Catherine Martin has won two Oscars® and a Tony® for her design work in movies and onstage. Now, she's created a line of rugs, wallpaper and paint that can help you transform your home from ordinary to extraordinary.
Want to make over your space, but aren't sure where to start? You don't have to have a Hollywood budget or an entire crew of people to set a beautiful stage in your own home. Use these tips from Catherine to establish your own style.
Clear the Set
Before any stage can be dressed, you have to clear out what's left from the last production—so start decluttering! "If you want an environment in which your mind works clearly, in which you can discover yourself and who you are, you need to have a place for everything and everything in its place," she says.
Once you sift through the piles in your home, Catherine says your home décor immediately improves. "Space to think gives the greatest luxury, and then when you have that canvas and you're in that clear thinking space," she says. "You can actually see what you want to do."
It's not always easy, Catherine says, but the process is so worth it. "How can you enjoy your books if you don't have them up on a shelf and can see them—or put them on the coffee table? If they're all just in piles under your bed, that's nothing," she says. "How many toys can the kids play with? There's a limit, and so I think it's all about just kind of trying to clear it out and gives you a canvas to work in."
Move Your Furniture
If something's out of place on camera, it's usually pretty easy to tell. But in your daily life, Catherine says too many of us get used to the way our furniture is arranged—even if it's not working. "If you put a box down in someone's room on their floor, the majority of us will just walk around that box endlessly," she says. "And the challenge is to kind of shake it up a bit."
Rearranging a room can also let you know if you're trying to fix something that isn't broken. "Sometimes just moving stuff around changes your energy and your perspective or you say, 'No, no, no it was good the way it was before,'" Catherine says. "And you feel satisfied with the way it was it was." Work with What You Have
You don't always have to hit the furniture store to complete the look of a room—sometimes you just need to go "shopping" in your own home. "I actually just came home and thought to myself, 'The rug I have in my children's room really should be in their playroom, and the rug that's in the playroom should be in the kids' room,'" Catherine says. "Doing that one simple thing or changing the dynamic of the space just by moving things around can shift the energy and help you think about a whole other lot of possibilities."
It's easy to get stuck in a design rut, so Catherine says to think about what you really want the intention of each room to be. "We took the television out of our living room because it was ugly and there was no spot to really put it where it looks good, and it's become the place where we all sit to talk," she says. "You [might] think you could never have a living space without a TV—which is something I thought—but you actually can." Accessorize, Accessorize, Accessorize
It's the smallest things that make the biggest difference, Catherine says, so don't be afraid to liven up your space with some freshly cut flowers, candles, new bed linens or other accessories that you absolutely love.
Catherine says she once had a friend call her after buying two expensive armchairs that didn't quite match with her sofa. "I said, 'Why don't you buy some throw pillows that go back with the couch for the armchairs, and get some throw pillows that go back with the armchairs for the sofa?'" she says. "She rang me and she said: 'It's brilliant! It works! Everything ties together.'" Make It Meaningful
If an item doesn't help tell the story you want your home to communicate, you don't need it. "Get rid of the stuff that you're not using, don't hoard, try to keep your space as clear … of things that are not serving you emotionally or visually," she says. "Out of those things [that are left], you will discover your own natural style." Don't Shy Away from Color
Don't be afraid to add a little color to your life! "Painting is probably one of the cheapest and easiest ways to revolutionize the space," she says. "And everyone can do it." Think Like a Child
When it comes to your kids' rooms, Catherine says it's imperative to create a space that will foster creativity and imagination. "I remember when I was a kid, we had wallpaper in our room, and we used to lie there an imagine all kinds of stories from the characters," she says.
"Don't dumb down the signs for kids, because kids are incredibly sophisticated," Catherine says. "You need to put more beautiful things and more diversity and more interesting visual things in front of them because they're so impressionable and it's when all their taste and attitudes toward the visual are formed."