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Design on a dime

By Keegan Prosser on September 5, 2012 – No Comment


Fall is just around the corner, and as kids gear up for back to school, grown-ups may be looking for a little change of their own – in the form of redesigning the house.

While it can often be overwhelming to redecorate a familiar space, TV personality and designer Tracy Hutson of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” fame says it’s all about finding inspiration.

“It could be anything, from sitting down and looking through a magazine. But typically there is an art piece or a rug or a color swatch that you can just start from.”

Hutson says decorative pillows are a great jumping off point for redesigning a room – especially for someone who is hesitant about bringing in bright colors. Hutson also suggests mixing highend and lowend pieces to create your ideal space on a budget.

“I just love the idea of taking an inspiration photo or picture of a room that you just cannot get off your mind and trying to accomplish that with vintage finds,” she says.
In regard to saving money, Hutson says paint can go a long way. In addition to changing up wall colors she suggests finding inexpensive mirrors at garage sales and paints them a bold color.

As far as design aesthetics are concerned, Hutson says current trends are leaning toward a more eclectic style. She says people are experimenting with a variety of different looks, creating their own unique aesthetic: boho-chic, rustic-modern and more.

But Hutson says it’s all about choosing pieces accordingly. She says it’s OK to go for a “splurge” piece (an antique dresser, an expensive sofa), as long as you get crafty with the rest of your budget. She also cites antique stores and flea markets as the go-to for historical, one-of-a-kind pieces.

“You know no one else will have it because you didn’t get it at Pottery Barn,” Hutson says.

Other features vital to redesign are lighting – and a good sofa. Hutson says lighting can make or break a room, and putting lights on a dimmer is an inexpensive way of setting, and controlling, the mood in the room. However, she says to be wary of can lighting. While the overhead fixtures can be a great way to light a room, people often install too many – which can wash out the space.

Hutson says a sofa can anchor a room, even in small spaces. For this piece, Hutson says it’s best to choose a neutral shade, and use piping or decorative pillows to bring in a pop of color.

“It’s a lot easier to buy pillows than reupholster a sofa,” Hutson says.

Ultimately, the designer says the most important thing to consider when redesigning a room is personal taste. You want the room to reflect you style, so trust your own instincts in what you like (and don’t like). After all, it’s your space to enjoy.