Interior design tips to freshen up your home

Three local designers offer home renovation tips just in time for spring.

HOME_InteriorDesign image
A Gold Coast condo with a softer palette after a renovation by Lauren Coburn.

Spring is just around the corner and it feels like the world is coming back to life. It's the perfect time to breathe some new life into your home, too.

Not sure where to start? We've got hot tips from local interior designers Lauren Coburn, architect, designer and owner of Lauren Coburn Interiors for Architecture and Design; Marisa Mandrea, designer and owner of Horizon Lane, LLC; and Deborah Schrayer Karmin, co-lead designer at Karmin Schwartz Design.

First, find your inspiration.

Take a look at local design and art galleries, magazines, and design websites. Find a piece of art or furniture-or maybe a unique color-that inspires you.

"Pull images in which you love the wall color, shape of a piece of furniture, or just the feel of a room-all of this will be helpful when starting to create your new space," said Karmin.

To help you stay organized, "start putting together a Pinterest or Houzz page to compile your ideas, suggests Mandrea.  "It gives you a place to organize your own ideas and it makes it easy to communicate your tastes" with a designer. 

Next, get out the measuring tape.

"You don't want to get stuck with a piece that is too big or too small, and it's important that the pieces you order fit in the doorway!" Karmin said.

It's important to pick a focal point for your space, whether it's an inviting fireplace, a sleek new sofa, or your Bubbe's antique armoire.

"Less is more when it comes to focal points in rooms," said Coburn. "Too much interest is not as effective for impact like carefully placed objects, textiles, etc. that become the 'WOW' in a space. 

"It's always helpful to start with a rug and build on the fabrics and furniture from there," Coburn said.

To add visual interest, 'try layering "textures, colors, materials, art and accessories," Mandrea said. "I love bringing in ceramic vases, interesting baskets, glass, unique stone on counters, and local art."

To avoid clutter, Mandrea recommends "[taking] something away before adding something new into the mix" to prevent accumulating too many things in one space. 

Your home can reflect your Jewish heritage in ways as striking as displaying a collection of Israeli art or "as subtle as creating an extra-large dining room to accommodate large family Shabbat meals," Coburn said. 

Karmin decorated her own home with "a built-in cabinet with open shelves to display my Judaica collection. It is a wonderful way to showcase my special collection that means so much to me, and it is a way for my home to reflect my Jewish values."

For Mandrea, it's important to include Jewish books: "I love a room with lots of coffee table books--whether stacked on a table or arranged in an aesthetic way on shelves, books warm up a space." 

Most of all, it's important to surround yourself with things that make you happy.

"Have fun creating a space that is filled with all the things you love," Karmin said.



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