Friday, April 27, 2012

Designer Tips from HB

One of my favorite days of the month is when I find a House Beautiful in my mailbox. Yesterday was one of those days, so I promptly took up residence on my couch until I’d read the entire magazine and drooled all over the beautiful pictures. This month, there was a great article where Nate Berkus revamped a room in 8 hours.

One of my favorite things that HB does is their designer tips every couple of months. (Could be because I make this stuff up as I go along and these people actually know what they were talking about) So, I was excited to see 101 Designer Tips. I wont cover all of them, but here are a few of my favorites.

#1 – Start your living room plan with the best seat in the room and work from there. – DD Allen

#2 – To give rooms architectural detail when the don’t have any, paint a 1 1/2” to 2” lining stripe around the ceiling and up the walls in the corners. It’s a rich touch, a way to get a lot of look with just paint. – Marshall Watson

#7 – If you have a painting that looks too small above your sofa, don’t center it. Offset it a few inches to the left. The negative space – called ‘ma’ – becomes part of the image – Richard Mishaan

#9 – Don’t hang a mirror between windows. The spatial void it creates distracts from the view. – Carey Maloney

#25 – A good paint formula for ceilings is the trim color plus 50% white. – Allison Caccoma

#31– The days of twin beds are over. When twin beds are required, first consider a pair of full-size beds. They’re only 15” wider than twins and much more comfortable. – Betsy Brown

#34 – Don’t use end tables lower than 30”. The lamplight will be much better and the proportion is better. Bedside tables should be 36” to 38” tall. Don’t be afraid of tall tables. – Ginger Barber

#35 – I get bored without color in a room. Interesting, strong, clear colors are easier to live with in the long run than pale colors. People always think it’s the opposite, but in actuality, soft colors get boring much quicker. – Richard Keith Langham

#59 – When painting your walls, go bolder and stronger than you’re comfortable with. After it’s finished, if it’s too intense, gray the color with its complement (use a color wheel) and wash it on – you get an expensive decorator look in hours and it’s so easy! Pour the paint in a paint tray, then with a wet rag slosh and rub the new color over the old savagely. The color will then be a quieter version of itself and you should immediately love the effect. This has worked for me 99 times out of 100. – Jim Howard

#65 – To create flattering light, have your lampshades lined in a soft pink or use GE soft pink 100-watt bulbs. -Richard Keith Langham

#73 – Throw pillows with Turkish Corners are so much plumper and more luxe than regular knife edge squares and they really soften a modern sofa. –Nick Olsen

#76 – Surprise the eye with scale. Use one large lamp with a large lampshade or an oversize ottoman. One large-scale element takes a room up a notch. – Myra Hoefer

#99 – Always line curtains in the same materials all through the house so there’s continuity from the outside. – Susan Zises Green

Check out the May issue of House Beautiful for the other 88 tips!

NOTE: This is not a sponsored post. I wish.


  1. Wouldn't it be nice if it WAS a sponsored post, haha! Love the tips, thanks for sharing

  2. Great ideas! I have used the painting tip of a 1 1/2" - 2" inch lining border around the ceiling when we didn't have crown molding. It gives the illusion of one. I'll have to find a tutorial on Turkish pillows...I'd like to try to make some.

  3. I loooove me some House Beautiful. AND some Nate Berkus.

  4. I was just reading this article the other day! So many good tips from those people who know what they're doing.

  5. So many awesome tips! I love learning from the pros too!! That off-centered pic above the bed is such an awesome idea...I can think of so many places I could do that. Thanks so much for the inspiration. :)

  6. Awesome tips! I LOVE this kind of thing. Must find this article! (See? They should be paying you.)

  7. I adore an all white bed. It gives you a feeling of sleeping on a cloud. Unfortunately, sleeping with my dogs also gives me a feeling of peace and well being. I have gone off of white due to living on a ranchita and having animals, however, if money were no object, I would adorn my bed in all white and sleep with both of my dogs too!

  8. Enjoyed this post so much! It is very interesting! Especially loved the tips no.2 and no.59

  9. House Beautiful is my favorite :) Thanks for all the inspiration and the designer tips. I learned something!


  10. Not only are these helpful tips, but they are oh so interesting! Who thinks up such details???
    Oh, the professionals :P


What do you think? I love your comments and read every single one. I do my best to respond to every single one (as long as you're not a spambot and you leave an email address).