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 #4: Creating your “style binder” will give you a more clear sense of your personal style and how to reflect it as you begin to decorate. The next step is to create a space plan for your room to help determine the best layout and furniture placement. Using a tape measure and graph paper, carefully measure the room and draw a diagram to scale, noting windows, doorways and other permanent features of the room that will affect the space. Then you can begin experimenting with the layout, starting with the largest pieces such as sofas and chairs, and then working in tables and smaller items. Draw these elements, again to scale, on your graph paper and see how it looks. Once you have a plan that you like, double check it by laying out Kraft paper or strips of blue painters tape cut to the dimensions of the furniture to see how the pieces will fit. Pay attention to the details, and don’t place pieces over windows or crowding doorways if you can avoid it. Make sure that you have enough space between elements so that everything is balanced and there is room to move easily.


Understanding scale and proportion is critical. One of the biggest (and most expensive) decorating mistakes is selecting furniture that is not the right size for the space. There is a common misconception that fewer pieces or smaller furniture will make a room look larger, but this approach just results in a spare, unbalanced and unfinished look. Filling out the space with well-placed and proportionally appropriate pieces creates a warm, comfortable room that invites people in.


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