If you hang a stunning piece of art above a surface where you’d also like to show off other items, learn the art of the vignette. A simple trick is to hang the art low enough to be a cohesive part of the display, not an unrelated extra that hovers above it.
The designer of this apartment in Melbourne, Australia, got it right with the vibrant Palm Jungle wallpaper in blue-green from Cole & Sons, plain white cabinetry and a handful of mood-matching accessories.
Tip: Get the lighting right when you’ve chosen a metallic wallpaper. In a low-lit room, lustrous highlights lose impact and can look dull. In a light-filled space, they can look glitzy.
Tip: Keep a swatch file of all the fabrics you use in your home. It’ll come in handy when you shop for other items that will sit in the same space.
Tip: If you’re on the fence, calculate the cost of an unremarkable bargain-priced item plus the replacement cost for when it gives up the ghost. Then decide if you’d rather buy one quality standout piece that you’ll adore and use for years. A modern classic such as the Bertoia Diamond chair seen here, a genuine tribal rug or a luxurious sofa is a beautiful investment that will lift a room to stylish heights.
Tip: Something I learned the hard way: Check the seat height if buying vintage chairs, as some are lower than modern ones and make an uncomfortable fit with a modern table.
Tip: Ask to have the light illuminated in a dark room so you can see how it looks at night and check the spread of light. Some lighting stores have a cubicle for this purpose.
Tell us: Have you ever made a design blunder? How would you avoid it next time? Tell us in the Comments section.