Get inspired as interior designer Trisha Isabey shares five important lessons she's learned about decorating your home
1. Consider both scale and balance
Trisha IsabeyIf you have high ceilings and big pieces of furniture, you need to use larger decor accessories. Small pieces will get lost. You want the room to be balanced. Similarly, if you have all of your furniture and accessories on one side of the room, your balance is off. I like to think of a room as if it was sitting on a weighted scale. The key is to weight the room equally. And you needn't stick to simply furniture. I use large-scale floor lamps, potted plants and sculpture to balance a space too. Finding large-scale pieces can be difficult. Certain companies specialize, catering to hotels and commercial spaces.
Conversely, small spaces have their own unique challenges. Obviously, choose smaller scale pieces, but also try to think of your decor as multi-functional. Storage is at a minimum in a small space so opt for beautiful baskets and decorative boxes that can double as storage.
2. When you love something, buy it
Phillips CollectionIt's a universal experience: you are shopping for one thing and you come across something completely different, something amazing. You stand there debating. If you buy the second item, it feels like an impulse buy, right? (And maybe that's your thing. No judgement.) Try walking around the store—and then coming back. Take a second look. If you love it and you can afford it, buy it. Decor, like art, finds you. It speaks to you. It's such a chore to have to go and look for things when you need them. I like to pick up unique pieces, especially when I travel. Not only do I find great things, but they bring back memories of my trip.
3. High cost meets low cost
Trisha IsabeyAs it's true with fashion, it's true with design: if you have enough quality, high-cost pieces, you can definitely mix in some steals. I'll go into HomeSense or Indigo and find great pieces to finish off a space. Look for quality finishing. This is what I call "the hunt." For avid shoppers like myself, it's a lot of fun. (Plus, these stores have a great return policies so there really isn't a big commitment if you get it home and you don't love it in the space.)
Hardcover books are always a great filler. You can find these new or in used book stores. Choose them for content—something you’re interested in—and look for something that will look good in the space. Stack three of them and place an object on top to finish it up. Instant design at a low cost.
4. Introduce colour to a room
Trisha IsabeyIf you like to keep both furniture and surfaces in the neutral zone, art and decor are your opportunities to introduce colour to a space. You can really add tremendous interest with key pieces. I wouldn't make everything colour—pick a theme and support the colour with either metallic pieces or natural materials, such as wood, stone or corals.
Sofa pillows and a great throw are game changers. For your pillow fabrics, layer solids with patterns. And remember: you can have more than one pattern as long as the patterns don't compete. As an example, you could use a stripe and a floral in the same scale and hue—but not two different striped fabrics. Mixing them with a gorgeous solid (like a faux fur or a velvet) can really bring the look together.
5. Have some fun
Phillips CollectionYour space is all about you. Showcase your personality. It will make you happy when you see it and it will make your home interesting. Steer clear of simply creating a show-home feel. That's far too stiff and formal. You need to feel comfortable and live without the stress of constantly keeping everything perfect. When choosing pieces, remember who is living there. If you have kids or dogs, you might want to choose more durable items (there are lots of design forward options out there), and stay away from delicate fabrics. It will just stress you out.
Remember: Rome wasn't built in a day. It may take some time to find all of the pieces, but it's worth the wait.