JUMPING ON THE DESIGN BANDWAGON
ADVICE FROM STYLE PRO COBI LADNER
If you ’ ve had second thoughts about how your home is
decorated , take heart — you are not alone ! According to a Houzz survey of 1,700 people , an astounding 98 % felt that they had not achieved their ultimate design vision for their home . Design maven Cobi Ladner of Ontario has felt this frustration firsthand . She has made a second career out of designing “ fun ” fabrics , accessories , drapes , lighting , and furniture that are produced by a variety of manufacturers and promoted on her website , cobistyle . com . ( We ’ ll get into exactly what “ fun ” means a bit further on .)
Prior to 2008 , Ladner worked as editor of Canadian House & Home Magazine for 15 years , growing the magazine ’ s readership from 619,000 to 2.5 million during her tenure and spearheading its leap into Canada ’ s top five publications . After her hectic career as an editor , she shifted gears to create her own brand and style philosophy , which she has popularized through her website and product lines . She continues to be an influential force in home décor , often appearing in Canadian publications and speaking before various audiences .
Ladner is quick to assure people that although their home may not be “ house beautiful ,” nor are they Martha Stewart , they can still embrace design and make their home the welcome haven they deserve to retire to at the end of a long day . She offers wide-ranging advice on how to jump into the design world without fear and without regrets . Here we share her most helpful ideas to get you started :
1 ) GET OUT AND EXPLORE
Design decor has become much more accessible and affordable over the years since Ladner started her own line of lifestyle collections . Back then , there were a lot of neutral tones , and many florals and patterns were considered too feminine to be widely used . These days , you can change up the look of a room just by replacing the accessories — and it doesn ’ t need to be expensive . Interesting , colourful , attractive items are available at all quality levels and price points . Choose what suits you and what you can easily afford .
2 ) BE BRAVE
Granted , it ’ s not easy to dive into changing a room ’ s décor . The Houzz study reinforces what Ladner has seen repeatedly throughout her design career : people fear taking the first step toward change , a fear that they will do something wrong . Since the vast array of options — from fabrics to colours to styles — can feel so overwhelming , it can be hard to make confident choices . But once you do commit to changing your décor , the steps below will help you feel more assured in moving forward .
3 ) CHECK OUT YOUR CLOSET
Start with the simple step of opening your closet door and taking a peek inside . What colors do you gravitate toward ? Ladner herself is a redhead , so no pink in her closet . Instead you will find bold red , gold , and orange tones . These colours are her preferred choice when choosing home décor items as well . Sure , she uses other colours like cool blues and greens , but only in her bathrooms and kitchen , not in her main living spaces .
4 ) FIND WHAT SPEAKS TO YOU Here is where the element of “ fun ” comes in . When you mosey around the accessories store , which pieces are you naturally
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