Next up: 10 luxurious bathtubs that pair well with a glass of wine.
The Fix: If your cabinets and dressers still have their existing stock hardware, it’s time for an upgrade. “Replace drawer and door knobs or pulls with something more decorative and of higher quality,” says Adams.
PinterestPhoto: Alexandra Ribar; DESIGN: Leanne Ford Interiors
It’s rare to furnish a house from scratch, and when you accumulate items over the years, it’s easy to overlook one key element: scale. “When you get the scale wrong with furniture or even moldings, most of the time it can make you feel like something is seriously off. It can definitely cheapen a space,” says designer Bobby Berk.
Sometimes, curling up with a good book involves a bathtub as well, which makes a reading light an important element in the bathroom. In this cozy bathtub nook surrounded by clean, modern lines, a swing-arm sconce is able to provide both fashion and function.
This post was originally published on July 1, 2016, and has since been updated.
“This is one of my biggest faux pas,” says Berk of dated accessories like lid covers and toilet rugs. “You don’t see these products sold at high-end stores for a reason. They are highly unsanitary and unsightly—they look like bad shag rugs, which don’t belong anywhere near the toilet!”
PinterestPhoto: Heidi’s Bridge DESIGN: Indigo & Ochre Design
Luckily upgrading bathroom lighting can be a relatively budget-friendly affair when compared with more intensive bathroom renovations, so you don’t have to worry about getting bang for your buck. Besides, there’s no better time than summer for a design project, right? So whether you’re targeting a tranquil, spa-inspired bathtub vibe or a bright, glam getting-ready space, there is no shortage of pendants, flush mounts, sconces, or chandeliers to suit your personal style.
BathroomJun 30, 201710 Bathroom Lighting Ideas to Make You Look Your Best
Buying furniture in sets might be the most rookie move of all. If anything about your home brings to mind Rooms to Go, you should start questioning everything. It’s okay to have, say, matching nightstands or a pair of matching chairs, but buying a bed, dresser, and nightstand set or a sofa and two matching armchairs can be considered a little over-the-top. Introducing a little variety adds depth and keeps your home from looking like a showroom.
A clean, fresh bathroom calls for lighting in the same vibe. Sure, bulbs and wattage play a role in keeping it cool, but in this case, it’s all about the materials being illuminated: Matte and shiny finishes along with ceramic and wood surfaces are all juxtaposed for an effortlessly layered texture mix.
Granted, Adams’s best-known clients, such as Tyra Banks and Brad Goreski, have luxe-looking homes thanks to their budget, but she says there is a way to elevate any closet: Change the hangers. Mismatched hangers or leftover wire pieces from the laundromat cheapen a bedroom.
Finding your light just got easier. Below, check out 10 chic bathroom lighting ideas that will keep you always looking your best.
HomeMar 23, 201812 Rookie Decorating Moves You Might Be Making
The Fix: Thankfully, you don’t have to toss a small rug. Teich says the solution is to layer. “If the client has a rug that they love but it is too small for the space, an easy fix,” she says, “is to layer a larger rug under the smaller one. That will not only help highlight the smaller statement rug but also create the scale needed.”
In a bathroom that balances old and new styles for an eclectic mix, midcentury sconces are the perfect fit. The warmth of the copper finish on the sconces really brings out the warm glow of the paint color on the walls. Consider the flattering, softly warm effect your own personal magic-hour filter.
No one expects a home decorator to be as thorough with planning as an interior designer who’s using AutoCAD, but at the very least, you should take some simple measurements. Hanging a few art pieces on one wall? Make sure they’re evenly spaced. Having a new sofa delivered? Make sure your delivery men can get it in the door. Take special care when making online orders, and test out the measurements before you fork over your credit card.
The Fix: Bathroom accessories can be magnets for bacteria, so make sure you launder and update them frequently. Thankfully, they’re relatively inexpensive to swap out. Berk recommends ditching your toilet rug for “a nice rectangular rug, perhaps a flat weave. And be sure to put it in an appropriate spot in the bathroom, such as in front of the vanity at the sink or where you step out of the shower.”
In a darker bathroom with more earthy, natural décor, it makes sense to double down on the lighting in front of the mirror to ensure the right level of brightness. Smaller pendant lights are also a great option for smaller bathrooms where wall space is limited.
This story was originally published on October 7, 2016, and has since been updated.
The Fix: It’s time to toss the jumble of plastic and wire hangers. “Replace all hangers so that you have a consistent style and color,” she says. Adams also recommends choosing a different color or style of hangers for the top and bottom of the closet, to organize the space.
Creating a thoughtfully styled home takes time, and in the process, there’s nothing more frustrating than buying the finishing touch for a room only to step back and feel like something is amiss. Is it the position of the sofa? Is the coffee table too low? When you’re close to a project, these simple styling choices might not seem important, but interior design experts say that a few subtle decorating mistakes can instantly cheapen your room. Yes, even if you’ve splurged on a statement sofa or vintage artwork, something as seemingly insignificant as the size of a rug could undermine the space.
Explore More:Decorating MistakesMistakesDecorating TipshomeStyle
Something as simple as the positioning of window treatments can make an otherwise spacious room look cramped. “It’s a very common mistake,” says Aragon. “People often hang them right above the window, which makes it look smaller.”
May 16, 201810 Decorating Mistakes That Instantly Cheapen Your Home
Interior design experts agree—choosing the wrong-size rug can instantly cheapen a room. Why? “Placing an area rug that is too small for a seating area instantly throws the room out of scale and gives the impression that you couldn’t afford the larger, correctly sized rug,” says interior designer Marlaina Teich. Berk recommends this simple test to check if your rug is the right size: “Make sure that the rugs touch every piece of furniture so they appear appropriately scaled and make all the furniture pieces in a room relate to one another.”
A rug that’s floating in the middle of a room on its own pretty much always looks like a bath mat—even if it’s gorgeous and you dropped major bucks on it at the bazaar in Marrakech. Designers generally advise to ground it by tucking it under furniture, or the front legs of your furniture. If it’s not big enough to do so, try layering it over another rug (a nondescript natural fiber, for instance) or placing it as close as possible to nearby furniture.
The Lighting Store Indoor 5-Light Luxury Crystal Chandelier $330
Personalizing a rental? One of the most overlooked aspects is swapping out existing light fixtures, which designer and creative director Suzanne Donegan says can instantly transform a room. “Updating lighting fixtures can be an inexpensive way to really help improve the overall aesthetic of any space, as well as giving a sense of sophisticated elegance and comfort,” she tells MyDomaine.
As I mentioned earlier, hanging a light fixture too low is a major rookie move (one that I’m guilty of). I love a low-hanging chandelier or pendant; it feels a little sultry. That said, it only works if it’s hanging over a table (e.g., a dining table or a nightstand); otherwise you and your guests will bump into it—and that can hurt. I’m speaking from experience, of course.
Using lighting to set the mood is a tried-and-true design technique, but there’s one oft-overlooked space that should always be a priority: the bathroom. Sure, you entertain guests in your living room and dining room, and sometimes on your patio, and we love pouring our best decorating ideas into getting just the right ambiance in those spots.
But consider this: Your bathroom is a space where you spend time getting ready for the day ahead and winding down for bed, both of which require being in the right mind-set. After all, it’s important to look your best when heading to the office, out with friends, or on a date, and it’s equally important to get ready for bed in a relaxed state. Not to mention still making a stylish impression for guests (they use that space, too). In all these cases, the cardinal rule of Instagram applies: Lighting matters.
The Fix: Berk describes lighting as “the jewelry of interior spaces,” so it’s worth investing in. “Consider an upgrade that you can take with you if you want whenever you move,” he says, such as a plug-in sconce.
I laughed hard—and also nearly injured myself—when I sat down on a bachelor friend’s dining chair recently: I immediately sank inches down. He had purchased chairs online with zero support, and they were super uncomfortable. I couldn’t imagine trying to sit through a dinner party in them. Not trying out your furniture—be it dining chairs, a sofa, or a mattress—before you buy isn’t always easy with the advent of online shopping; just make sure you read all the reviews, do your research around the brand, and ensure that the store has a good return policy.
An all-white bathroom sets a tone that’s so fresh and so clean, clean. This bathroom is also a lesson in how to harness natural light to lessen the pressure on light fixtures; smaller flush-mount lights will still provide plenty of light, considering the way the ample natural light illuminates the white walls, ceiling, and tub.
Which of these bathroom lighting ideas would best suit the mood of your space?
Art should always be hung at eye level. A rookie move would be to hang a painting close to your console table or up higher near the ceiling. If you’re super tall or vertically challenged, hanging art at your own eye level will probably look odd to most of your guests; consider having a friend come over to help you eyeball it and find a happy medium. But, of course, keep your own taste in mind too. Just like this fun dining room pictured above, a varied mix of artworks positioned in a thoughtful format can also be stylish.
So let me just put this out there: It’s okay to be a beginner or to be oblivious to what decorators consider “the basics.” You live and you learn. That’s what you’re here for, right? Today I’m giving you the CliffsNotes on Decorating 101. Follow these tips and you’ll have the framework for a truly beautiful space—and nothing to be too ashamed of when your most discerning friend comes over.
The Fix: The best approach is to start with an empty space. “Gather all the accessories together and take them out of the room,” says Teich, and then “look at the room with fresh eyes and select the spots that accessories will make the most impact and will set the tone for the finished space.” Arrange accessories in sets of uneven numbers, clump small items on trays, and incorporate “metal or mirrored finished to create interest in your vignettes,” she says.
The light, feminine feeling of this bathroom is enhanced by a chic chandelier over the bathtub. Because in a bathroom intended for luxuriating, teardrop crystals are always a good idea. Who wouldn’t feel relaxed, refreshed, and renewed after a little time in this space?
Soothing neutral shades and cool-to-the-touch industrial raw materials in this bathroom remind us of our favorite spas. And when it’s time to be pampered, there’s no better way to treat yourself than a bath underneath a stunning chandelier made of metallic beads. You do you.
Many designers advise to go as high as you possibly can when it comes to installing your curtain rod (to give the illusion your ceilings are taller), but that choice is subjective. The length of your drapes, however, is one thing most designers agree on: They should “kiss” the floor. A rookie move would be to have them hit the window ledge, or fall somewhere between the bottom of the window and the base of the floor. If you want to get super romantic with silk curtains, you can go for a glamorous “puddling” of extra fabric, but otherwise they should just meet the floor.
It looks like you haven’t moved in yet when there’s no art in a room. If you’re yet to fill your blank walls, find some inspiring works to create an inspirational space. It doesn’t have to be expensive: Hang a painting or a photograph—or get playful with wall art, like a vintage sign.
The pendant light in this bathroom is proof that finding your best light might take you on a more cultural journey. In this case, the combination of a Moroccan pendant light with colorful patterned tiles gives the room brightness, energy, and worldly flavor.
The Fix: If you’re yet to purchase a sofa, Markatos says to “choose a high-quality fabric that is luxurious and durable.” If you’re trying to elevate an existing piece, layer throw cushions in one color and multiple textures for an elegant look.
A quality sofa is one of the first things experts notice when they enter your home; it can instantly elevate the furniture around it. “Invest in a good sofa, especially if you have a family,” says interior designer Christine Markatos Lowe. “An inexpensive sofa won’t wear well and will look much older than its actual age in no time.” Berk agrees and warns against generic, overstuffed sofas. “If you’re holding on to old furniture that is the shape of marshmallow, it’s time to consider revamping your living room.”
The Fix: Before adding a new piece of furniture to your room, pay close attention to the size and height of existing décor. “Make sure you consider the scale of all of the elements in a room and how they relate to each other, from rug size to art to the scale of furniture and the circulation around it,” he says. The aim is to layer furniture of varying heights so the silhouette resembles a city skyline, with both high and low accents, to lead the eye around the room.
If we’ve learned anything from IKEA hacks, it’s that updating hardware can instantly elevate an inexpensive cabinet or nightstand. Celebrity designer Lisa Adams of LA Closet Design says it’s an easy way to get an A-lister look without spending big.
This might just be the perfect powder room. A glam metallic combination of brass sconces flanking the mirror, brass faucet fixtures, and patterned gold wallpaper creates a warm glow that begs for an #OOTD selfie. No vanity (and no filter) necessary.
“Everyone can spot cheap art, and this immediately makes a room look cheaper,” says Berk. The solution isn’t necessarily to spend big, though. Instead, he recommends using online custom-art services or searching for unexpected pieces in flea markets or vintage stores. “There are lots of cool custom art services available now, such as Minted and Leftbank Art, which allow you to affordably commission original art or have their prints framed and shipped.”
Carefully styled accessories can give your home character, but too many can look chaotic. “A major pet peeve for me is when a room is just overcluttered with accessories. It instantly signals ‘cheap’ to me even when the accessories are super expensive,” says Teich. “Accessories should be grouped together to create a pleasing vignette, whether it’s on the cocktail table, buffet, or bookcase.” Takeaway: Less is more.
PinterestPhoto: Alyssa Rosenheck; DESIGN: Amanda Barnes Interiors
The Fix: If you can’t bear to part with artwork you’ve already purchased, pay attention to the frame. “One thing that can make a space look cheaper is mismatched picture frames,” says Lorna Aragon, home editor at Martha Stewart Living. “Using a uniform frame material like silver or wood and adding a few mattings looks much more ‘done’ and expensive.”
First of all, let me preface this by admitting that despite being raised by an interior designer, even I have been guilty of making these rookie decorating moves. In fact, just last year—mind you, I’ve been writing about design for eight years—I made one of the most rookie moves ever: I hung my kitchen pendant so low that I bump my head on it occasionally. And I have not gotten around to fixing it.
Sometimes the best way to think outside the box is to, well, think about the box. Using rectangular, lantern-shaped sconces above round mirrors creates visual interest with shapes, and layering a mesh texture on top of wood, marble, brass, and shiplap gives the space texture in spades.
Curious to know if you’re committing a faux pas? We turned to leading interior design experts to find out about the most common styling mistakes they notice when they first walk into a home. From generic hardware to dated bathroom accessories, it’s clear that small details count. Here are the top 10 subtle styling mistakes that instantly cheapen your home—and how to fix them.
One way to instantly kill the mood of a space is to interrupt traffic flow. Make sure there’s a direct line to access every doorway and the seating area in a space—and don’t pack seating too closely together.
Explore More:Bathroombathroom lightingChandelierPendant LightSconce
Just like it’s preferable to have a mix of furniture pieces in your home, you should also try to have a mix of design eras. Pair a midcentury credenza with eclectic contemporary artwork and details. Mix it up: Using furniture and accessories from only one era will make your home feel lived-in.
If you have the opportunity, you should definitely paint first—before you install carpet and lighting and other tricky elements of a room. That said, you should always have a plan before you choose your paints. If you think you’ll be reupholstering seating, purchasing colored furniture, buying textiles, wallpapering, or remodeling in any way, your paint color should be your last choice. It’s so much easier to match a paint to a fabric or the marble on your new counters than to find a slab that complements a random paint swatch you’ve chosen on a whim.
The Fix: “Hang the curtain rod about half a foot above the window frame, and place the wall brackets about six to eight inches out on either end,” says Aragon. “That way, everything looks larger and more opened up, and your room is more elegant.”
We love accessories, but one of the greatest skills in design is editing. Even if you have the most beautiful pieces on the planet, putting them all out on display at once will instantly make your space feel cluttered. Instead, be thoughtful about which accents of yours complement each other, and be selective: If you need a guide, try not to have more than three to five items in one vignette.