What makes a stylish home stylish? For me, it's all in the details. My art school background says there is a formula that makes things aesthetically pleasing. As much as my free spirit tried to buck those "rules" and find the "new" beautiful, it pretty much came back to the Principles of Design. At least it takes a little bit of the guess work out of it for you.
The more of these things you can consider when styling, the better things will look... intimidating, I know, but a lot of this is instinctual... we can't help it!
So here are the Principles of Design.
Balance is crucial. Visual weight works just like physical weight. Balancing out one heavy thing with a few wispy light things, or a tall object on one side with three chunky shorter objects. Balanced asymmetry keeps things feeling collected and interesting.
symmetry is the safest form of balance, but it looks much more formal and sometimes a little stiff.
Contrasting colors add drama.
|House of Turquoise|
Gradation: Size matters. Increase perspective by layering objects of different sizes.
Harmony creates a peaceful space; a place you want to live in. Keep down the noise. Monochromatic is the quietest choice- even in a bold color.
Repetition creates a soothing rhythm. Repeating shapes, colors, sometimes even the same item, or types of items is very appealing... maybe this is why people like displaying collections.
Dominance if there isn't anything in your room to draw people in and catch their attention, your space will not be noticeable. It's usually a good idea to decide what you want people to see first from across the room, then make sure the things around it aren't fighting for the attention. No one likes noisy vignette.
Unity brings all the other principles together. Its the connecting element that makes the combination of different things sing together like a visual choir.