Design Tips From Candice Olson

The Divine Design host shares her insider tips and tricks for renovating and decorating your home.

hdivd1304-living-room-aft-s4x3

hdivd1304-living-room-aft-s4x3

Before you hire a designer, find out what you like. It's not uncommon for folks to be unable to articulate what their style is, says Candice Olson. Create a scrapbook or binder full of magazine clippings, fabrics and photos of design that catches your eye. A homeowner who has done their homework really helps a designer, says Olson: "When I look through 20 different pages that a homeowner has collected, it gives an outsider a good idea of what the person likes."

Create a sample board. After Olson meets with her clients, she pulls together a sample board — a collection of fabric scraps, paint chips, finish samples, flooring bits, photos of furnishings that tells the room's design story. Make your own when you're dreaming up a room makeover. It'll help you match up fabrics and wallpapers before they get installed. Plus, it helps you stick to your vision once you've started.

Be open to a room swap. Swapping rooms or areas in a room is a trick that Olson uses frequently on Divine Design. A dining room and living room will trade places or a kitchen floor plan gets reversed. Of course, unless you're gutting your entire home you can't swap the kitchen with a bedroom, Olson says, but by taking a fresh look at how a space works, you may find a better way to use your square footage.

Look in commercial buildings for inspiration. When shopping for kitchen flooring you may find products that are stylish and extra-durable. Want to make your kitchen look bigger? "Laying the kitchen floor pattern on a diagonal lets you visually expand the space — good to know if you have a tight squeeze," Olson says.

Contributions by Anne Krueger.

Next Up

Stories We're Following

  • NEW: Live TV

    Don’t miss your favorite shows. Live stream HGTV now.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.

MORE HGTV SOCIAL

Luxury Home Giveaways

  • HGTV Dream Home

    A waterfront escape in Merritt Island, Florida. Sign up for reminders for the sweepstakes, which starts December 29, 2015.

  • HGTV Smart Home

    A modern Austin farmhouse located in Austin, Texas

  • HGTV Urban Oasis

    A 1,300-square-foot bungalow in the heart of Asheville, NC