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Get the designer look in a home

We've all seen those home and design shows on the TV and I'm sure that many of you have wondered how to duplicate the look in your own home.


Interior designers have a way of effortlessly creating beautiful environments on design, but in actual fact they have learned by experience. Each and every designer has his or her own personal style that they will transpose in projects - a signature style. But it's easy to incorporate designer tricks into your space, no matter the style or existing decor, by following a few guidelines:

Keep it simple and clean - too much going on in a room creates chaos and overwhelms the senses. Focus on adding layers of colour and texture, and notice how hues flow from room to room to create a cohesive design.

Choosing coordinating colours is easy when you have the right guide. Look for colour swatches that group colours by design themes to incorporate a favourite style; from traditional to rustic to contemporary. Then draw these hues into all elements of the room, including flooring, fabrics and light fixtures.

These swatches feature a set colours that work well together, no matter how many or how few are selected to help do-it-yourselfers create harmonious room-to-room colour transitions.

Once you've decided on a colour scheme for your room, spice things up with throw pillows in contrasting or complementary shades. Throw pillows are an easy and inexpensive way to add some personality to your space, so look for fabrics and styles that most appeal to your inner designer.

You can mix and match solid and patterned fabrics in a variety of materials, and you might even buy different pillows for each season. A few bold pillows can go a long way in renewing a room for minimal cost.

Pull together a well-designed home by taking cues from the overall colour palette to add decorative accessories. For example, a spicy orange vase on the dining room table can play off a bold accent wall in the kitchen. Or update the look of furniture with a glossy coat of paint. Personalize with family treasures and modern, metallic or glass finishes for an eclectic, yet timeless look.





Get together with a group of friends and consider pooling or swapping furniture. Even if only two of you are looking at re-designing a space - it's easy to get a new look at a fraction of the cost. This a great way to have fun in your project and takes the stress of getting rid of things. Plus, it's easy to paint, stain or slipcover many pieces today without spending too much. At the end of the day you get a new look that's unique and personal.

Designers aren't afraid to make a statement with a signature space. Why not play on the high-impact contrast of black and white in a foyer or infuse an electric jolt of pink in a master bath? There are no wrong choices, because colour is personal - and doesn't have to be permanent. Dig out your old photo albums and have some prints done in black and white.

Black and white photography is quite trendy and utilizing your family album will bring personality to your space.

Even if you're tight on time and cash, a few careful changes can make a dramatic difference in the overall appearance of a room - or a home.

Don't be afraid to tap into your inner design and make an individual statement that reflects your own unique taste and personality. And bear in mind that those TV shows rope in additional help - labour costs alone take up most of the design project therefore if you are working on a very tight budget, ask friends and family to help out.

You most likely know someone who is a good painter or DIY-er in your circle of friends. Once they have donated some time towards your project, you can return the favour when they start redesigning their own home.