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From a designer’s mind, investing in your home should be at the top of your list. It is so important to love the way you feel In your home, and too many times, I have heard people say, “I am embarrassed to have anyone over to my house.” Life is short. Life is hectic. Your home should be your escape; therefore, it is time to create a fresh, timeless home and start entertaining friends and family!

Lesson No. 1:

Start with a neutral backdrop. I am a huge proponent of light-painted walls in a living space. Of course, I do love a moody dining room or a dark, sophisticated home office, but that’s another topic for a different time. Whether your walls are white, soft taupe or very light gray, what your space lacks in color, it makes up with furnishings and textiles. I love using inspiration from a rug, a swatch of fabric or even a client’s favorite color to get my creative juices flowing when starting out a room plan.  Don’t be afraid to go bold with upholstered furniture and textiles if your walls are neutral. Fabrics in bold colors, such as navy, will last a lifetime in any home.

Lesson No. 2:

Invest in quality upholstery pieces. I cannot emphasize how important it is to buy the custom sofa and/or chairs. If you are creating a space to last for many years to come, why would you invest in a sofa you found online? I am not knocking online shopping, as I have purchased from the comforts of my living room, too; but leave the online shopping to accessories or an occasional side table. My favorite custom upholstery lines are manufactured in North Carolina, so you know what you are getting, and you can select from hundreds of different fabric styles and textures to make it your own. More often than not, you end up saving money, because you won’t have to replace your upholstery pieces in two to three years.

Lesson No. 3:

Add some vintage elements to help contribute to the timeless look we are all going after, even if your home has a more transitional feel. Reclaimed wood beams, a reclaimed wood mantel or an old vintage coffee table thrown in the mix will elevate your space. I love the idea of pairing an abstract piece of art over an antique chest in an entryway. Mixing old and new is a clear choice to create a timeless home.

So remember, start neutral and add pops of color with textiles, art or rugs. Spend your pennies on quality upholstery, and mix and match your favorite pieces, even if the styles are different!

As an Interior Designer and Owner of j. gray design & interiors, Inc., Tracy Harkness creates spaces that are chic, timeless, and comfortable. Every space should be functional and livable with attention to detail.

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