If you’re design obsessed, like most of us here, one of the best perks of working at onefinestay is getting to see inside beautiful, quirky, historic, enchantingly quaint, or otherwise extraordinary homes.
Design enthusiast or not, I’m sure you can think of a home that you’ve passed by a dozen times and, still, you can’t help but stop for a moment to daydream about what it looks like inside. At some point, you might have even dared to peek through the windows in hopes of glimpsing something inside. A piece of art. A stack of oversized books on the table. An ornate staircase winding up from the ground floor. Anything to help color your imagination.
When touring homes becomes part of your day job, you realize that the most intriguing interiors are those lived in by interesting people–not necessarily those designed by a professional. It sounds obvious but especially in New York, where personal space is limited, home becomes that much more precious. Almost every home that we see, regardless of its size or stature, reflects the lifestyle and personality of the host. Sometimes the design elements are thoughtfully composed and, other times, it’s an amalgamation of eclectic artwork, furniture, and collectibles that the host has amassed over the years. Either way, each home is deliciously distinctive.
On occasion, we take on a new home that isn’t yet furnished so the host will ask us for decorating advice. We aren’t experts, but we’re always up to the task–with over 1,400 homes in New York, Los Angeles, London, and Paris, we’re never lacking for inspiration!
If you’re moving into a new home or simply looking to refresh your current place, here are a few basic tips that we like to share with hosts.
1. Area rugs are a must-have
Few decorating elements add depth and polish to a room like an area rug. Try layering rugs of varying shapes, colors, textures, and patterns to artfully tie together other pieces in the room. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Area rugs are versatile–if you aren’t looking to make a statement, opt for a neutral pattern for a more subtle look.
A great place to begin your search for a new rug is Medallion Rugs. They have an amazing collection of area rugs–contemporary, traditional, Oriental, Persian, you name it. We just bought this one for our new office in Los Angeles, and couldn’t be happier. Here are some other great finds from Medallion Rugs.
2. Pair new and old, expensive and affordable
This is one of the best tricks for making your home look contemporary and chic without breaking the bank. It isn’t always necessary to spend on expensive furniture and artwork–oftentimes, decorating your home with unique pieces that you’ve found during your travels or at an antique fair, and pairing them with sleeker items, will help you accomplish a natural but refined look.
3. Make it personal
Of course, that means something different to each of us but that’s the point. It’s your home so have fun with it. Since it seems contradictory to explain how to make your home feel warm and personal, we won’t attempt, but here are a few trusted resources in case you’re in need of inspiration: Design Milk, The Style Files and The Neo-Traditionalist.