You know that saying “it’s the little things in life”? It’s always something we’ve repeated to ourselves here at TNP, because it’s things like a cup of coffee in the morning, the way avocado spreads perfectly on toast, the combination of peanut butter and banana, the sun rising over Central Park (we had to throw one in that wasn’t food related), that makes one’s week that much better.
Turns out, there’s an interior designer – Sara Story – that also goes by this maxim. In a mood to rearrange, redecorate and just set the stage (at our sometimes discombobulated apartments) for holiday entertaining, we wanted to find small ways to change our apartments in a big way. Sounds like a contradictory statement right? Wrong. Story gave us some tips at her own apartment on how to make small tweaks that make big differences (and you know you want to scroll down because let’s face it, all us lazy potatoes sometimes want to do as little as possible)…
1. Wallpaper is a fantastic way to update your home in an interesting way. You can make a big impact and change the feel of a room in a subtle or dramatic way. One of my favorite ways to incorporate wallpaper is to install it on the back of book shelves. I find that this adds depth and intrigue to a space, while not being overwhelming. I have also used wallpaper in powder rooms, which is a great way to create interest with pattern, texture and color. Depending on the pattern selected, wallpaper can quickly change the energy of a room, from serene to lively and vice versa.
2. Painting the ceiling of a room is a fabulous way to enhance the atmosphere, height and scale of the room. I lacquered the ceiling in my dining room, which created a marvelous reflective surface that highlights my chandelier. It also enriches the light cast from the chandelier beautifully. This is a subtle way to add color to a room, while still allowing you to be adventurous.
3. I try to incorporate either a fox throw or rug into almost all of my design projects. I find that it’s the perfect accent to make a room feel inviting and cozy, and also chic. I love the lushness of a fox throw, paired with a more austere or sculptural piece. Dualoy is a great resource that I use often.
4. Updating the decorative hardware is another great way to change the feel of a room. Selecting new hardware for one’s kitchen cabinets, bathrooms, or really anywhere throughout a home, can make millwork stand out and can provide a more modern or glamorous look. You can add burnished brass for a little glam or switch to a nickel for a more crisp finish. There are so many interesting hardware options and it is a relatively easy design task. Nanz is a great choice for higher end hardware and anthropology has an excellent selection at reasonable prices.
5. Changing the finish of your floors is another option I love and is something I’ve done in my home. You can either lighten or darken the wood tone. Lighting the floors creates an airy and open feel, while darkening them can feel glamorous and more formal. You can also experiment with finishes – anything from matte to very reflective. For a bolder look, it’s easy to create a geometric pattern on the floor with tape and paint. This is an excellent option for an entry or kitchen area, where a rug can be difficult to maintain.