One Room Challenge: Week 4 – Design School from a DIYer

This post contains references to gifted products from One Room Challenge Sponsors including Kichler and Emtek. This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure for more information.

We’re at the half way point of the Fall 2021 One Room Challenge and although it might look like my kitchen is in shambles, it’s actually really starting to take shape. I’ve put quite a bit of literal blood sweat and tears into the kitchen so far and we’re on the verge of getting to make it look good again.

One thing I hear people talk about is how DIYers are not designers and although that might be the case for some people, I know that there’s plenty of DIYers and self taught designers that rival formally trained and educated interior designers. So today, I’m sharing my tips and tricks for creating well desgined spaces when you’re “just” a DIYer.

1. Understand color and use it well

Colors have meaning and whether you realize it or not, color has a direct impact on how someone feels when they walk into a space. I’m heavily featuring greens, black, and brown in my kitchen project. My goal is to relax, and create warmth while adding a touch of sophistication and a big part of how I’m creating that aesthetic is by my use of color.

Check out some highlights of color psychology that you can use in your design projects.

  • Red: Agressive and Passionate – Used to draw attention or bring caution
  • Orange: Energetic and Playful – Used to express freedom or communicate fun
  • Yellow: Friendly and Happy – Used to encourage and energize
  • Green: Sable and Natural – Used to relax and revitalize
  • Blue: Inviting and Trustworthy – Used to reduce stress and stimulate productivity
  • Purple: Romantic and Luxurious – Used to inspire and encourage creativity
  • Pink: Young and Innocent – Used to encourage creativity and motivate action
  • Brown: Rustic and Sturdy – Used to stabilize and create warmth
  • Black: Sophisticated and Edgy – Used to evoke sophistication and power
  • White: Healthy and Clean – Used to exemplify equality and for idea creation
  • Grey: Formal and Neutral – Used to create timelessness and to depress energy

2. Find ways to add interest and texture

The more depth, layers, and textures a space has the more interesting it will be. One way I’m doing this in the kitchen is by incorporating wallpaper (pattern), tile (texture), lighting (layers), and other elements. Although the wallpaper is green and my cabinets will be green, the patterned wallpaper adds more interest and dimension to the room than by using just paint.

Here are some ways to add interest and texture to a space:

  • Wallpaper
  • Fabric
  • Paint
  • Flooring
  • Lighting
  • Textiles
  • Rugs
  • Blankets

3. Layer Lighting

Whenever I visit custom homes with well designed interiors the one thing that always stands out to me is the lighting. For a long time, I couldn’t understand what was so special about the lighting and why it always worked so well. The reason why is because most of those homes use three types of lighting in all of their spaces; ambient lighting, task lighting, and accent lighting. Whenever possible, use all three for optimal layered light.

  • Ambient Lighting: General lighting designed to illuminate and entire room. Typically an overhead light in a room.
  • Task Lighting: Lighting allocated for a specific task such as a reading lamp, under cabinet lighting, or a table lamp.
  • Accent Lighting: Lighting used to highlight a specific element such as a picture light, outdoor spotlight, or a chandelier.

In my kitchen project I’m using pendant, sconce, and undercabinet lights by Kichler Lighting for task lighting. I’ll be using a Kichler

chandelier for accent lighting in our dining area.

4. Pay attention to the details

It’s the little details that truly make a space one that’s well designed. Maybe it’s custom window treatments, crown moulding, hand dyed fabrics, or a well made rug. Textiles, hardware, and styling are really what brings a room to life.

One area where I’m really focusing on details in my kitchen are with my cabinet hardware. I wanted hardware that was beautiful and classic and that also matched the color of my lighting. I’ll be using the Emtek egg cabinet knobs and their spindle drawer pulls to add dimension and a lassic feel to my cabinet and drawer fronts. Their French Antique finish matches the finish of my lights perfectly so that’s just icing on the cake!

Although this isn’t an all inclusive list, these are 4 things you should keep in mind and put into practice with designing a space. You’ll be shocked to the see the difference it makes in your designs.

Don’t forget to check out all of the featured designers participating in the Fall 2021 One Room Challenge! Click the links below to see more of what they’re tackling this fall.

Albie Knows| At Home with Savvy | Beth Diana Smith | Eclectic Twist| Erika Ward Interiors | From House to Home| G. Lebron Interiors | Goldalamode | Home Made by Carmona| Impeccable Nest | Jeweled Interiors | Joyful Designs Studio| Joy Street Design | Our Fifth House| Peony & Honey | Pinch Plate Party | Rebecca Propes | Reem’s Design | Saudah Saleem Interiors | Whitney J Decor

Media BH&G | TM ORC

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