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Best designer tips for decorating every room

Looking to revamp your abode? We've got you covered for every room in the house with these expert tips on creating your dream home!
Best designer tips for decorating every room

Designer rooms

Designer Trish Johnston: Living room and dining room

“When designing two rooms that are adjacent to each other, try to keep them uniform without being too matchy-matchy. In this case we focused on the orange velvet drapes. They tie the rooms together but still allow each space to have its own unique personality.” – Trish Johnston of Trish Johnston Design

Texture, texture, texture! Combining tactile materials like velvet, mohair and shag rugs with shimmery, luxe lighting connects the two rooms visually and makes them feel full and cozy. 

Don’t ignore the fifth wall. Both ceilings are painted a gorgeous inky blue, tying the two rooms together and adding moody personality. 

Chairs, Crateandbarrel.com. Side table, Westelm.com. Chandelier, rug, Elte.com. Sofa, Kioskdesign.ca. Table, Shelterfurniture.ca. Art, Snobstuff.com. Paint, $30/gal., Benjaminmoore.ca.

Best designer tips for decorating every roomPhoto by Sian Richards

Designer Trish Johnston: Living room and dining room

Think outside the box. Each room features an interesting focal point. A series of prints hung in a grid livens up the dining room while an African headdress softens the dark wall in the living room. 

Spend your money on: Dramatic lighting.

Wallpaper, curtain fabric, Kravetcanada.com. Table, Upcountry.ca. Chairs, Kioskdesign.ca. Chandelier, Lightform.ca. Art, Angela Cameron, Artinteriors.ca.

Best designer tips for decorating every roomPhoto by Sian Richards
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Designer Shirley Meisels: Kitchen

“I spend my renovation dollars on counters and backsplashes – finishes that everyone notices. They can really make big-box cabinets look custom!” – Shirley Meisels of Mhouse Inc.

Create a focal point. The range is often the star of the kitchen, so make it stand out by running tile all the way up the wall behind it. This adds the illusion of height and drama.

Choose a long-lasting countertop. Quartz composite is durable and comes in a range of beautiful colours that go well with any style. Invest in a counter-depth fridge. It’s worth the cost to achieve that clean, seamless look.

Spend your money on: Countertop and backsplash.

Counters, Caesarstone.ca. Backsplash, Bisazza.com. Hardware, Gingers.com.

Interior designer Shirley Meisels Mhouse Inc kitchen stove big box cabinetPhoto by Scott Norsworthy

Designer Shirley Meisels: Kitchen

Install a wall of plates. Don’t forget to hang art in your kitchen. Decorative plates are the perfect fit. 

Sofa, Dwr.com. Pillow fabric, Missoni.com. Fornasetti plates, Palazzetti.ca.
 
Best designer tips for decorating every roomPhoto by Scott Norsworthy

Designer Shirley Meisels: Kitchen

Credenza, custom made. Art, Su Sheedy, Muse Gallery.

Interior designer Shirley Meisels Mhouse Inc kitchen abstract wall art wine cabinet storage credenzaPhoto by Scott Norsworthy
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Desiger Kimberley Seldon: Mud room

“An effective mud room frequently operates as a home’s main entrance, but it can also be a dumping ground for all the stuff you don’t want visitors to see. Organization is the key to clutter control.” – Kimberley Seldon of Kimberley Seldon Design Group

Dedicate space. Start by choosing a wall to hang coats and jackets.

Hang hooks at the correct height. Adults will want hooks approximately five feet above the floor. For children, secure hooks about three feet above the floor. A common mistake people make is placing their hooks too close together. Keep items accessible by spacing wall hooks six to nine inches apart.

Baskets, baskets, baskets. The troublemakers are shoes, boots, backpacks, scarves, hats and gloves. Include storage-in-plain- sight solutions like wicker baskets tucked under a bench to keep things tidy.

Install some low pegs. Wooden pegs attached four to six inches above the floor are terrific for allowing mittens and gloves to dry overnight.


Spend your money on: Slip-resistant stone floors.
 

Baskets, Angusandcompany.com. Vintage spools, Hesterandcook.com. Umbrella, Homesense.ca. Rug, Elte.com.

Interior desiger Kimberley Seldon mudroom entranceway hallway storage coat hooksPhoto by Simon Burn

Designer Hilary Farr: Bedroom

“Draperies are essential. They can frame a beautiful view or hide an ugly one. They also insulate against heat and cold and keep the light from invading your bedroom. Use a short, thick tie-back with pretty detail for a tailored look or a hessian-rope-and-tassel version for a more casual look.” – Hilary Farr of Hilary Farr Design and Love It or List It, on W Network

Hilary Farr Collection, Theshoppingchannel.com.

Designer Hilary Farr drapes modern bedroom white tuft headboardPhotos by Michael Graydon

Designer Hilary Farr: Bedroom

Splurge on a mattress that’s comfortable. The most important thing about a bedroom is getting a good night’s sleep! Consider the size of your room. You may want a king, but if it’s too big it will crowd precious space. 

Choose natural fabrics for your bedding. You breathe them in at night, so look for natural fibres like 100 percent cotton, linen, silk or bamboo. Everywhere else, anything goes.

Make sure there is some symmetry. Mismatched bedside tables are more interesting, but keep them the same height and pair them with matching table lamps or vice versa. Otherwise your room will look like it’s messy and full of garage sale finds.

Spend your money on: Bed and drapery.

Side table, throw, Elte.com. Hilary Farr Collection, Theshoppingchannel.com.

Interior designer Hilary Farr bedroom tuft headboard modernPhoto by Michael Graydon
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Designer Emily Griffin: Bathroom

“One of my favourite combinations for bathrooms is Calacatta marble with walnut accents, polished-nickel fixtures and grey walls.” – Emily Griffin of Emily Griffin Design

Keep the tile simple. Choose your stone (in this case marble) and then use different sizes on the wall and floor. Here, a larger tile is used on the walls, and a smaller, basket weave tile on the floors.  

Bathtub, faucets, Gingers.com, Art, Elte.com. Paint, $110/gal., Farrowandball.com.

Designer Emily Griffin white and grey bathroom marble horse art printPhotos by Roberto Caruso

Designer Emily Griffin: Bathroom

Get creative with your floor plans. If you’re tight on wall space but have a large room, try putting your vanity and shower back-to- back in the middle of the room. It makes the space feel airy and provides a natural divide between the bathing side of the room and the dressing side.

Add luxe touches. Once all the practical elements are in place, incorporate items like antique rugs, leather benches, artwork and window treatments. It will make your bathroom feel more comfortable.

Spend your money on: A good contractor and solid workmanship.

Tile, Saltillo-tiles.com. Counter, Crystalmarble.com. Hardware, Ucsh.com. Vanity, Russell Smith at 9 Digits Inc.. Everlasting trees, Bernard Thibault.

Interior designer Emily Griffin luxury bathroom marble walnutPhotos by Roberto Caruso

Designer Jo Alcorn: Home office

“Think of your home office as an extension of the rest of the house, and use the same design principles in it. For example, consider the importance of accent lighting, the joy of colour and most importantly the functionality of your furniture pieces.” – Jo Alcorn of Whitewash & Co.

Make a list. Figure out what you need your office to do. Think about storage, counter space and a place to read. Once you know what you want, start putting your ideas down on paper and get space planning.

Place your desk in the middle of the room. Pull your desk away from the wall and centre it in the room so you’re not staring at a wall. This also frees up wall space for storage.

Spend your money on: A good desk chair.

Desk, chair, storage cabinet, Harkeloffice.com. Lighting, mirror, Bouclair.com.

Interior designer Jo Alcorn Whitewash & Co home office chevron wall bluePhoto by Sian Richards
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<b>Designer Jo Alcorn: Home office

Use your favourite colour. Make it fun! Put up an inspiration board, decorate your walls – anything that helps you feel motivated. 

Pillow and accessories, Bouclair.com.

Interior designer Jo Alcorn Whitewash & Co blue office corner white chair Bouclair home accessoriesPhoto by Sian Richards

<b>Designer Katherine Yaphe: Kids' playroom

“Our built-in was the best investment for our space — the kids use it as a stage, they sit on it to read, and it hides the bulk of their toys and books. But it doesn’t have to be something elaborate. A good system to keep toys hidden is worth it, so load up on easy-to-access bins. I’d even consider labelling them.” – Katherine Yaphe of Oliver Yaphe

Area rug, Oliveryaphe.com. Sofa, Stylegarage.com. Pillows, Ycocarpet.com. Storage, Ikea.ca.

Designer Katherine Yaphe Oliver Yaphe kids playroom couch built-in storage cabinetPhotos by Ashley Capp

Designer Katherine Yaphe: Kids' playroom

Set a neutral backdrop. Children’s toys and art are inherently colourful, so choose basic black, white and grey for your walls and floors. It’ll make colours pop without becoming overwhelming.

Rotate toys. Allow only a small selection of your kids’ toys in the playroom at one time. It reduces clutter and makes your kids feel like they have new toys when you do the “switch.”

Choose a forgiving floor. Layer colourful area rugs over a hard-wearing, low-pile carpet. The area rugs can be cleaned as needed.

Spend your money on: Built-in storage.

Area rug, Oliveryaphe.com. Table, chairs, storage, Ikea.ca.

Interior designers Katherine Yaphe Oliver Yaphe kids play roomPhoto by Ashley Capp

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