A few ways to make a design statement in 2013
Update what you already own: Taking what you have and reworking it can create amazing results. I recently bought all new pillow covers for all my existing living room throw pillows. Without spending a fortune, you can have a winter look and a summer look.
Try high gloss paint: On unsuspecting walls or ceilings, high gloss paint adds shine and polish. This idea isn't new, but if you want some shimmer, try out an area that is unlikely to get touched, this will avoid finger prints!
Add art or move your art around: Ok, this is right up my alley. We move the art we have all the time. It creates a new perspective. Often it feels like you have a brand new piece. And don't worry about whether the piece meshes with the space, good art or art you love doesn't look wrong anywhere.
Use brighter hues: How is that for a bright couch? This is our rental place. We used to have a used white velvet couch from Craigslist. After several renters it was a touch grey, so we went crazy and updated with aqua blue! Now with HDTV and hi-res computer screens, everyone now has a dialed up sense of vision - so go for it. Try it with paint, carpets, pillows or even an extra large sectional!
Layer Patterns: Alternate patterns with solids and then there is no problem mixing patterns. I love the wallpaper with the striped couch. And the scale of pieces both extra large (art and ceiling/window height) and petite (furniture and accessories) features really works.
Add an eye-catching light fixture: Break up the traditional with something more modern. I love the friction between a traditional space and a contemporary light fixture - it can add fun and surprise to a formal dining room. It can also work the other way, to add some character and warmth to a modern space, try an ornate chandelier or lantern.
Create a Bar: You don't need a lot of space for it, and how fun to entertain guests with a stylishly stocked bar. In a contemporary space choosing an antique to showcase the bar adds old world charm and in a more traditional space go for a sparkling brass or stainless steel cart.
Add an unexpected colour: Are you a beige person? If neutral is your way...to make a new design statement, add a tiny pop of an unexpected colour. If beige or grey or 'greyge' is your thing, any colour will work. It can come from a piece of art, a painted door, some wallpaper inside an armoire or on the ceiling of a powder room. A tiny touch can make a room pop.
Mixed Styles: The friction between two opposite styles gives an unexpected and exciting feel to a space. Contemporary lighting, mid-century furniture with fur covers and a traditional display of antique plates on the wall, all set up in a farm style dining room - do you love it as much as me?