House Beautiful’s May issue is devoted to “Designer Secrets.” It is chock full of amazing decorating tips and tricks from the pros, on everything from color and lighting to rugs, curtains, measurements and hanging art.
I thought the feature called “101 Designer Secrets” in which 101 of the top interior designers offer their #1 piece of decorating advice could help you with your spring decorating.
Among the designer tips:
Richard Mishaan: 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.
Charlotte Moss: A rectangular table is ideal at about 36” in width. This allows for conversation with your neighbors to the right and left and across the table, a real bonus.
Jan Showers: “Every room needs a touch of black, just as it needs one antique piece.”
Mary McDonald: When you don’t have dimmers, use 15-watt bulbs to simulate candlelight. Works like magic.
Peter Dunham: Hang curtains. They make a room feel finished. Think of them as the lipstick of decorating.
Vicente Wolf: When doing curtains or shades, take them all the way up to the ceiling – it will increase the height of the room.
Robert Couturier: I’m not sure dining chairs need to be comfortable. It encourages bad posture and dozing off…If they’re slightly uncomfortable, it keeps people attentive to the conversation. I choose them for looks only.
Elissa Cullman: Don’t install carper wall to wall in a narrow hall or narrow staircase. Instead, install the carpet as a runner and leave at least 3” border on both sides to make the space seem wider.
Myra Hoefer: Always use white linens and towels. Never cross the line—always use white. They’re bleachable and they send a message of cleanliness, refinement and order.
David Easton: If you love a fabric but it seems too strong, check the reverse side—it may do just the trick.
* * *
In addition, HouseBeautiful.com has video interviews with several designers offering their best pieces of advice. Choose your favorite designer and click on their link:
Alexa Hampton: http://www.housebeautiful.com/video/designer-secrets-alexa-hampton-video-1555685823001?click=main_sr
Miles Redd: http://www.housebeautiful.com/video/designer-secrets-miles-redd-video-1555678086001
Lindsey Coral Harper: http://www.housebeautiful.com/video/designer-secrets-lindsey-coral-harper-video-1530979078001
Nick Olsen: http://www.housebeautiful.com/video/designer-secrets-nick-olsen-video-1555678095001?click=main_sr
Mary McDonald: http://www.housebeautiful.com/video/designer-secrets-mary-mcdonald-video-1555678088001