Homes & Design Photo Credit: Janette Ewan

4 Simple Steps For Styling Your Home Like a Pro

For beginners, Janette Ewen’s four steps are the starting blocks to any interior makeover.

Getting-on your interior design DIY can overwhelm and frustrate the best of us. We caught up with stylist Janette Ewen, who will be appearing at this year’s Vancouver Home and Design Show October 22-25, 2015 to get the trade secrets on how to keep your household project fun and stress-free. “Pour yourself a glass of wine and just play,” Ewen says. “Think of it like a big dollhouse—it’s fun and fiddle with it.” Get started on your interior transformation with Ewen’s four-steps starter kit (and that glass of Cab-Sav).

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Get inspired by the things you love. Ewen knows that may sound easy: just flip through some magazines until the thought strikes, right? Ewen suggests you think outside the ordinary, and get inspired by movies, too. (Her personal go-to list includes Auntie Mame, The Party, and Towering Inferno.) Sit  with a pen and paper to pick out the pieces or colour patterns that inspire you as you watch. Perhaps the scene shows some fuchsia—say, 20 percent—and 40 percent wood? You’ve found your cushion colour and flooring . You can also find inspiration from fashion: the colours, how a fabric drapes, what type of texture it has or how it’s layered. “It’s kind of a formula and then you can take percentages of that and apply it to the room,” Ewen says.

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Sixty percent white, thirty percent black, and ten percent yellow is a formula used here but you can add any dimension to your makeover.

Start a Pinterest or style board.  Better yet, make a physical style board in your home and get your hands on colour swatches, wallpaper clippings, or coloured images that you want to try out. “I like when you have a physical style board,” Ewen says, “because you can actually put it in the room that you’re decorating and see things like how the light hits it in the morning.” Play with the board: if one grey has too much brown after the sun has risen, find another.

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Stacking books and then placing a quirky element on top like this retro rotary phone is a great way to show personality in a room.

Buy the design bible Decorating is Fun by Dorothy Draper. Go online and pick up an inexpensive copy because this is the how-to of all interior décor. “It is an A to Z of everything you need to know about design,” Ewen says. It can tell you how high pictures should hang, ways to balance your room, how to style your drapes if your window is off centre: it’s the ultimate crash course in decorating. Once you’ve mastered that, move on to Draper’s next book 365 Days of Decorating.

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Hang photos that aren’t only portrait perfect but eccentric, fun, and a source of personal expression.

Go shopping and put your look together. Practice makes perfect and no designer can pick items out and make the perfect room on the first try—you have to work at it. Ewen suggests living with a look for one day, and if you like it after those twenty-four hours, then remove the price tags. She even suggests over-buying so that you can try out different looks before settling on one. “That’s really how stylists work,” she says. To get the layout of the room, try to style your major furniture pieces before the smaller accessories. “Don’t be afraid of colour,” Ewen says. “Furniture in colour is a lot of fun and people tend to always think they have to go neutral. A sofa can make a room.”

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Utilize unique decor to define your space and where you find inspiration.

Now that you’ve got these tips in your tool belt, don’t forget to enter Western Canada’s Next Home Stylist! Enter by April 30 and you could win a chance to serve as the official spokesperson at the fall home and design shows in Vancouver, Calgary, and Edmonton.

 

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