How do we make our money go farther when it comes to interior design? Keep your selections smart and classic for longevity. When selecting large pieces of furniture (like a sofa) stick with neutrals and update and change your accessories as your style changes. You will be satisfied longer and make less mistakes if you keep your selections neutral. Tina Mellino of Zia Interior Design says know when to splurge. "Buy the best you can afford of those items you know you will have a long time and sometimes even splurge for those really exceptional design materials or finishes."
So how important is it to put your own personality into the design materials? Tina says "I think this depends on the intention of the home. Is this a home you plan to live in for a long time? Is this your dream home? or is it an investment? If this is your dream home and you are going to live in it for a long time go ahead and put in purple carpet!"
With many of us using our design dollars sparingly in this economy it's important to be prepared when you do take the design plunge. So where do we start? There are many websites you can go to to take 'fun test' that will help identify your style and actually help you in selecting the materials and finishes that will appeal to you. Tina suggests Pittsburgh Paints which offers the colorsense game . "I also encourage my clients to 'rip & tear' from magazines, keep a design file and when it's time to attempt a design project or buy a piece of furniture you will have ideas you love." Can't decide on even colors? Look to your wardrobe. What are your favorite colors? What are your favorite pieces of clothing to wear? Do you like wools, flannels, silk, velvet, patterns, solids, texture? Tina says by shopping in your closet you can tell a lot about yourself and what brings you comfort and joy. She also says when you visit hotels and restaurants think about what it is that attracts you to that space. Do you like the warm wood tones or sleek hard surfaces? What about the lighting do you like or dislike? How about the color palette? The more passionate you become about the design elements around you, the more inspired and motivated you will become to re-design your own space.
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