10 Design Tips Richard Hallberg Swears By

Posted 24 December 2012 at 1:27 PM | Comments (2)

Here’s a great list by L.A. based interior designer, Richard Hallberg, published in Veranda magazine. Merry Christmas, everyone!

10 Design Tips Richard Hallberg Swears By

1. Consider the architecture first. “I look at projects as if they were paintings: Start with a good blank canvas—in this case, a strong framework for the house, with great scale, proportion, and symmetry. From there you add the brushstrokes—the furnishings, objects, and fabrics that make a home a masterpiece.”

2. Restraint is the key to gorgeous, timeless interiors. “Knowing when to stop is so important. It’s very easy to just keep going and going and going, but that’s when you end up with something over the top that starts looking dated after a few years. The furnishings and art in an interior need breathing room so you can really take them in and appreciate them, and you only get that when you force yourself to step back and stop decorating.”

3. Focus on beauty over what’s popular. “I don’t necessarily follow trends. I’m more interested in interiors that have a lasting quality. I try to buy the things I find truly beautiful, not the items that people say are ‘in,’ and then let those objects become the jewels of the room. I tend to favor neutral backgrounds in order to punctuate these items, and it’s their assemblage over time that allows the room to evolve without feeling stale.”

4. Luxury is not defined by a price tag. “The price doesn’t determine the quality of an item, or whether I’ll use it in a project. Everything I pick up has to have a sense of quality to it, a level of workmanship that can stand the test of time. A $150 basket might be placed under an 18th-century carved mirror. They work in harmony because they have the same integrity.”

5. Bring the outdoors inside. “I love the sound of water and the effect of fire. They’re inexpensive luxuries that really add quality to the way we live. There’s something soothing about the two that brings us back to our origins; it’s grounding. I always try to bridge the exterior and interior of the home, connecting the two with natural touches.”

6. Truly interesting interiors mix eras and styles. “It’s very easy to be boring. We don’t want to recreate history and do a period traditional room or a period modern room. It’s about selecting the finest things from all eras and mixing them into something that works for today. The juxtaposition of beautiful items is what makes a house interesting.”

7. Know when to buy—and when to walk away. “If I see something I love that’s unusual, I buy it right away, because I know I’ll never find it again. Truly beautiful things are so hard to come by these days, so when you see something and it has that magic, get it. If you’re vacillating at all, walk away. Your instincts are telling you no.”

8. Think of the whole room, not just standout pieces. “My theory is that when you walk through an interior, you should never walk away and say, ‘I loved all the green,’ or ‘I loved that one thing.’ No one thing should stick out, because no one item is more important than the others in the scheme of the whole project. The whole room is an experience, and every item in it is connected to the others. How they all harmonize together is what makes a room appealing.”

9. Hide the TV, but make it easy to access. “I’ve plastered speakers into walls so you can’t see them, and designed rooms where TVs pop out of the floor or walls. It’s the best of both worlds—when you want a beautiful home for entertaining, all of the tech gadgets can go away, but when you’re living day to day, you can easily bring them out and use them.”

10. There’s nothing wrong with breaking the rules—as long as you know what the rules are. “Learning the basics of interior design is so important. Whether you’re designing a Moroccan villa or a country farmhouse, all the essential rules still apply. The real fun is knowing what they are so you can break them in a way that creates something that’s different and more modern, more today.”