Design Issue 2016

20 Try-This-Now Design Tips and Tricks from Houston Pros

Starting with a coat of high gloss paint on those ceilings.

By Sarah Rufca Nielsen August 22, 2016 Published in the September 2016 issue of Houstonia Magazine

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Image: Shutterstock

Ideas That Don't Break the Bank

“In every successful room, there needs to be a botanical element.  I love running over to IKEA and picking up a bunch of orchids or bromeliads. Group them and put them in your own interesting container, add some moss or stones and you’ve got a $500 arrangement for about $50.”
Paul Brockman

Phalaenopsis potted plants
$7.99–$14.99 at IKEA, 7810 Katy Fwy.

Mid-century brass and linen pendant
$199 at West Elm,

Seagrass rugs are a classic that can work in any space, and are so much less expensive than traditional rugs, which clients are always shocked to discover can exceed any budget.”
Bailey McCarthy

Color-bound seagrass rug
$49–$529 at Pottery Barn, multiple locations,

"Tile—innovative and interesting materials can be found at reasonable price points. We are using a lot of large-scale European porcelain tiles mixed with unusual stone slabs.”
Lindsay Robinson & Courtney Blair

Palazzo porcelain tile from $5/square foot at La Nova Tile, 9051 Knight Rd.,

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Inverse ombre rug at Madison Lily Rugs

How to Add Wow Factor to a Room

Rugs have the power to totally transform your space. They adorn your floor in the same way that art adorns your walls, anchoring your space and infusing a powerful dose of texture and color.”
Marie Flanigan

Anything custom elevates a room and makes it more personal.”
Bailey McCarthy

Farrow & Ball full gloss paint in Dustiest Blush, $112/gallon at Boxwood Interiors, 1320 West Alabama St.,

“Pops of color. Pick your favorite hue and go to town with art, pillows, throws, accessories.”
Paul Brockman

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Patterned throw pillow from Carnaby Street

Image: Carnaby Street 

Patterned Throw Pillow
Carnaby Street 'Anika’ pillow, $89 at High Fashion Home, 3100 Travis St.,

Floral Neon Monogram Pillow
$145 at Biscuit Home, 1435 Westheimer Rd.,

Inverse Ombre rug
from $5,400 at Madison Lily Rugs, 1727 Post Oak Blvd.,

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Bardot/Blue Eyes by Ken Tate, $9,000 through Dimmitt Contemporary Art, 2525 Robinhood St.

Pieces Worth a Splurge

Anything that you know you will always love is worth splurging on. So many times, people make compromises on what they really love to save money, but if you don’t really love it, there will always be the desire to replace. If you buy the best, you only cry once.
Bailey McCarthy

Bardot/Blue Eyes by Ken Tate, $9,000 through Dimmitt Contemporary Art, 2525 Robinhood St.,

“I generally advise clients to get a little spend-happy when it comes to art and antiques. Unique objects are always going to tell a fascinating story, creating a home that’s special and uniquely you.”
Marie Flanigan

Well-made upholstery is always worth the splurge! This is something you will have for years to come, and you should enjoy not only the aesthetics of the piece, but also the comfort.”
Laura Umansky

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Image: Found

Goat-skin console table
$4,995 at Found for the Home, 3433 West Alabama St.,

Carpo club chair from $4,200 at Holly Hunt, 5120 Woodway Dr. #155, Decorative Center of Houston,

Cole & Son ‘Versailles’ wallpaper
$1,696/roll at Lee Jofa, 5120 Woodway Dr. #150, Decorative Center of Houston,

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'Versailles' wallpaper

Image: Cole & Son

When Creating a Space, Don't Forget the Details

Layering. A successful look is one that is curated or collected. You can’t just do one-stop shopping from one retailer, or your room will look uninspired. I scour great resale shops like Bluebird and The Guild Shop for interesting accessories and add them to the mix to create levels of interest throughout any room.”
Paul Brockman

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Image: Alma

Alma perforated vase
$129 at Cantoni, 9889 Westheimer Rd.,

“The exterior of the home—maximize your curb appeal with zinc cube planters from Thompson + Hanson and the Neutra modern house numbers by Design Within Reach.”
Sally Wheat

“Thoughtful and integrated moldings truly bring so much to a home. They are fantastic and enhance the architecture of the space in a way that is quiet but impactful.”
Laura Umansky

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Neutra modern house numbers
$27 each at Design Within Reach, 4066 Westheimer Rd.,

Custom architectural moldings
at Clark’s Hardwood Lumber Co., 700 E. 5th ½ St.,

Marco table lamp in aged brass, $335 at Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, 4091 Westheimer Rd.,

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Image: Marco

“A well-thought-out lighting plan can make all the difference in how a space feels. Don’t be afraid to utilize a lighting consultant as necessary.”
Courtney Blair and Lindsay Robinson

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