Whether it's a tiny 200-square-foot apartment or an expansive Spanish colonial home, some spaces just have an effortless cool factor that's hard to pinpoint. To find out exactly what sets a well-styled space apart from the rest, we consulted a Los Angeles-based interior designer who has a penchant for decorating striking homes that give us serious chills: Joyce Downing Pickens of JDP Interiors.
The number one thing the designer notices when she walks into a stylish space? Unique, curated pieces. "I love to walk into a home and see that someone has their own individual aesthetic and design perspective and that they've collected uncommon furniture pieces that speak to them," Pickens tells MyDomaine. Of course, curating impeccable pieces is easier said than done, so we asked the designer to help us edit down what we already own.
Ahead, Pickens reveals the one item to ditch from every room to instantly make your entire home more stylish (and which items to replace them with instead).
Ditch: The shoe rack.
"When guests walk into your home, they should see something welcoming and interesting," says Pickens. "After all, first impressions are everything."
Ditch the small tchotchke accessories that just end up just looking like clutter.
Add: A bench or credenza.
"Instead, add a bench or credenza with a shoe basket underneath if you need the storage," recommends the designer.
Ditch: Small decorations.
"Ditch the small tchotchke accessories that end up just looking like clutter."
Add: Large statement pieces.
"Instead opt for larger statement pieces i.e. larger, more substantial coffee table books, a medium-size box (great for storing remotes), and a vase with greenery and call it a day."
Ditch: The off-scale dining chairs.
"I so often see huge upholstered dining chairs with high backs best used in, say, a ranch house with enormous vaulted ceilings, or on the flip side, these tiny flimsy chairs best used in an office. Neither work in a standard dining room."
Add: Dining chairs with texture.
"Instead, choose a chair with an upholstered seat only to break up the hard materials. Or a good woven chair is always an awesome go-to that greatly adds to the texture of the room."
Ditch: The matching wood headboard, side tables, and dressers.
"This may have been a thing in the 80s but is definitely out now."
Add: An upholstered headboard.
"The best trick I have to avoid too much of the same material in a bedroom is to choose an upholstered headboard instead of wood. This way you break up all the wood in the room."
Ditch: The small bath mats.
They inevitably "end up looking sloppy and repetitive."
Add: A rug.
"Instead, opt for a rug or textile that spans the length of the bathroom floor. This immediately elevates your home to look more high end."