A new year signifies a fresh start—sometimes for your home, too. So, what better way to kick things off than with a few makeover tips from lifestyle expert Sabrina Soto? As a designer and TV personality, Sabrina is best known for her ability to decorate on a budget and turn inexpensive, discarded pieces into a jaw-dropping design objects. In addition to starring in DIY series on MTV, TLC, and HGTV, Sabrina is also busy running her own lifestyle company, Casa & Company. Below, Sabrina reveals her top 5 tips for achieving fabulous design in the New Year on a budget!

Sabrina Soto poses in a navy blue room with a white Knoll Wassily chair

1. Always Have a Design Goal

When tackling a room, the first step should always be understanding the space and have a design goal in mind. “I always start with color,” describes Sabrina. “Color plays an important role as it sets the overall mood of any given space. I normally like to pick three colors and usually stick to them. This provides me with a loose guideline when I decorate and helps me decide what I should and should not put in the room.”

Living room with a pair of white knoll wassily chairs, wood coffee table, and leather stools

2. Design in Layers

Because designing is like working in steps, Sabrina designs in layers to simplify the process. Inspiration comes from everywhere as well, whether it be books, online sources (this blog perhaps? ;)) or even current fashion trends.

3. Select Heavy Pieces First

Choosing furniture should be fun, but sometimes let’s be real, it can get stressful. Sabrina advises selecting the heavier pieces first, and then tackling the smaller pieces around those. “You’ll get a real sense of how much accessorizing you really need so the space doesn’t look cluttered.”

Sabrina Soto leans on a black dining table with white Eames dining chairs

4. Lighting is Key

Lighting is one of the, if not the most, important parts of design. “Design is always affected by sunlight and artificial light so it’s important to create a successful lighting scheme that balances the two,” advises Sabrina. Pay attention to where your windows are and which areas get the most natural light to help guide where artificial lighting will go.

Mantel with colorful painting, modern candlesticks, and a mirror

5. It’s All About the Accessories

Pro-Tip– always accessorize in odd numbers for balance. “Find a common thread such as color, texture or material, and then vary things like height, size and pattern within that thread to add depth and interest to your accessories.” Also, with art, make sure to hang at eye level so people can actually see it!


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January 7, 2015

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