Design Tips from Wendy Blackband of Blackband Design


Decorating your home is exciting, but it can also be a little overwhelming and daunting. Orange County designer Wendy Blackband of Blackband Design is giving us a series of tips to help make the process manageable, fun and successful, allowing you to create a home you love to live in.

Tip #5: Pick Your Pieces

Using your space plan as a guide, it’s now time to begin selecting the furniture and major pieces for your room. Go back to your defined use for the room – for example, will you be doing a lot of entertaining? Is it a casual space where family will gather regularly? If so, you’ll need plenty of comfortable seating. Think about the style of the room as you select your furniture, and don’t be afraid to “mix it up” a bit and have some fun.

One very common decorating misstep is the temptation to be too “safe” and use “matching” pieces. Style is about creating balance and contrast to make a room interesting. Consider using a large rug to anchor the room, and then try putting a traditional piece next to a reclaimed piece, or using different textured fabric next to leather. Elements of burlap or rattan can give layers of added texture and help pull everything together.

Keep in mind that your space plan is a flat diagram, and you will need to think of all the dimensions of your room as you choose your elements. Height and depth will be very important. Your horizontal view of the room should include elements of varying height. If you have a low coffee table and a sofa, then consider a sofa table behind it, where you can place a taller lamp, an orchid, or another vertical accessory. Keep things balanced, but not too symmetrical. Encourage contrast and avoid too much matching – the results will be a little different and much more interesting!

Contact Wendy Blackband, principal at Wendy Blackband Design at 949.872.2234. Visit