Styling Tricks of the Trade from David Jimenez

All photos courtesy of David Jimenez

A couple months ago, David emailed me and asked if I would contribute a quote on an article he was working on for Spaces Magazine in Kansas City. Here’s mine, at the top of the first page:

Since I first discovered design blogs I have been a huge fan of David’s look and design style. I even used two of his photos in one of the first and most popular posts I ever wrote. David Jimenez is the Vice President of Visual Merchandising and Store Design for Hallmark Cards. He also played an important role in developing the visual aesthetic of The Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware.

I have wanted to feature him on my blog for a long time and thought I’d use this opportunity to get some of his best tips on styling a room. Here they are:

Sometimes the smallest styling details have the largest impact. In my experience, the best styling details are the ones that aren’t formulaic and happen spontaneously—an extension of the design sensibility of the home owner, a reflection of their personal style, interests and passions. . . a little magic that often happens in the process of setting up a new home or tackling a new room design project.

The following are a few of my favourite styling tips:

Retro-Inspired accessories

Whether it’s a vintage alarm clock, donut phone or hip thrift store lamp, these classics add instant panache and style to most any interior.

Books add Depth

Heap a stack of books on a coffee table, side table or credenza. The effect is always the same, easy chic that goes far in making a room look collected.

Flowers with Punch

A hit of colour in the way of fresh flowers can keep any room from becoming prosaic. The key is in identifying a contrasting colour to the decor in the room. I love the look of Pink Coral Peonies in my mostly neutral living room and green or white Hydrangeas in my chocolate Sun Room.

Wallpaper that makes a Statement

Beyond paint, the easiest way to add drama to an entry or bedroom is to cover one wall with wallpaper. There are terrific options on the market that range from flocked to foils and are relatively inexpensive when you’re the only covering a single wall.

Indoor furniture outdoors

If it’s comfortable inside, then it’s bound to be a hit outdoors on a patio, deck or portico. Consider upholstering classics like wing chairs or a camelback sofa in low-maintenance fabrics like Sunbrella or naugahyde for years of good wear.

Just add Fruit

Fifteen years ago I read an article in Met Home that said that a bowl of lemons in the kitchen was inviting and created a welcoming feeling. After all these years, it’s still fresh advice. Consider oranges, apples and pears as other good options.

Sex up your Bathroom

Sometimes bathrooms can be the most neglected rooms in the home. Make a bold and dramatic statement in your bathroom by adding colour to the walls, hanging a new shower curtain, burning a beautifully scented candle and even installing a chic light fixture. Your guests will appreciate the attention to detail and you’ll love the makeover.

A Wall of Eclectic Photography

Whether it’s framed family photos or collected pieces of art, nothing is more personal or looks as chic as a gallery wall in a room. I usually stick to all black and white with a combination of photos and charcoals for interest.

Thanks David for including me in your article and for all your tips on making any space Happy! Which one is your favourite?

If you would like your home to fill you with happiness every time you walk in, contact us! We would love to help you choose colours, select the right combination of hard finishes or create a plan to pull your room together. You can find our fabulous e-design consultation packages here.

Related posts:

How to create a Tablescape

The Enchanting World of Atmosphere

Do you Need an Accent Wall? Take this Test

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  1. Annie Wilcox Designs

    As a Kansas City native, transplanted in Maryland, I know his home and he lives in the same neighborhood as my parents. I love the use of the wing backs as outdoor chairs. I have been wanting to do that for years now.

  2. Dayka (Life +Style)

    congrats on your collaboration, maria! how exciting is that to be mentioned as a "favorite blogger/designer"??

    i love david's work and design aesthetic–thanks for sharing his tips!

  3. Wow – what a great blog you have! I really enjoyed your post on David Jimenez. The tips are short, well-written, and best of all, easy to follow. I am off to buy more fruit.

    On a separate note, after a year of hesitating, I finally got the courage to start a blog for our business (, and though it is still terrifying, I was really happy to find your blog. I like your friendly tone, your honesty, and the fact that I feel like I've learned something after reading every post. Thank you so much!

  4. Great article! It's always fun to read what others are liking at the moment.

    Thanks for introducing us to David. I had not heard of him before.


  5. Maria,

    How fun and significant to educate us. In the design industry advice, tips, and experience become invaluable especially for blogs followers.

    The more we know the more comfortable we feel asking questions and hearing the answers. With great teachers learning is fun!

    David Jimenez has a magical touch and his tips are golden rules for success within a design experience.


  6. Congrats on getting some media attention, and on being a part of a really good article as well. I will often find a room I like and look at the credit and see that it is done by David. I really like his style and asthetic, and it's fun to hear from him as well as see his work. Great tips as well.
    Can't wait to see the berry walls at your new house!

  7. Just wanted to let you know that I did a post and linked to you from your White trim post earlier in the week. I hope some of my readers come and check you out!

  8. Hi Maria – love all the tips and especially the outdoors/poolside shot. But, tell me, how on earth would we pull off white patio furniture in Vancouver?! Surely that's got heartbreak written all over it. Are those fabrics mentioned really that magic? If so, sign me up.

  9. Congrats. Maria!
    And thanks for the Q&A with David Jimenez. Those are all great styling and design tips. So true that sometimes the smallest details make the largest impact…especially when those details are authentic to the homeowner/renter.

  10. Christina - The Diva's Home

    Love the tips! The bowl of fruit isn't happening at my house, though. When I put it out, the fruit disappears into my children's stomachs before the day is over! I need my own fruit trees! 🙂
    (Even the lemons would be gone because they would make lemonade)

  11. Maria, This is a fabulous post! I love the ideas you added. I've seen you do this regularly in your posts or photos you've used. How exciting that you are right at the top on his list of color experts talking about their favorite colors.

    By the way, what you said about raspberry has caught my attention. Recently, Rebekah and I picked up some raspberry colored flowers (from bulbs) and a few sprays of baby's breath. We arranged them in a vase and sat them on the antique sewing machine table in the living room at one point to get them out of the way while playing cards on the coffee table. The next morning, I happened to walk in and noticed the flowers with the morning sun shining through the flowers. The pink just mesmerized me! It was absolutely the perfect contrast to all the earth tones and gold accent colors in the livingroom. It was such a gorgeous 'accident' that now I want to keep some flowers of that color there permanently!

    You are amazing Maria!


  12. Love the white wingback chairs poolside! Very fresh! When I attended the Atlanta Designer Show House this year, they upholstered two wingback chairs in an animal print and used them in the greenhouse. They were so FABULOUS that I actually featured them in my design blog. Love the idea of using indoor interiors in an outside space!

  13. Do you have any idea where I can get wallpaper like the one he uses in these rooms (the gold and white) it is just beautiful.

  14. Great article! I've been looking for a great neutral for my bedroom, since I recently got a statement duvet set. Definitely going to look into Scroll Beige!

  15. Great article! I've been looking for a great neutral for my bedroom, since I recently got a statement duvet set. Definitely going to look into Scroll Beige!