The Friend Series: Interior Motives

So remember I told you my friends were amazing? Well, I want to introduce you to my next friend, Michelle. Michelle is an AMAZING interior designer, great confidant, and all around great human. I’ve known Michelle since my sophomore year in college, and well the rest as they say is history. Michelle is the friend you call when you need advise on anything, including how to decorate your too small apartment or where to buy great furniture pieces from.

It just so happens that Michelle was kind enough to answer a few questions for Tie Sides and Scoops, as part of my Friend Series. Here’s what we chatted about:

1.     TSS Question: What would your advise be to someone that needs help decorating a tiny space?

Michelle’s answer: Small spaces can be very tricky. The most important rule in small spaces is to keep it simple. I always recommend pairing down and eliminating unnecessary clutter. A small space will only feel smaller if it is jam-packed with furniture and tchotchkes (did I spell that right?) I recommend using smart storage solutions and multi-purpose furniture to address all the needs of the space. Another key ingredient is a simple color scheme. I often apply monochromatic color schemes with pops of color to make the space feel larger. Also consider the scale of furniture you will be using in your space. Many furniture companies have ‘apartment-sized’ furniture for smaller spaces. Good lighting will also help make a small space feel more open and airy.

2.    TSS Question: What would your advise be to someone that needs help decorating a large space?

Michelle’s answer: Large spaces also have their challenges because they can be overwhelming. Coming up with a good space plan prior to purchasing any furniture is always the best way to begin. I recommend taking it one space or zone at a time. Always consider the traffic patterns and how you will be using the space when coming up with your plan! Unifying the spaces through color is a wonderful way to make a larger space feel more comfortable and creates a more cohesive flow. Again, placing the correct scale of furniture (larger scale) will make the space more comfortable and balanced. Good lighting is also an important element in designing a large space.

3.    TSS Question: How do we know when we need to call a professional Interior Designer? How do we find one if they aren’t a friend of ours (I’m lucky but I’m guessing many people don’t have you for a friend)? 

Michelle’s answer: It is best to call a designer if you are completely stuck or if you are in need of help during furniture selection or colors and finishes. I also always recommend professional help with renovations and / or the purchase of new spaces. The best way to find a great interior designer is through word of mouth. Most designers get work from referrals from previous clients. There are also industry websites like ASID or IIDA that can recommend Licensed Interior Designers in your area.

4.    TSS Question: What trends are you seeing in interiors right now? How do we translate them into our own spaces?

Michelle’s answer: The biggest trend in interiors right now is the use of organic materials and renewable resources. Products made from recycled glass or reclaimed wood for example are very hot right now. The use of mixed materials is also very popular. Products for these trends are available in all price ranges and accessible to all. For your personal space, the best way to translate these trends is to incorporate touches of them throughout your space. Maybe adding a simple end table made out of old barn wood, or a vase made from recycled glass will give your space the trendy look you want, without going overboard or breaking the bank!

5.    TSS Question: What 1 thing would you say every home needs in it’s interior to make it “pop”? 

Michelle’s answer: My absolute 2 ‘must-haves’ are art and flowers. (I couldn’t choose just 1) In my last apartment, I bought my artwork before I bought most of my furniture. Not only did it help me unify my color scheme, but it also made my space unique and personal to me. Flowers and plants create such a welcoming feel and give the sense of ‘life’ and warmth that every space needs.

Michelle’s tip to remember: Your space should be as personal as your handwriting so don’t be afraid to take risks and break the rules!

Questions: Shoot me an email and I’ll make sure you get an answer


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