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Decorating Tips From Episode 2 of Secrets From a Stylist

Three Great Decorating Tips From Emily Henderson

In Episode 2 of Secrets From a Stylist, Emily Henderson helped the Ravals, an artistic family living in Culver City, integrate function into their bohemian, free-spirited style. Check out three of her great tips from this past episode!

Tip 1: Pay Attention to Bulk and Scale in a Space "The Ravals' living room was a big lesson in scale. That sofa was enormous, yet didn't actually fit that many people on it. Super contradictory I know, but sometimes the arms are so bulky and the backs are so bulky that you end up wasting so much space. Those huge bulky chunky sofas are great in theory but only if you have a huge space that can handle it. So when I was shopping for a sofa for them I kept scale in mind first and foremost. I needed one that was low and cuddly and didn't block off the open space plan too much, but also had slim arms and a slim back. The proportions of the one I bought was perfect for their house, and actually seats four to five people if needed. And don't get me started on that bookcase. It was two feet deep! You never ever need a casegood to be two feet deep, bookshelves should be maximum 18 inches but often 16 inches is enough. No book or media accessory is actually that deep. It's all about choosing the scale that fits the space and maximizes the function.

Keep reading for two more tips!

Tip 2:  Mix Patterns. Yes it's tricky. But here's what I try to stick to: really large scale patterns mixed with really small-scale patterns. So while the ikat pattern on the chairs were large, the rugs pattern was small. Busy with non-busy. The reason the rug had to get moved was because the rug with the chairs with the bright sofa equaled a style a little busier than the Ravals wanted, so just by pulling that rug into the dining room it made the two rooms coherent, but at the same time gave them a super family-friendly dining room rug. With patterns I try to pepper them around the room evenly — you don't want a sofa with a bunch of patterned pillows and then no pattern anywhere else. It will look like an accident. Mix large with small and pattern with solid equally around the room to give a collected look that is also cohesive.


Tip 3: Mix Cool and Warm Tones. "A room isn't terribly inviting without the combination of both. Cool tones are more modern (grays and blues) but a room with only cool tones feels, well, cold. No doy. But a room with only warm earth tones isn't very modern and can look like '90s suburbia. You need a splash or accent of both. So in this house I chose the walls to be a cool gray, but then peppered the room with oranges and yellows to warm it up. And in other houses you'll see that I paint the walls a warm taupe, but then keep the accents charcoal and blue. It's the combination that creates a room that people really want to be in."

Thanks for the tips, Emily!

All Photos © 2011, HGTV. All Rights Reserved.

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