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Is your home decor boring? The key to a vibrant room

Do you feel like your home decor is stuck in a rut? You look around at the furniture in your house. It’s drab, boring and uneventful. The interior design experts to the rescue! This expert shares his tips on how to breathe new life into your home. The answer is two-fold: colours and fabric. With an interior designer on hand, the home decor possibilities are endless!

Transform your boring home decor with fabric

As the principal designer of a bustling interior design firm, I’m often asked a lot of questions about style, trends, design and taste. However, the most frequently asked question I hear is   “Where do you start when designing a room”?

My answer is almost always “with the fabric”. One of the best parts of my job is going to fabric showrooms, for me they are places of inspiration and ideas. I like to spread out different linens, velvets and silks intricate and simple, costly and attainable and pull together a look that I know my clients will love. For me, fabric is the key that unlocks the door to a great looking room.

When you have a textile that’s dynamic and exciting, you have a lot to work with. Check out our list of home decor stores where you could buy these colourful finds!


How do you incorporate colour without going overboard?

I like to start with a patterned material with at least 3 -5 colours. Perhaps a chinoiserie inspired linen like, fabulous JF Fabric Toiles or bold graphic silk/cottons. From the fabric’s palette, I can then select my wall colour, carpets, lamps, and develop other ideas for the look of the room.

Isn’t mixing colours too much?

Mixing fabrics is very important. Be bold, confident and never boring. A boring room is the worst. Transform the look of any room in your home with these design tips:

  • Stripes and solids, checks and prints add personality and keep a room alive and attractive.
  • Choose throws or pillows of various textures to mix in with the decor.

If you’re not experienced in mixing fabrics keep a common element in mind such as colour, a motif or a natural reference. And remember to include materials with texture; smooth and rough, shaggy and short,  all will play a part in the success of a room. I go by my own rule: “If I like alone, it will work together.”


Fabrics don’t all have to be super strong. In fact, I choose quite subdued colours and patterns if my clients are interested in a quieter more understated space. I always keep in mind the functionality of the room and my clients’ needs. A bedroom may inspire softer, more restful fabrics, whereas the family room could be more playful and light-hearted.

Which fabrics suit which room?

Where durability is a concern, I always use what’s appropriate. Linen for a family room sofa that kids and dogs use daily is not a great idea. Instead, I opt for sturdy velvets or strong cottons.

Speaking of sofas and fabric, I’m a big fan of patterned fabric on sofas.  For too long, sofas have been a little too safe and frankly just boring.  A bold pattern is fun and unexpected and the pattern, if chosen carefully, will stand up to daily life and be so much more forgiving.

When I’m asked how to create a beautiful room, I say “start with fabric”. It’s the foundation from which I build ideas and create the look my clients want. I start with a key fabric then add more and more keeping in mind appropriateness and good taste, of course but balancing it with the boldness of confidence and the desire not to be boring. Because the worst thing a room can be is boring!


Do you have a room in your house that’s boring to look at? Get an interior decorator’s opinion! We have a director of interior design and decor professionals who can give you advice on how to spruce up your not-so favourite spaces. If you’re looking for new pieces of furniture, we can help you with that too! Take a look at our directory of furniture and home accessory stores.

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About the Author: Toronto-based respected designer William MacDonald is the Principal of WillMac Design. His firm is best known for creating stylish approachable spaces that evoke a simple timeless elegance. Servicing clientele throughout Canada, the United States. and overseas.

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