12 Great Decorating Tips from a Pro

This week we are republishing tips posts from the past.

I love hearing what the pros have to say when it comes to decorating and design.  Even if their tastes might be a little “out there” or they have totally different styles from me, it’s always nice to hear and read what they have to say.  I heard Amanda Nesbit speak about her design philosophy, and she was loaded with  great information.  Amanda is not a trained designer with a bunch of initials behind her name.  She is a decorator who has good taste and was able to grow a business, build a good reputation, and write a book.  I didn’t write down everything she said, but I have the highlights for you.


Screen shot from Amanda Nisbet

All of the photos in this post are from Amanda’s portfolio.  She has written a book called Dazzling Design.


Screen shot from Amanda Nisbet

1.  Make items from the past interesting.

Amanda inherited many beautiful items from her mother and grandmother.  Some of them fit in with her taste, and some didn’t.  She loves combining old items with modern items to create layers of interest.  She used her beautiful Wedgewood with modern pieces.


Screen shot from Amanda Nisbet

2.  Using antiques is eco-friendly, but do it your way.

For instance, use modern fabric on a old chair.  If you have an old table, use new chairs with it or vice versa.



Screen shot from Amanda Nisbet

3.  Don’t put all of your antiques in one space.

Use them throughout the house to keep them noticed and more interesting.


 Screen shot from Amanda Nisbet

4.  Use old items in new ways.

She uses a large tray as a fireplace cover.  I loved this idea, but I don’t think I have seen a tray as large as this one.

Screen shot from Amanda Nisbet

5.  All new everything, doesn’t “look good”, as she phrased it.

She believes you should combine periods such as 18th century with mid-century modern.


Screen shot from Amanda Nisbet

6.  Use big art with small art.

I love the way this combo looks.  Mixing up your art gives it a  whole new vibe.


 Screen shot from Amanda Nisbet

7.  If you don’t like it, change it.

She had a chandelier that was just so-so, and to make it fabulous, she dipped it in plaster.  This was one of those brass chandeliers we all have seen, but the brass is long gone now.

 Screen shot from Amanda Nisbet

8.  It’s okay to paint furniture.

We bloggers already know this one!!!


Screen shot from Amanda Nisbet

9.  Don’t forget the corners of a room.

They can be softened with screens, plants, etc.

 Screen shot from Amanda Nisbet

10.  Lacquered ceilings make a room.

She said that a ceiling with a shine adds luminosity to a room and highlights a wonderful chandelier.  You can achieve this effect by layering many coats of high gloss paint to the ceiling.  However, walls that have a shine will highlight imperfections.


Screen shot from Amanda Nisbet

11.  Don’t be afraid of color.

The girl loves bold colors, but she uses them tastefully.  We can do that, too.


Screen shot from Amanda Nisbet

12.  Buy what you love.

This is always my favorite advice.  If you don’t have room for it now, you will find a spot for it, and it will fit in with the rest of your decor because they are also things that you love.


12 Decorating Tips from a Pro - The 2 Seasons

I love getting advice from different designers and decorators and hearing or reading their opinions.  Sometimes the advice just affirms what I am doing already, and sometimes I get a whole new idea that I can put my own spin on.  I hope you enjoyed Amanda’s info that I shared today.


Take care.

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