As a homeowner, you strive for a space that’s cohesive in both appearance and feel. After all, your living space can have a huge impact on your mood and your lifestyle. This is why you work so hard dotting every “i” and crossing every “t” when it comes to your habitat! Sometimes it feels like a constant work in progress; like you’re always on the hunt for that one object that will tie the room together, or the perfect piece of furniture that will match what you already have.
But have you considered that maybe exactly what your living space needs is a little chaos to balance out all the coordination? Sometimes the most eye-catching home designs come from what’s surprising and unexpected! Just like a plot twist in a movie, it makes you step back and think “wow, I wasn’t expecting that.”
With that in mind, here are four tips for adding instant visual interest to your living space by daring to mix it up:
A Pop of Color
Sometimes we start to lean so far into neutral, black or white decorating schemes that we forget to be daring in how we accent. Are you looking for something more creative than a throw pillow but less permanent than painting the entire room? Consider starting a collection of something.
It doesn’t matter what you collect; just that the objects coordinate with one another and contrast with the rest of the room. As Martha Stewart demonstrates with a group of green glass bottles, it’s fun to amass these loosely grouped objects over time. Fill a free spot on your shelf or coffee table with vintage glassware, bright candles, crystals, figurines, succulents, salt and pepper shakers or anything else you enjoy for a bold statement.
Having a leather living room set or an all-wood dining room is not necessarily a bad thing. But it may be lacking a certain wow factor that pushes it over the edge. Just like with color, it’s important to play materials off each other for full visual impact.
Luckily, modern furniture runs a gauntlet of exciting materials and textures: plastic, glass, metal, wood, paper and more. In fact, it often mixes and matches these materials within the very same piece. One quick way to breathe life into a room is to incorporate a simple yet stylish piece of furniture with the same modern sensibilities that have held up over decades.
What’s Your Mood?
One way to buck a stifling design scheme without turning your home into the inside of a busy Saturday flea market is to stick to a mood. This allows you to blur or even cross traditional décor lines without clashing.
Start by determining the mood of your room. Is it an informal conversation space meant for mid-afternoon naps and casual hangouts with friends? Then don’t get too hung up on matching and instead choose furniture aligned with that end goal. Is it a formal space for cocktails with more than three ingredients and quiet conversation? Even if all the furniture isn’t, say, mid-century modern or French country, it will all work together in achieving the desired mood.
Pick a Pattern or Three
Ever heard of the “rule of three”? Even if math was your least favorite subject in school, it’s easy to see that three is a magic number when it comes to home design. When it comes to creating visual interest, heed this guideline.
For instance, decorating a room with floral, damask and plaid in complementary colors would work. Any more and it would be an eyesore; any less and it would seem lacking. As you play with different patterns—whether it’s in the wallpaper, the pillows, the floor coverings or the curtains—stick to three per room for balance.
Now that you have these four tips for drumming up visual interest in your living space, it’s time to make some exciting changes. Whether you add a game-changing new chair or simply infuse some color into a room, you have the power to make your space truly special.
All Images From Stockholm Apartment of Prop Stylist Joanna Laven