By Lysha Proctor, Events & Operations Coordinator
With all the home remodeling shows on TV (hello, Fixer Upper!), it’s no wonder how many people want to redesign home and office spaces. Can a novice with no design background really transform a space?
We’re often asked about office design here at The Motley Fool. Our second floor was recently renovated, but HQ’s open layout allows for continuous change. The magic lies in creating the perfect balance – and placement – of furniture and visuals. Take on a room revamp by trying some (or all!) of these decorating tips:
1. Create a Focal Point
We’ve all heard that “first impression is key” — and a room is no exception! Having an eye-catching focal point provides a natural starting point. Your space may already have a focal point, like a fireplace, or you may need to create one. An accent wall is one solution, but don’t discount wallpaper – it has come a long way! Rearranging large pieces of furniture against a prominent wall, then adding pictures, pillows, and other fun embellishments, is another way to mix up a room.
2. Furniture Placement
No one wants to walk into a small space and be greeted by the back of a couch. Furniture should be placed in a way that makes the room feel inviting. When considering layout, think about the following: Will it create a nice focal point? Does it allow for good flow? Does the placement make sense in in relation to other furniture? Depending on the room size, you may want furniture against the wall, or floating somewhere in the middle of the room.
If you need help visualizing, try the Living Spaces virtual design tool. You can select from pre-drawn rooms or create your own. This user-friendly site is completely customizable, plus the room is available from different angles! #winning
3. Small space? No problem.
Mirrors can do wonders for a small room with little to no natural light. Not to mention, it can be very cost-effective! Mirrors reflect light, making the space feel brighter and more welcoming. When painting, consider using lighter colors as that will open the space.
Bring life into your room – literally! Plants always give off a warm and homey-feel, no matter if they’re on a wall, beside furniture, or in the corner. A vase with greenery inside from the local discount retail store can do wonders. Added bonus: greenery can be very budget-friendly! Take your pick at the local craft store from a wide selection of faux flora without breaking the bank. (Pro tip: Most craft stores offer regular coupons for 40-55% off!)
5. Good lighting isn’t just for selfies.
Lighting can set the tone for a room, and therefore can give off the wrong message if not done properly! Use a lower-wattage bulb to give a more calm, intimate feel. For something more lively, aim to get something a little more bright. Proceed with caution, though. Be wary of the harsh white lights that give off a “lab-like” atmosphere.
6. Finishing Touches
Now is where the fun begins! The main attraction is your focal point, plus the furniture is laid out perfectly. Some natural elements display nicely with your lighting but, still, the room feels flat. It’s time to bring in fun, visually pleasing embellishments that bring character to the room. Here are a few pieces that offer height, movement, and personality to tie your space together:
Note: Find opportunities for complimentary and accent colors whenever possible!
As with all design tips, these are just a few things you can do to recreate any living or work space. The options are infinite! Just remember: don’t be intimidated by the process. Doing your research, compiling your inspiration, and breaking down each design phase into manageable chunks will keep you on the right track to a new and improved room!