she sheds

Photo: J. Savage Gibson

Create a Color Story

In the most thoughtfully designed homes, each room should feel connected to the next. Think of how color will flow and transition throughout the space. Having continuity prevents a house from feeling too much like a rainbow, with every corner a different hue. Some areas are conducive to full-on color, while others call for a more understated moment to strike the right balance. Spreading around color and contrast allows the eye to enjoy bold punctuation on the walls in one room, then on the floor in the next, and maybe even on the ceiling or inside of a closet in another. Suddenly, the color story makes sense.
interior designer secrets

Photo: J. Savage Gibson

Add Focal Points

Consider where you want to draw the eye. In every room there is some point of inspiration, whether it's a fantastic carpet you found in your travels or a beautiful painting that would be just perfect over the mantel. Make choices that complement your home, and choose focal points wisely. If you love your sofa, add a chic lumbar pillow to draw the eye. If you have a pair of lamps that feel a bit plain, custom lampshades add punch.
mix and match decorating secrets

Photo: J. Savage Gibson

Mix and Match Decor

Juxtaposing story-filled antiques with newer pieces—a pretty tortoiseshell box or a modern lacquer tray for a shot of color—makes a space feel imbued with layers of interest. It's easier to appreciate beautiful things if they have a point of contrast, and mixing styles and eras is what brings character to a space. Every room wants to feel contemporary, but also like it's been there for some time.
decorating a bedroom

Photo: J. Savage Gibson

Work in Symmetry

There is something welcoming and approachable about traditional decorating in the bedroom. To bring order and balance, make use of symmetrical arrangements. Well-mannered pairs of lamps or nightstands in the master bedroom, twin beds or bookshelves in a child's room, or two luggage stands or chairs in a guest room offer flexibility and a sense of continuity. The doubling effect creates a polish that's pleasing to the eye.
decorating a kitchen

Photo: J. Savage Gibson

Optimize Your Kitchen

If your home lacks space for a separate breakfast room, try dressing up your island. Often a kitchen's command central, islands make a great focal point that can lure the whole family to pile in for breakfast. To make an island conducive to such gatherings as well as family meals, add great-looking comfortable barstools and an impactful light fixture above.
decorating dark rooms

Photo: J. Savage Gibson

Be Strategic with Dark Hues

It sounds counterintuitive, but in a room with little natural light, darker colors are more successful—here, rich green velvet hung like wallpaper is alive with drama.

Excerpted from The Decorated Home: Living with Style and Joy by Meg Braff. Copyright © 2017 Meg Braff. Reprinted with permission by Rizzoli International Publications, Inc.

Want more stories like this delivered to your inbox? Sign up for the Home & Decorating Newsletter!