Design Experts
Jan 4, 2007

Decorating with the Designer Guys

By: Heather Camlot

Decorating with the Designer Guys Author: Style At Home

Design Experts
Jan 4, 2007

Decorating with the Designer Guys

By: Heather Camlot

The extent to which home decor shows like Martha Stewart Living, Trading Spaces and Designer Guys are influencing homeowners' design choices is uncertain. But one thing is for sure: "People are looking at their homes not just as a dwelling, but as a sanctuary," says Steven Sabados, co-host of HGTV Canada's Designer Guys. If you're thinking of redesigning a room or two, Steven and co-host Chris Hyndman offer the following advice.

An easy and inexpensive way to redo the look of a room is with paint. But forget about your everyday whites and beiges. "The big thing we're seeing in all the magazines is to just go crazy with colour," says Steven.

"People are getting a lot braver," Chris adds. "So many people want colour who never wanted it before." To add visual detail to your walls, try colour blocking. Apply a variety of colours in grid formation, complimentary colours in stripes of various sizes or different shades of colour in a gradual incline or decline. If you prefer smaller punches of colour, consider adding a bright red sofa or a green throw.

Ethnic décor is influencing not only colour palettes but furniture and accessories, as well. "People are travelling a lot and want to bring things home with them," says Chris. "But it's not about one style, it's eclectic - Indonesian with Moroccan with Asian."

While the guys don't like the word ‘trend', they do have some solutions for incorporating ever-changing style into your living space. "Sometimes, trends can be as simple as changing the way you hang your artwork - hanging it lower or higher or in groupings-instead of buying all new artwork," says Chris.

"Don't let trends influence what you buy," Steven states. Unless you can afford to buy new furniture every season, Steven suggests buying low-ticket items. "Go to IKEA and be as trendy as you want," he says. It won't hurt as much when the trend is over and you toss the accessories in the closet.

Regardless of whether you go with white or red walls, travel memorabilia or flea market finds, the Designer Guys say clean lines remain essential. "It's like taking away the clutter," says Steven. "Fewer objects but beautiful objects."

Chris adds useful objects to the list. "There is a trend for functional made beautiful," he explains. "A pared down simplistic approach to furniture."

No matter how much you have to spend, always buy what you love. "Never settle for something," says Steven. If you've always wanted hardwood floors, invest in them and wait to buy other pieces. There's no law that states you have to complete the entire house, or room for that matter, all at once.

The most important advice the Designer Guys offer is to have fun with your space. "Go and get what you want," says Steven.

Tips and tricks
Whatever your taste, whatever your budget, great décor follows a few basic principles:

• "Lighting can make or break a space," says Chris. Lighting can not only set the mood, but it can also hide flaws in a room by keeping those areas in the dark.

• If you have a large wall to fill, opt for a series of prints in a grouping, rather than one large piece of artwork. "You'll get the same effect for a third of the price," explains Steven.

• Eight feet between two pieces of furniture is too much. In a large space, create multiple conversation areas instead of one.

• Always have fresh flowers in the house, preferably the same kind.

• Limit the number of houseplants and keep them in the same type of pots.

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Decorating with the Designer Guys