Your Buddy’s House Is Cooler Than Yours…

Your buddy’s house is cooler than yours.

But it doesn’t have to be.

We’ve all been there. You walk into a friend’s place and think “wow, this place is sick!”

Interior design doesn’t come naturally to everyone (unlike those all-important hockey stats), but take it from me – it’s not that hard to create a killer look with a little bit of elbow grease and some imagination.

Here are a few tips on how to create that elusive pad.

First off, technology is cool. After all, there’s a reason everyone lines up for the latest smart phone or laptop. Thus, technology can be really cool in your home.

Want to control your lights and stereo with your phone? How about set your shower to automatically warm up at 7 am? Or even better, have your blinds automatically adjust depending on the ambient light?

It’s all possible.

Here’s how.

1. When you buy or rent a home, the lighting will suck. Developers are notoriously bad at designing good lighting plans and even worse at selecting attractive, functional fixtures.

So change them.

Change them all.

Lighting can be one of the most impressive features in your home, not just aesthetically, but functionally as well. No other element of the home contributes so strongly to creating a mood, personalizing the space and easing the flow and function.

2. Blank walls are not sexy. Period.

Artwork is  often associated with overdone pieces from Ikea, or expensive acquisitions from great masters.

It’s more than that.

Art doesn’t have to be a 2’ x 4’ box hung on the wall. It can be found objects hung in an eclectic way, or an old door repainted with a graphic image.

It also doesn’t have to be expensive. It’s actually easy to create a major point of interest by displaying pieces that speak to you. This could mean a piece from a garage sale or an up-and-coming artist.

3. Textiles are a great area to add visual interest and luxury to your home.

Linen bedding, bamboo towels or a luxe-wool-throw add enormous visual appeal to a space.

When you walk into a great hotel room, one of the first things you notice is the bedding. Not just the colour, but the texture, pattern, and weight of the linens.

Transform your bedroom into a hotel by purchasing high quality, neutral bedding and layering coloured or patterned pillows, throws and sheets.

4. Represent.

You live there right?

Your influence should be in every space. The key here is to truly commit.

If you love Star Wars, don’t hide your figurines on a dusty shelf. Display them in a great shadow box.

Dig travel? Create a piece of art by mounting your maps, ticket stubs and photos on a piece of painted cork board.

The most important point is that your home should feel as great as your favourite outfit; regardless of whether it’s designer suit or jeans and a vintage tee.

Next time you walk into a great space, take a minute to process each thing that contributes to the place. You’ll notice that a great room is really just the sum of its parts.

Soon enough, it’ll be your swank pad that elicits gasps from friends.

Written for CAVE by interior design expert Michelle Miazga from Port and Quarter.

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