Love Where You Live

Texas design experts disclose secrets to transforming your living space

Texas design experts disclose secrets to transforming your space

CG&S Austin home design-build
The neutral-toned textiles and furniture scaled proportionately give this living room a light, clean feel. Photo by Ryann Ford
CG&S Austin home design-build
CG&S installed a central fire pit for a gathering area as part of this outdoor pool house project. Photo by Paul Finkel
CG&S Austin home design-build
The pop of turquoise serves as a focal point, creating depth in this kitchen. Photo by Paul Finkel
CG&S Austin home design-build
The right lighting can instantly change a room. The fixtures here highlight the pool table and bar top. Photo by Tommy Kile
CG&S Austin home design-build
CG&S Austin home design-build
CG&S Austin home design-build
CG&S Austin home design-build

Your home should be your sanctuary, and great care should be taken when it comes to designing and maintaining your space. It should be calming, thoughtfully planned, and uniquely you.

Whether you are moving into a new place or want to revamp your existing one, we talked with award-winning construction and design firm, CG&S Design-Build, based in Austin, to help navigate the interior-decorating waters. Project designer Mark Evans and project architect Joanna Hartman pinpoint easy ways to transform and maximize your space, as well as common mistakes people make when it comes to tackling an interiors project.

Quick and easy ways to update your home
New textiles can go a long way toward refreshing the look of your living room, and textured and natural materials are on-trend right now. Adding a slipcover to the couch or changing out the throw pillows can bring new life, color, and texture to a room without any major changes. 

In a bedroom, lighting is so important, so putting the lights on dimmers or swapping out old bedside lamps for new ones can change the ambience of the room instantly. For an outside space, create a gathering area by bringing in a chimenea or fire bowl and placing chairs around it.

How to make your small space feel larger
First, make sure that your furniture is properly scaled to the room. Avoid bulky furnishings and opt for more light and airy accents. Lighting also makes a difference: With updated and improved light fixtures, a room can feel larger.

Another trick is to create an accent wall using a different paint color or focal-point finish. Although it may be more labor intensive and expensive, you could also upgrade your windows, because bigger windows help with the illusion of space.

Design pitfalls to avoid
The biggest mistake Evans and Hartman have noticed? Bad proportions within a design. Everything should fit within the area and make the most of the space available. Less is usually more.

In larger projects that require more than cosmetic upgrades, hire a professional. It saves time, headaches, and, ultimately, money to do it the right way the first time. Some things can be done easily and beautifully on your own, but if it seems complicated and goes deeper than cosmetic changes, then call a pro.