How To Work With A Decorator To Give Your Home A Sophisticated Upgrade


When you work with a decorator, she’ll bring creative ideas to life, transforming your room into a sophisticated space that is uniquely you. I love working with clients who are looking to make drastic changes and dramatic upgrades to their home.

Often, my clients are looking for a sophisticated spin on their personal taste, but aren’t quite sure how to achieve it. It’s one of the many reasons I walk my clients through a design presentation to showcase exactly how their space will look after the final reveal.

Our homes are personal spaces, so when a client brings me into a project, I know they are placing a great deal of trust in me. They want to know that their style and preferences will be respected, and they will receive the flair of luxury they’re looking for.

So, I thought it would be fun to share a bit of my process with you!

Details Cultivate Sophistication

When it comes to creating a luxurious space, the devil truly is in the details. Once I’ve crafted the overall layout and intention of the space, I transition my focus to the small details.

You may be surprised to learn that ceilings are one of the best spaces to add details. I love working with tray ceilings because the changing height levels add depth and interest to the entire space. These are commonly found in bedrooms, and once you’ve dressed up your ceiling, you’ll want to lay in bed all day long!

Likewise, stretched ceilings are a wonderful way to incorporate unique lighting patterns, add interest, and create a smooth, seamless texture — three hallmarks of sophisticated spaces. These are often found in typically dark spaces, such as entrances and corridors, because the high sheen surface reflects light really well; it’s a fantastic way to brighten up your space.

But these aren’t the only ways to add details of texture or depth. You can create a similar sense or enhance the overall impression using wallpaper, contrasting paint colours, or adding decorative grilles.

I prefer to choose a treatment that ties that piece into the mood of the decor I’ve selected. For example, I once used a blue treatment along the inner walls of a tray ceiling above my clients’ bed to create a sense of calm, transforming their master bedroom a sanctuary of serenity.

The Must-Have Accessory: Window Treatments

I could publish an entire series of books on window treatments, because it is simply so critical to the decorating process, but we’ll just touch on it briefly here.

Naked windows are just that: naked. Even if an entire room has been decorated from top to bottom save the windows, the room will look unfinished.

Of course, you want your home to feel complete and whole, which is why I am a strong advocate for window treatments. Nowadays, many homeowners are opting for blinds or shades in lieu of drapes, which have fallen in popularity.

Because window treatments can serve to pull an entire room together, I am a fan of modern drapes or custom shades, such as Roman Shades. They add so much warmth and character!

Given the technological direction of blinds and shades these days, it’s not just a question of fabric anymore. The hardware also needs to be of high quality. After all, you wouldn’t invest in a luxury vehicle without detailing it, would you?

Comfort Means Luxury

Many people think of comfort and luxury as separate, nearly opposite, concepts, but not me! I love creating a space that’s both comfortable and elegant — because they are one in the same.

I look at decorating as a balancing act of function and aesthetics, which is why I view my profession as part science and part art — but finding those pieces that tie them together is what brings my clients absolute joy.

As an example, deep sofas often have a naturally plush look to them, which makes them look fabulous in photos, but they’re not always comfortable because of their extreme depth. Sitting on them is downright awkward because you simply aren’t receiving any back or lumbar support.

When I’m incorporating a deep sofa into a client’s space, I’ll pair it with overstuffed pillows to counter that problem, which solves both issues of functionality and ornament by adding colour, texture, and/or pattern. In that sense, they are multi-purpose! Plus: overstuffed pillows have the added bonus of being adorably perfect for an afternoon cat nap!

I make these decorating decisions based around the lifestyle and preferences of my clients. While I always source high-quality materials, I choose durable and comfortable fabrics that align with their needs. In order to achieve that, we often take a custom approach.

Custom Takes Everything Up A Notch

Sophisticated spaces can be grand and lavish or minimalist and curated, but no matter the style, they all have something in common: they’re unique.

Unique finishes and custom furnishings are the elements that take a space from being “really very nice” to “absolutely exquisite”, and I have to confess, it’s my favorite part of the decorating process!

Many of the pieces I’ve mentioned in this post can be custom ordered and created to add a specific function or style to a space. Of course, you don’t need everything in your home to be custom in order to create that unique look.

I frequently work with local craftsmen or international brands to special order custom decorative grills or custom wallpaper for my clients. Through Decorating Den, I work with an exclusive, vetted list of brands that can provide something for every mood, decor style, and lifestyle.

Revealing a space with small details, luxurious comfort, and custom pieces pulled together with the perfect window treatments makes for the perfect day. And the perfect home for my clients!

Is your home in need of a sophisticated upgrade? Get in touch to learn more about the luxurious spaces we create.

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