Our Top 5 Design Questions of 2017

Time Several Hours

Budget $ $$$

Skill Level

WORDS BY Gillian Grefe

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Published on January 3, 2018

We get tons of great design questions on our free chat service Design Quickie, but often the same issues pop up again and again. For 2017, we picked some of our favorite, most-asked questions to republish. Pulling together a space is hard, we get it. Read on for some fundamental design advice!

Q: How do I make my open layout space work as two different spaces?

A: For multipurpose rooms, we like to try and create distinct “zones,” whether it’s framing the dining space with artwork, or perhaps setting a rug under the office space in a bedroom. This lends a sense of organization to the space that is essential to a well designed room.

Q: How do I know how high to hang picture frames or mirrors?

Typically you want the center of artwork or mirrors to be hung at eye level – approximately 5’ from the floor is a good rule of thumb. For gallery walls, give at least 3” between frames to give each piece ample room to “breathe.”

Q: What’s the best way to mix and match patterns?

Aim to mix up the size and style of your patterns and scale, but keep the color palette in the same family. By varying the size and style of your patterned items (pillows, rug, etc.), and keeping a consistent color palette, you’ll have a cohesive look with minimal effort. For example, a large, geometric, buffalo check pattern can pair nicely with an organic floral motif – as long as they share a common color!

Q: How do I make a small room feel light and open?

To create an airy feel in a small room, choose a light and neutral color palette! A classic option would be white for the walls, oatmeal / linen for your sofa, and a natural fiber or grey rug. Be sure to hang your curtains tall and wide to avoid blocking any natural sunlight, and bring in adequate accent lighting to illuminate your space!

Q: How do I decide on an accent wall?

We love doing an accent wall behind a focal point — so behind the headboard in a bedroom or a fireplace, TV, or gallery wall in a living room! Keep in mind that an accent wall draws the eye towards that wall, so make sure it’s a wall you’d like to feature!

Still have questions? We’re always happy to help, for free!