To-DIY-For: 10 Design Tips To Make Your Space Bright And Beautiful

In this age of DIY everything, online decor mags and a million hours of HGTV programming awaiting you on your DVR, there's no reason to settle for drab walls and a lackluster living space. All you need is a little paint and lot of inspiration, right? Right! But then again, sometimes it's handy to have a little expert guidance before you start slapping high-gloss goo on the walls. We checked in with Jill Sorensen, a top-notch interior designer with one of the most enviable pads in town, to get her insider tricks on how to transform your personal space with nothing more than a few bold pops of color. The result? A rainbow's worth of room ideas and enough DIY projects to keep you busy for months. Click through and prepare for inspiration to strike.
1 of 11
Designer Jill Sorensen of Marmalade Interiors and Live.Like.You.


Photo: Courtesy of Jill Sorensen
Advertisement
2 of 11
Choose bold colors for rooms with little sunlight.
"Go dark or go bold in rooms with little or no sunlight. Choose colors with warm tones, such as orange and yellow, to create the feeling of sunlight. If the space has no sunlight, allow it to be what it is — a dark room. Choose an engulfing dark color like espresso brown or charcoal gray."


Photo: Courtesy of Jill Sorensen
3 of 11
Pick one statement piece and make it bright and bold.
"If you want to do an instant mini-makeover in a room but you're not ready to commit to painting the walls, try selecting one piece to paint in a bold color, such as turquoise, orange or yellow. It will make a big statement."


Photo: Courtesy of Jill Sorensen
4 of 11
Be adventurous with color and patterns.
There are no colors and patterns that don't go together — it's always about the mix. Add contrasting colors and play with patterns. If two colors seem to clash, try adding a third one and suddenly you might have that magic mix!"


Photo: Courtesy of Jill Sorensen
5 of 11
Paint traditional pieces in non-traditional colors.
"Fire screens are generally brown, black or brass. Why not paint one a more vivid hue? A huge amount of fireplaces are never used and look great in a bold color. For a modern look, use a high-gloss paint in a fun hue like turquoise, and be sure to give it at least two coats; for a more classic look with a twist, use red or kelly green. For a working fireplace, make sure to use heat-resistant paint."


Photo: Courtesy of Jill Sorensen
6 of 11
Use a faux-fur piece to disguise damaged upholstery.
"This chair had torn original fabric on it, but instead of reupholstering the chair, it was given a quick-chic look with an IKEA faux fur. They are a great way to add warmth and create a fun look while disguising torn or stained upholstery for a fraction of the cost!"


Photo: Courtesy of Jill Sorensen
Advertisement
7 of 11
Paint the interior of a cabinet in a fun color.
"Use color inside a piece of furniture if you are afraid of using strong color in a room — it's a great way to use color sparingly and it makes for a nice surprise when you open a cabinet door. Pick a color that creates contrast with the exterior color, and on wood pieces, use a semi-gloss paint."


Photo: Courtesy of Jill Sorensen
8 of 11
Wallpaper a small room or hallway.
"Wallpaper is expensive, so use it where it has the most effect. A small hallway that ties together a few rooms is a great space to showcase it. This is also an area where you can be daring — choose a pattern that is large enough to be enjoyed from far away. It's a fantastic way to add interest to the adjoining rooms."


Photo: Courtesy of Jill Sorensen
9 of 11
Paint an old mirror in a bright, unexpected shade.
"Most mirrors come in basic colors —gold, silver, white, black. When purchasing a vintage or new mirror, know that it can easily be any color you choose. Select a high-gloss paint for a modern shiny look and dare to use a color that you've never seen on a mirror before."


Photo: Courtesy of Jill Sorensen
10 of 11
Add whimsical flea market finds.
"A home should have touches that express your uniqueness. Always leave room in a home for that unusual find that gives the home a sense of humor or a personal touch."


Photo: Courtesy of Jill Sorensen
11 of 11
Upholster common retail pieces in your own fabrics.
"When that Pottery Barn couch has seen its best day, it doesn't have to mean the end of the piece. If the frame and shape of the chair or couch is great, new fabric will make it look like a brand new piece. Don't stop at the upholstery — you can also paint the legs another color."


Photo: Courtesy of Jill Sorensen
Advertisement