It's the smallest details the make the difference between average interior design and something outstanding. Over the years, I have developed preferences and tried-and-true methods for styling an interior space, whether just for fun or for a photo shoot. Here are my best tips:
Begin styling your room from the corners and work your way to the center of the room.
Think on a larger scale. If possible, invest in larger and fewer accessories rather than amassing small items.
I'm a firm believer that books are the best decorative accessories. They instantly warm up almost any room.
Always try to bring in a pop of color matching the artwork hung in your room — for example, a pair of decorative pillows or a group of vases in a color selected from a nearby painting.
Consider nature. Make sure to allow space for flowers and other plants in beautiful containers. They are great visuals and do double duty by freshening the air and the room. Earth provides natural decorations. A stone, a geode or an unusually shaped tree branch will make a great tabletop piece and start conversation.
Mix different finishes in a room so you don't end up with too much too much of any one print.
Add a throw rug underneath a cocktail table. It will keep the table from looking like it's floating and anchor it to the rest of the surrounding furniture. The rug can contrast a bit so that your design doesn't look overthought.
Make sure your lighting is up to snuff. Bad lighting can ruin a beautiful room and vice versa, good lighting can make an average interior sparkle.
Mix your furniture. Nothing looks less contrived and lack luster than when a room is furnished in the same furniture brand and style. For a bit of the unique, don't be afraid to mix in some antiques. You can also mix something old with something new... something that is glossy with something that is matte.
If your room needs a full re-styling, move the furniture around. You may even want to try adjusting a few pieces, such as your seating area, so that they sit at an angle. You may need to leave some items against the walls so you can still recognize the shape of the room.
Add some fruit to your tables. Put it in bowls, whether silver, crystal, wood or woven wicker. And feel free to spread the love by adding a few bowls around your home. They're also a great tool for healthy snacking.
I love a bar. A tray on top of any table makes an instant one. A few bottles of wine or your favorite libations, some tumblers and napkins, an ice bucket and some cans of mixers and voila! You've got a bar.
Finally, my best advice in terms of kitchens: declutter. Put away all the appliances that are not used on a daily basis. The same goes for condiments and any other countertop items. Bake a cake, decorate it to the nines and put it on a cake stand. It will make everyone smile.
Joseph Pubillones is the owner of Joseph Pubillones Interiors, an award-winning interior design firm based in Palm Beach, Florida. His website is www.josephpubillones.com. To find out more about Joseph Pubillones and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.