Ask a CITY’s Best Designer: Tina Davis
We challenged the two CITY’s Best designers to take a room from blah to bold, and they shared some expert tips along the way.
We started with a tan wall and a tan couch. What is the first thing you do to come up with styling ideas?

Tina Davis: Talk to the client and discover what the goal for the space is. Find out how many people will use it. Are there particular colors or features they like? This drives what ultimately is used and how it’s designed.

TD: I have lots of favorites, but I try to let the client and space drive that decision. It’s important to me for the space to be a personal reflection of the client. Navy and some of the “moody” jewel tones are making a huge comeback. Coral and blue hues are also fun. The pops of color in pillows and other accessories can really make a room come to life.

What advice would you give when choosing an area rug?

TD: If it is a grounding device to just define the space, choose a soft, textured palate. If it drives the design, then a statement piece with bold color and pattern will help define the room. Depending on the size of the room and the use for the space, decide if it needs to be more of an accent or cover the floor with furniture overlapping the edges. It can tend to move, if not placed properly, depending on the size and use of the room. 

If you have a large, blank wall, what are some creative ways to fill that space?

TD: Multiple pictures that make up a larger canvas are always a winner. Many clients love to showcase family photos and memories which can be done in multiple-sized frames and prints to create a collage for the space. It’s a creative way to have a “gallery” wall. 

What are some ways to make a small space feel larger?

TD: Use fewer items with more texture and color. Less is truly more when it comes to the layout and function. The use of a few larger strategic pieces that ground the space and smaller accent items to fill in are best. Items that have legs that lift up furniture and allow you to see through or under items will also help create more spaciousness.

What are some tips or tricks you use when finishing off a room to give it a more personal feel?

TD: Photos and personal mementos are a must. I don’t know anyone that doesn’t have a few favorite items — from travels, awards, family heirlooms, and the like — that doesn’t like to admire them and talk about the items displayed. It might be a blanket, a table, a photo, or a book. No matter what that personal item is, it should be unique and important.

What are some easy ways to redecorate a room?

TD: Repurpose items that are tired from other places in your home. Add simple and new pops of color in pillows, lamp shades, and throws. Buy ready-made frames and insert prints that appeal to you to give the walls new life. Simple organic pieces, from succulents to orbs, are also easily done.

What are your tips for choosing and decorating with accent pillows?

TD: Layering is the key. Choose larger, bolder prints or solids for background and then choose smaller pillows with interesting shapes, texture, and color for the foreground. Feather down pillow forms shape and hold up better. 

What is one thing you would like people to know about your business?

TD: Every space is unique to that client and should be a reflection of their tastes. Keeping the end use in mind, I love hearing about the customer’s vision and then making that come to life through products and functionality. I’ve said many times that good design is no accident. With planning and clear goals, everyone can benefit from a designer’s touch in their space!


Tina Davis’ Resource List:

Items from Major Interiors:
Wood Tray
Farran Small Bench
Persinemon Candle Holder
Large Jar
Small Jar
Plant Stand
Bottella Vase
Travestine Stove Table Top
Gold Side Table Lamps
Ikat Accent Pillow
Tall White Vase
Orange Book
Empire Bowl
Ceramic Bowl

Items from The Schaefer House:
Gold Orbe
Mercer Pedestal Table
Medium Seagrass Wall Art
Bohemian Paragon Prints
Florals
Large Blue Orbe
Small Blue Orbe
Gray Candlesticks
Orange Vase
Plant Stand
Gold Pear
Euro Pillow Breeze Tangerine
Home Sweet Home Accent Pillow
Heirloom Velvet Marine Pillow
Blue Multi Accent Pillow
Gold Geometric Accent
Rectangle Basket