Four Easy Ways to Make Your Space Feel Magical, According to an Interior Designer
The common design mistakes you’re probably making, how to set the mood for entertaining, and more.
There’s a saying that goes, “a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind.” While this is probably one of those phrases that sounds truer than it actually is, I’ve certainly noticed a relationship between my physical environment and my internal sense of calm.
With our fall collection, we’re encouraging you to cultivate small moments of magic in your everyday life, and we can think of no more impactful place to start than the space where you spend the majority of your time. Your home should be a place of rest and joy, a space that reflects your style and celebrates the things that make life feel magical to you. And the good news is that you don’t need to embark on a major design overhaul to achieve that.
To help, we spoke with Kelsey Hutchins, founder of high-end interior design firm House of Hudson Interiors and expert at transforming spaces. Read on to learn about the small tweaks that will make your space feel new, the common design mistakes you’re probably making, the key to setting the mood in your home, and more.
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Use what you have.
Much like the clothes you choose to wear, the way you arrange your space can have a major impact on the way you feel. It makes sense, Kelsey explains, to rearrange your home to reflect changes in your life. “I’m someone who loves to change my space, and I think a lot of that comes from a desire for the energy to feel different in different phases of my life,” she says. “If you’re coming out of a phase that you’re happy to come out of, updating your space can help you enter that refreshed headspace.”
The best part? You don’t have to spend a ton of money (or time) buying new pieces to make your space feel new. Instead, Kelsey recommends rearranging the pieces you already have. “Moving a couch to a different wall or putting art in a different room can make it feel like a whole new room,” she says. “Sometimes, the littlest things can make the biggest difference.”
If you do want to introduce some new pieces, Kelsey recommends starting with one of her favorite low-cost, high-impact accessories: throw pillows. “They’re such an easy thing to update, because if you have inserts, you just have to buy pillow covers, which are not very expensive.” Rotating your throw pillows is also a good way to update your home according to the season. “I’m not saying you should buy a jingle bells pillow for winter, but you can rotate in colors and patterns that feel seasonally appropriate, just like you would with your wardrobe.”
Avoid the most common design mistakes.
If your space feels “off” but you can’t quite figure out why, you’re probably making a mistake that Kelsey sees constantly: making lighting an afterthought. “Being in a space that’s correctly lit for the task at hand is a big part of what makes us feel comfortable—whether we realize it or not,” she explains. “If your lighting isn’t right, everything else you’ve chosen loses its luster. As a rule of thumb, all your lights should be lighting an object, like a piece of furniture or art. Avoid lighting the floor, and your space will feel much more high-end.”
Second to lighting, another common misstep people make is choosing the wrong rug size for their space. “You always want the front legs of your furniture (like sofas or chairs) to be on your rug—and having all four legs on the rug is even better,” says Kelsey. “If you can’t afford the rug you want in the correct size for your space, try layering it on top of a larger, inexpensive rug, like a simple braided jute rug.”
Another common mistake is selecting art that’s inappropriately scaled to the wall it’s on. “Try to avoid having too much wall space surrounding your piece of art,” recommends Kelsey. “I love having tiny pieces of art on little fragments of walls—I think that’s so sweet. But those same pieces on a large wall will cheapen your space.”
Figure out what “timeless” means to you.
Just as you strive to fill your wardrobe with long-lasting staples you plan to wear for years, you should aim to select furnishings that you won’t get sick of after a season. The first step toward finding those forever pieces is to discover your style independent of trends.
“Try to consume less of what’s trendy,” recommends Kelsey. “Get off Instagram, head to your local antique mall or flea market, and notice what you keep being drawn to. If you find yourself continually gravitating toward a certain style—and it has nothing to do with whatever trend has been on your Explore page lately—that’s a good indication of what you like.”
Set the mood with all five senses in mind.
Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or simply settling in for a relaxing solo evening at home, setting the mood can make a major difference. “Creating an inviting atmosphere means playing to all five senses,” says Kelsey. “If it’s evening, I’ll typically opt for dim overhead lights and ambient light from lamps. For scent, I’ll walk through the house with Palo Santo burning to cleanse the air, then use room spray or incense (my favorite is Coven), because I find that scented candles can be overbearing. Finally, I make sure the temperature is comfortable and the music matches the vibe I want to create.” Try these simple tricks tonight, and watch your space transform into a magical haven.