our spaces, its not always financially possible. You may have to wait until you have the money to buy that sofa you have been coveting, but is out of your budget. Trust me from experience on this one and have a little patience. Incremental improvements can be therapeutic.
7. Add a rug.
This one is a no-brainer. A rug defines and warms up your space with little effort.
Add lighting in your space. A side table and table lamp may sound simple, but many of us forget to add these in our spaces and bedrooms. Don’t forget about floor lamps too! Also, don’t neglect bulb colour. Choosing a temperature that compliments your colour theme can make or break a space. Check out this handy temp chart if you’re stuck.
The thing I love most about art is that you can buy art in any budget. Looking to add a personal touch? Why not get some family photos professionally printed? Art over furniture always complements well. If you can hang a piece over the sofa, do it! When choosing art, heed this warning: It will always look smaller on the wall. Go as big as you can, even something seeming too big. People tend to choose art thats too small for the space, creating the appearance of drabness.
What does this mean? Add throws to sofas, chairs and beds. Make sure there’s more than one accessory on your coffee table. When in doubt, use the rule of three for every surface.
11. (Bonus) Be Happy.
I have spent 10 years designing and building dream spaces and homes for client across the city. Designing should ALWAYS be fun. Create what makes you happy and surround yourself in a space that feels warm, and inspires you.
Hope you enjoyed these simple tips to spruce up your space! Remember, you can always hire a designer! We’re skilled creative thinkers that can take the leg work out of making your dream a reality.