Raise your hand if this sounds familiar: Your space is in need of an update, but you’re not quite ready to tackle a large-scale project. For the many New Jersey homeowners with this dilemma, interior designer Sarah Storms of Maplewood-based Styled by Storms has three helpful hints that can renew any room—a bedroom, living room, home office, kitchen. They won’t break the bank, won’t take up too much time and won’t cause a headache. You can feel good again about your space.
Mix and match. Using various prints in a room can be intimidating, the designer notes, but there are ways to accomplish it. “The key is having a grounding color run through a space like an invisible thread tying it together,” she says. First, select one print or pattern that will be “the star,” then complement it by using a coordinating, smaller-scale pattern or print in a color pulled from your star.
“Finish off the with a solid texture for warmth like velvet, bouclé or herringbone,” Storms recommends. “It’s the layers of colors and textures that give the room a thoughtful and cohesive feel. This works for both multicolored and tonal prints.”
Embrace color and pattern. “The gray movement is behind us,” Storms says, so use brighter hues and patterns to evoke joy. “Happiness within our home oftentimes comes with bold choices. Don’t be afraid to paint trim with a bold color to complement your whimsical wallpaper and ceilings.”
While you use bold and brighter hues for trim and accents, paint the walls of the room in a “moody color to create a polished and sophisticated feel,” she suggests. “Gorgeous shades of stone blue, smokey green or rich khakis will transform the space. It will feel warm, rich and comforting,” Storms says. Her go-to shades for walls include Benjamin Moore’s French Toile, Garden Oasis and Dry Sage.
Create a sensory experience. Design can be more than just what we see and what we feel. Studies have shown that the sense of smell evokes and creates memories and emotions. “Burning candles, whether helping you remember your favorite vacation or helping you feel like you’re at a spa, will transport you within your home,” Storms says. Her favorite scents: Nest New York’s Moroccan Amber and PF Candle Co.’s No. 29 Sandalwood and Rose.
Other ways to bring pleasing aromas into your home include using essential oils, planting an indoor herb garden or simply opening a window (fresh flowers, morning rain and fresh cut grass are each wonderful natural scents).