Creating Continuity

Local Experts Share Tips on How to Unify Your Interior Design


Your home should be uniquely you, but when it comes to design and décor, how do you make sure your tastes flow effortlessly throughout your home? Read on for professional tips on how to tie your spaces together with style.



When the Broadleaf Residential team begins to develop a new floor plan with one of our clients, we not only want to consider functionality, but we also want to think about the placement and orientation of furniture in each room. We encourage them to consider the size and placement of doors, windows, and cased openings, as well as the orientation of circulation patterns and the overall efficiency of each of the spaces in their home. As for the interior design elements, we encourage repeating a specific design element throughout the home to tie one space to the next. Examples could be using the same color palette or staying within the same hardware finish for plumbing, mirrors, cabinet pulls, and door handles. We want our clients to envision the way that they will live in their home and help them design spaces that will be functional and livable – as well as luxurious.

Broadleaf Residential, Inc.



With today’s living styles changing to a relaxed feel with open floor plans, it is so important to create spaces that take advantage of this. I always identify the purpose and focal point of the room. This could be the fireplace, a grand view, or space for a large TV. This allows me to then incorporate features such as stone, brick, beams, wood, or decorative lighting that add interest. Often times a large space needs to be cozier, and that can be done by floating the sofa with a table behind it or creating different vignettes in the space for seating or a game table. If the room is small, I try to maximize the floor space with careful furniture placement while keeping walkways open (but making sure things don’t look lined up against the wall). A larger area rug can also make a space feel larger or tie spaces together.

Jodi Brewer, JL Brewer Designs, LLC



When I’m working through a floor plan with a client, the very first thing we do is make a list of their needs and discuss how their family functions. If you don’t talk about this on the front end of the design, it will make for a lot of disappointment and underutilized space post-construction. Ask yourself questions like: “What activities do we do within our home?” “What things do I need to store?” “Where do I need privacy?” “Who will we host here?” Once I know how your home should function, I begin to plan how to utilize space most efficiently through elements like built-in cabinetry or specific furniture pieces that will best serve your needs. Use consistent colors that fit within your home’s palette, and have fun selecting furniture pieces that you love!

Lindsey Frost, Frost Designs, Inc.



Most homeowners at some point dream about taking a wall (or several) out of an existing floor plan to improve their homes. If only I had a dollar for every time I’ve been asked, “Do you think that wall is load-bearing?” It’s not uncommon though to walk into a home that is dark and compartmentalized and understand immediately why they ask that question. People often live in homes and come to realize there is a disconnect between their preferred lifestyle and their current living arrangement. If changing the structure isn’t a realistic option, then we often look to lighting as a less invasive way to connect rooms. You can use lighting to brighten your path down darkened hallways or draw you through transition areas. Make sure to eliminate gaps in light flow, and reduce dark corners and black holes in your lighting plan.

John Coffelt, HGH Construction, LLC



There are many ways to define and integrate open floor plans so that the space doesn’t feel overwhelming. Your furniture placement around the focal point in your room, such as a fireplace, is a good place to start. That would generally be the largest gathering area to place your sofa and chairs. In a corner of the space, using a table and chairs for reading, games, or puzzles is perfect. Being able to leave the table undisturbed works well in those areas. Lighting needs to be considered and is very important in defining your space. Look at good overhead lighting combined with floor and table lamps. Consider using different heights in your space. It will keep the space interesting and give definition to different areas. I believe home is where the heart is. Know that what makes you feel comfortable and happy will always be the best design.

Kim Campbell, Chattanooga Closet Company

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