Tips and Guides

4 Solutions to Usual Styling Problems

Improving your home need not be stressful. Here are handy hints to help you


When styling your home, there are often design dilemmas that you encounter on a day-to-day basis. No need to fret as these problems can be solved with easy solutions! Here are handy ideas to help you solve these styling concerns. 

Main photo by Louie Aguinaldo. Styling by  Dagny Madamba and Tala Singson.

How do I use patterns in my small space?

Solution: There are many ways that you can use patterns, without it being too much for the eyes, and help make your space look bigger. Pick an accent wall and put the pattern there and only there. If you want to mix patterns, pick one main pattern and one secondary pattern and use them in significantly less proportions.

For example, your main pattern can be a floral curtain while your throw pillows can be paisley or stripes. Make sure you use patterns in a similar or coordinating color palette to keep the interior harmonious.

RL Tip: Use horizontal stripes along one wall to create the illusion of a wider space in a narrow room.

Photo by Dairy DarilagStyling by Dagny Madamba  

Click here to see more photos and view the complete home tour.

How can I utilize vintage pieces in my modern space?

Solution: Let’s face it, you have furniture pieces that have too much sentimental value to throw away.  The quick solution is to do a revamp and upcycle. Each piece can be updated to fit your new interiors, such as a new paint job or new upholstery. Don’t be afraid to mix things up!

Photo by Ocs Alvarez/ ACME Visual Productions. Styling by Dagny Madamba and Paula de Guzman. 

Click here to see more photos and view the complete home tour

How do I create a gallery wall without having a cluttered space?

Solution: Organizing frames on a wall can be quite daunting especially if you don’t know where to start. Determine two or three large pieces that you will use as focal points to draw the eye and scatter different sizes around them to create an interesting mix and balance.

The center of the whole assembly should be placed at eye level, which is typically 1.5 meters from the floor. You can start with this measurement to be able to place your first frame on the wall. If you are unsure of how your arrangement is going to look, try making paper cutouts of the frames and putting them on the wall first.

Photo by Ocs Alvarez/ACME Visual Productions. Styling by Issa Villar and Dagny Madamba.

Click here to see more photos and view the complete home tour

How do I organize my shelf full of accessories?

Solution: Too many accessories can make your trinkets look cluttered. An important tip when accessorizing is to pick and choose what accessories you really want to feature and stick with those. Avoid the urge to hoard.

A general rule that you can follow is to stick to odd numbers– pick three or five items of different sizes, colors and textures then mix and match them on a single shelf. Create interest by layering your accessories instead of lining them up.

RL Tip: Create “groupings” or mini-vignettes for your shelves and put them together. You’ll be surprised at how interesting your accessories would look when properly edited, mixed and matched together.

Photo by Miguel Nacianceno. Styling by Issa Villar.

Catherine Cena is the principal interior designer of Urban Upgrade. Click here to see more of her projects.

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