I want to share with you 5 styling tips which are essential to making any space visually appealing. Styling can be thought of as the icing on the cake – the final ingredient that changes a cake from being just okay to fabulous.
As a designer, I often struggle with my clients to let me ice their cakes, so to speak. It is this final layer of accessories which transform a room from ordinary to extraordinary.
Last weekend, I had the pleasure of having some of my work photographed outside of Austin, Texas. I wanted to share with you FIVE tips which will add the WOW factor to any space.
As you can see from the photos and the one below, there are many layers to this outdoor dining area. The table is set with placemats, plates, napkins and napkin rings. Bright yellow flowers in a vase add height and the small topiaries add texture and visual interest. Beyond that, there is a comfy pillow at the head chair with another layer of visually appealing wine, lemon and limes on the bar.
Adding texture gives dimension and depth to a space. As you can see in the photo above, texture is used to add a special dimension to the more formal dining table inside.
Notice the jar on the hearth in the picture below. Your eye would skip looking at the hearth if there wasn’t some visual interest there. The round balls made of branches on the mantle add character to the mantle and help frame the art work.
The grapes on the tray on the flat surface of the coffee table also add depth and color in the photo above. Although you probably won’t have grapes on your table all the time, it is a great idea to use when entertaining to add an appetizer which is visually appealing.
Plants are the quickest way to add a strong vertical element to any space, even a large outdoor space like the one I designed below. Living plants add warmth and naturalness – the hallmark of a gracious home. With all of the strongly linear surfaces in the photo below and the hard surfaces, the tall, curved green leaves in the vase gives the eye a graceful place to rest.
This outdoor space would be pretty static without the use of color. The playful pillow at the head of the table adds spark to an otherwise ordinary patio chair. Notice the beach towels on the right, they even add a touch of color. In the lounge seating area, once again the colorful pillows pack a punch. And of course, the bouquet of flowers are the piece de resistance.
Instant color and instant drama right from your local florist. Nothing can get much easier than that!
Add softness to create a feeling of welcome and hospitality. If you notice in all the photos above, there are many elements which add softness.
First and foremost, the pillows add softness and invite your guests to stay awhile. Pillows at the head chairs of the table allow your guests to feel comfortable and soften the hard edges of the metal chairs. Having a warm, chenille throw draped over the edge of your sofa for your guests and family to wrap themselves up on a chilly outdoor evening makes them feel warmed, welcomed and safe.
My five tips for styling a room are quick and easy fixes to add a designer’s touch to any room. If time and budget are a constraint, simply pick up a potted plant and a bouquet of flowers at your local grocer and voila!- you will have added touches of warmth and style to your home.
I hope that this post will help you to see that styling and accessories are truly the magic which brings a room to life. It is kind of like my mother always says, “You aren’t completely dressed until you put your lipstick on.” The same goes for designing – a room isn’t completely dressed until it is styled and accessorized.
Leslie Hendrix Wood
Founder, Editor In Chief
Gracious Living. Timeless Design. Family Traditions.
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