Decorating your home can be an intimidating process. With colors, textures, furniture and fixtures to think about, the right choices can seem illusive. Luckily, help is here. Transplanted local and interior designer extraordinaire Heidi Feliz-Grimm shares her top tips for styling your home, while incorporating local Minnesota flavor and the best elements of your neighborhood.
Bring the outdoors in
One of Heidi’s favorite tips includes taking advantage of your home’s natural environment. Reflect elements of your outdoor surroundings within your home. For example, add live green plants to the corners of your rooms, create a rock arrangement on a coffee table or decorate a bowl with pine cones or flowers from your garden (depending on the season). Don’t be afraid to get “organic” and use materials directly from your own backyard. In one of Heidi’s favorite projects, she was able to incorporate a wooded backyard into the house’s design by using cedar wood in the sun room that faced the woods, creating a seamless space from home to nature.
Mix textures to add depth
A bare space can be boring and flat. Add depth to your space by mixing a few different textures together. For example, in a more rustic home, consider stone above a fireplace (to accentuate the rustic appeal), but use softer textures in the flooring or furniture. By this, she notes, think of a plush area rug or soft couch. It’s also easy to build this tip on top of the first tip. Use rocks from outdoors as your harder texture, and then mix them with something softer. This combination will add depth to your space, making it more inviting and visually appealing.
Choose a paint with a high LRV
Paint color can affect the mood and feel of a room, as well as the general sense of space. Heidi recommends picking a paint color with a high Light Reflectance Value (LRV) to keep your rooms feeling spacious and inviting. The LRV refers to how much natural light will be reflected (rather than absorbed by the paint), so the higher the number, the more natural light will reflect and brighten your rooms. To balance neutral walls without losing the natural light, consider adding an accent wall with a bright pop of color, or add color to the space through your accessories including curtains, lamp shades, throw pillows and area rugs.
This is also a great way to reflect your outdoor surroundings. Live on one of our 10,000-plus lakes? Bring the lake into your home with an accent wall of blue or celebrate the birds and animals in your area with your accessories and decorations.
Add interest with a piece of artwork
For an easy way to add interest to your space, consider a piece of art for the wall. This can change the entire look of the room and can even kick start your other choices if you’re feeling stumped. A big picture can be a great starting point for inspiration, helping with choices on color and style of a room. For a modern and fun choice, consider an abstract print. Heidi recommends browsing for something new to love at a place like Deck the Walls, where there is art for every budget. Deck the Walls stores are also locally owned and regularly display works by local artists, as well as offer custom framing for art of your own. Don’t forget to utilize hallway space for smaller art and framed pictures to create an extra personal touch to your space.
Using light fixtures to make a statement
The lighting you choose will have a big impact on your space, so it’s not a small decision. Heidi recommends sticking to one statement piece, like a chandelier, and then complementing it with simpler pieces within the space. Remember that one piece can change the vibe of a room in an instant, setting the tone with one flick of a switch. Because of this, it’s important to remain mindful of the scale. In the dining room, feel free to go big, but in a bathroom, stay in the small to medium range depending on the size of the room. Don’t be afraid to go bold with your choices, but know that your lighting will determine your style when done right. Heidi recommends Southern Lights, one of the largest lighting showrooms in all of the Midwest. Located in Burnsville, there are lighting fixtures for every style.
Sassy professional by day, men’s style expert by night, Bethany Rein is a twenty-something living in Minneapolis. She loves baseball, coffee and the well-dressed male. An avid runner, Bethany also plays recreational sports with more enthusiasm than skill. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.