How to Get the Effortlessly Chic Vibe at Home
Check out these 10 tips for creating a thoughtfully designed home with no fuss.
You know those homes (perhaps you have a friend with a home like this) where from the moment you walk in, you feel perfectly at ease?
It’s put together and thoughtfully designed, but without an ounce of fussiness. There are no formal front rooms with stiff furniture, but there are also no anything-goes spaces with laundry tumbling about. It all looks effortlessly chic. If you would like to cultivate a space like that in your own home, check out these 10 tips.
1. Add glitz with mirrors. A fancy mirror — think gilt-framed or sunburst-shaped — instantly elevates a space into something special. The rest of your furniture can be quite casual, but with a posh mirror, your room will still feel elegant.
2. If you’re going to do white, make it washable. Simple, sturdy white slipcovers that you can pull off and bleach as needed mean your space will always look fresh. If your guests didn’t know better, they would think you couldn’t possibly have two kids and a dog!
3. Mix textures for easy elegance. The more variation in texture, the richer and more luxurious a room looks and feels. Aim to have at least three distinct textures in any space (for example, nubby, fluffy, polished) for maximum effect. In the bedroom shown here, a tweedy chair, an airy coverlet, fuzzy pillows, bamboo blinds, and a hide rug work together to delight the senses — even the artwork has the illusion of texture!
4. Mix rustic furniture with refined lighting. Well-worn wooden tables, benches and chairs can take a beating and still look great, making them ideal for a casual chic home (where you want to enjoy your life, not worry about damaging your furniture) — but that doesn’t mean you must forgo glamour altogether. In fact, it’s the interplay of rustic and refined that often makes for the most memorable interiors. Elegant lighting (chandeliers, statement pendants) adds opulence that cannot be harmed by small children, pets or overenthusiastic guests.
5. Dare to pick a printed sofa. A gorgeous sofa covered in a dark printed fabric, like the one shown here, makes a room feel interesting and “decorated” without your needing to do much else. Also, a good print hides small spills remarkably well.
6. Hang goes-with-anything bamboo blinds. Bamboo blinds are chic, whether left on their own or layered with drapes. Depending on what else you have in the room, they can create a beachy vibe, a more classically decorated look or something in between.
7. Use antique textiles in fresh ways. Rather than choosing a priceless antique rug in perfect condition (and then stressing about anyone’s walking on it) why not snag an imperfect rug at a discount and have it transformed into a unique piece of furniture? Rugs and other vintage or antique textiles can make surprisingly sturdy upholstery fabrics for ottomans and armchairs, and they are bound to be conversation starters as well.
8. Embrace hooks and baskets. A chic home does not have clutter strewn about. One easy (and chic) solution is to hang French market baskets on hooks in various places. Use them for towels, laundry, stray toys, magazines — anything that frequently causes clutter issues.
9. Cozy up around a banquette. The structure of a banquette seat makes it appear tidier than a whole bunch of chairs, yet it is somehow more casual at the same time — the perfect balance of casual and chic. Of course, a banquette in the kitchen is lovely, but why not consider a banquette for the dining room? A corner bench in the dining room gives the feeling of a comfortable yet elegant neighborhood restaurant. Who wouldn’t want that?
10. Have fun with art. Art doesn’t have to be fussy or beyond reach. Seek out smaller galleries, student sales and affordable online sources and go with your gut. Art that makes you happy can add personality to your living space and lift your spirits every day.