October 26, 2009
tips from designer stephen saint-onge
Last week, I attended an event where designer Stephen Saint-Onge was a guest speaker. He’s very much a “real” guy, and always makes his designs within reach of the average, everyday person.
His work has been featured in all of our favorite home and garden publications, as well as being named one of the top fifteen designers in America by House Beautiful.
At the event, I got to chat with him and he gave me some tips that we can all use in making our homes feel like new, without breaking the bank.
- Choose the area: Don’t overwhelm yourself by tackling big spaces. Focus on an attainable area that you experience everyday and make sure it’s something you can transform easily. Add an eye-catching piece that is the central focus of the room. It’ll brighten up your day and motivate you to do more.
- Lose the clutter: Living in Manhattan, I definitely have this issue. Yeah, we all fear those moments of “Dammit, I can’t believe I threw that out, I could really use it right now.” Stephen’s advice, “just let go.” Once you’ve accepted it, you’re more likely to throw things out instead of hoarding them for that one-time use a year from now.
- Have fun and rearrange: Whether it’s as small as a countertop or as large as a full room, play around with pieces that you love. Stephen recommends taking everything off (or out) to see the basic area and slowly build from there. “First, bring back only the items you truly love, and then build off of that. For kitchen surfaces, start with a daily use product like a coffee station and arrange from there.”
- Shop your house: You can take items you already have and make them new again. Try placing that painting above your couch in your bedroom. Break out those lamps stored in the attic and replace the shades.
- Treat yourself: After your done, and you look at your room and think, “It just needs a pair of throw pillows to make it look complete,” then don’t be afraid to splurge. It’s okay every once in awhile.
Thanks Stephen for such great advice!