Courtney Warren is a Texas-based interior designer whose work has been featured in Real Simple, Better Homes & Gardens, Good Housekeeping, Apartment Therapy, and Today.com. She is a frequent consultant on Fox 4 TV’s Good Day program in Dallas, was ranked in the top 3 percent of interior designers in the US by Houzz.com, and starred in the Dallas episode of TLC’sFour Houses. She delights in helping overwhelmed clients create beautiful spaces—and will never turn down a warm chocolate chip cookie or Diet Dr Pepper.
Their new home was finally finished, and they loved it.
But as soon as my clients moved in, they realized it needed—something. It lacked those finishing touches that take a new build from “OK, it’s done” to “Oh, wow, I’m in LOVE with my new home!”
The living room. You know, it was fine: nice features and finishes and some good neutral sofas. We just needed to bring it all together. My team and I got to work.
Forever Home Tip #1 – Use color to unite your elements.
First we fixed the chair mismatch by buying a second blue and cream chair. These became the starting point for our new scheme. (And I loved the oversized print!) Then we did some Decorator Math: we added the blue patterned rug and pillows to unite the upholstered pieces, and we subtracted the heavy, dark end tables, swapping them out for two that are lighter in structure and color. And also round, to break up all the angles.
(Do all your wood pieces have to match? Absolutely not! If they do, you’re in your grandmother’s home. Now we love Grandma, but the day of matched suites of furniture is OVER.)
Forever Home Tip #2 – Soften your windows with curtains.
Yes, the blue ties in the color, but the soft texture at the windows also gives a welcoming feel to this room.
Forever Home Tip #3 – Accessorize–with a light touch.
My clients had opted out of the builder’s shelves beside the fireplace, but later felt that the walls needed something. So we installed floating shelves, which provide the perfect spot for a few well-placed accessories. Remember, a few larger pieces are more appealing than a hundred little knicknacks scattered here and there. (If you’re moving from another home, use this opportunity to pare down STUFF, keeping only the items you love and that contribute to the look you want in your new place.)
Next we tackled the playroom/media room. This was pretty much a blank slate, but my clients gave me a great head start by letting me know they’re huge STAR WARS fans. Well, just turn me loose with THAT! We had fun picking a favorite quote from the movies: “Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi…”
This family had LOTS of Star Wars collectibles and toys already, so we pillaged their collection, added a few judicially selected items, and used it all to outfit both the playroom side and the media room. But only after painting both areas a deep moody black, perfect for movie nights–AND imaginative play in a galaxy far, far away.
So, Forever Home Tip #4 – PAINT!
Be gone, builder beige! This is YOUR home now, and you can personalize it to your tastes and needs.
If you don’t overdo it (and you don’t go buy one whole aisle at the hobby and decor store), starting with a theme in a blah room can kick start your creativity. To add a fun punch to our Star Wars theme, we came up with this locker and accessorized with All The [Star Wars] Things.
I’m out of room for today! Check back here soon and you’ll see how we used these tips (and one more!) in the kitchen and dining room!
Ready to make your newly-constructed home truly yours? I would love to help you! Let’s talk!
Have some questions? No problem! I offer a complimentary, no-strings-attached phone call consultation.
Email me to book a call time–and let’s start making design fun!