Timothy Corrigan is the master of creating beautiful, nonchalant luxury
Whether working from his office in Paris or Los Angeles, interior designer Timothy Corrigan manages to turn his clients’ homes into spaces that synonymously feel luxurious yet livable. He carefully mixes furniture, art, and design from different periods to create spaces that are interesting, warm, and alive—without feeling decorated.
Want to transform your home? These design tips from Timothy Corrigan will help you unlock the secrets of creating a comfortable environment without sacrificing a beautiful setting.
Create Inviting, Intimate Conversation Areas
Any space can become cozy and inviting when you create intimate seating arrangements. Depending on the size of your room, you can create more than one arrangement. It can be any combination of sofas, chairs, stools, and benches, ideally anchored with a table, ottoman, or side table.
Mix & Match to Create Interest
Rooms with matching furniture sets look contrived and uncreative. Break away from the showroom look by mixing something new with something old, and combining different styles and periods. Also don’t be afraid to mix textures. Mixing rough with smooth or shiny with matte makes each piece seem a little more unique. You’ll end up with a look that is interesting and exciting which showcases your creativity.
Throw in the Rug
Not only are rugs decorative, they create a sense of grounding, anchor a furniture arrangement, and define a space. While Americans tend to buy a rug that matches their decor, Europeans favor using whatever rug they have on hand, thus avoiding a room that looks too studied and uptight. Nothing beats an old antique rug for creating the feel of a well-used room in which everything doesn’t have to be shiny, new and perfect.
Slipcovers Save the Day!
Slipcovers serve a number of useful functions:
1. They present an inexpensive alternative to buying new furniture or reupholstering an existing piece.
2. They are easy to clean.
3. They offer design flexibility.
4. They lend a relaxed feel to a room.
Choose User-Friendly Furnishings
Create a stress-free environment by using durable, washable fabrics on your furniture. That way, drinking a glass of red wine no longer induces heart palpitations. There are also an increasing number of attractive outdoor fabrics that can easily be used indoors.
Kick, Curl, and Sink
No, this is not the latest aerobics exercise. I’m referring to all the things you desire to do when sitting on a sofa or chair. A wooden chair with beautiful lines makes a great design statement, but when it comes to true comfort, nothing beats an upholstered piece. Depth, angles, firmness, filling material, and construction all play important roles in comfort and durability, so do some research before you buy. A lot of contemporary style furniture looks great until you try to curl up on it!
Let Color Express Your Mood
Don’t underestimate the power of color to affect the look and mood of a space. For example, yellow is perceived as sunlight, so it’s a great choice for creating a cheerful and bright environment. Red, on the other hand, creates a sultry, warm mood, while green has a calming effect. So before you choose that color swatch, think about the atmosphere you want to impart. And don’t be afraid of color. Pale and cream-color rooms look great in magazines, but a room with some color usually creates a more interesting and comfortable place to really live.
Light Up Your Life
Even with all the perfect furniture and accessories, nothing kills a space more than bad lighting. A pockmarked ceiling of canned lights turned on full brightness creates a harsh cold environment. It’s better to combinef floor lamps, table lamps, and some strategically placed overhead lighting—all connected to dimmers!
Live in your Home!
Many people create rooms they are afraid to use or mess up. Too often the living room is “only for company.” Why have any room that you don’t really use? If you don’t ever use your dining room, then turn it into a library with a big center table that can be used as a dining table when needed.
Be Unique, Use Antiques!
Break free from mass-produced catalogue furniture and throw in an antique piece for instant character and depth. Many antiques can be purchased at costs well below that of new furniture, and they have the added bonus of holding their value over time. Did we mention they are eco-friendly, too? That’s because no new resources are used to produce them.
Create Calming Retreats
In today’s hectic world, we all need a place to relax and unwind. Create a sanctuary in your own home by using soothing, monochromatic colors. Upholstered walls offer another great way to soften your environment.
Have Fun At Home!
Why go out looking for fun when you can have it at home? Choose a room in your house to express your personality and create a bit of drama. Whether you pick a dining room, small den, or bedroom, with a little creativity you can transport your guests without ever having to leave home.
Decorating with Antiques
Want more ideas for incorporating antiques into a home’s interiors? Check out this renovation of a 1926 Tudor Revival house whose designer points out, ”When this style is done correctly the first time, it’s timeless.”