Our Best-Kept Design Secrets

Got a design dilemma? No worries! We're here to help with a few of our favorite designer tricks of the trade.

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Why buy new when you can creatively reuse what you have on hand? The possibilities are endless when you approach design with a vision of what items could be rather than just what they are.

Reimagine and Repurpose

This stylish wood mantel is more than meets the eye; surprisingly it began life as an unused pine table. The table was cut down to create a low rustic mantel and the remaining wood boards and legs were refashioned to create doors for the nearby media cabinet. Repurposing a piece of furniture that would normally have been discarded is an eco-friendly solution that is both cost-effective and a great way to add a one-of-a-kind touch to any space.

Rearrange to Renew

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Who says a dining table has to be centered in the room? This table is banked against the wall yet remains visually balanced thanks to the wine shelves on either side.

Do you have a room in your home that you just can't seem to get right? Something as simple as rearranging the furniture may be just the ticket for turning an awkward room into a stylish space. The dining room above features an oversized table which was centered in the space; making the room feel cramped and completely blocking traffic flow. Moving the table against the wall makes the room feel much larger, allows for plenty of seating and creates a better flow.

Screen Gems

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Using a screen to define a space is a handy design trick for both indoor and outdoor spaces.

Divide and conquer! Portable screens are a simple solution for creating temporary walls or blocking a less-than-ideal view. This particular screen was created by linking bamboo place mats together for a colorful backdrop to this outdoor living space.

Making the Most of the Space

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Strategically divide large open spaces to create multi-use rooms.

The room above shows how dividing the space with a series of chunky vertical supports turns one oversized room into two cozy spaces: a lounge area and a dining room. A rustic-style buffet built into a wall niche provides storage for both spaces and the two areas were unified with a warm, fig brown paint on the walls and ceiling and a continuous slate tile floor.

Add Style and Storage

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This built-in buffet offers stylish storage and plenty of counter space for serving guests.

Storage can be stylish. This built-in buffet features sleek glass tiles, floating glass shelves and a modern concrete counter top. The bottom cabinet provides ample storage for glassware and party necesseties while concealing clutter. Tiny recessed lights in the top of the buffet illuminate glassware and make this buffet a glittering, sophisticated focal point in the room.

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