Design Tips and Tricks for Insta-worthy Interiors
Home and Garden

Design Tips and Tricks for Insta-worthy Interiors

Amy Spanier, owner of SNOB design, offers some interior style tips to personalize your home.

Deborah Herr Richter

Deborah Herr Richter is the Atlanta Jewish Times' creative & media director. A recent Atlanta transplant, Deborah previously worked in Manhattan as the marketing design & communications manager for Innovant. She established a freelance design and writing business, Deb Herr Creative, before joining the AJT and is now proud to serve the local Jewish community.

Those of us who scroll Instagram for interior design inspiration can get lulled into an infinite grid of chic and inspiring spaces. It takes an expert – or savvy homeowner – to transform these digital rooms into real, habitable spaces. Instead of trying to glean this year’s interior design do’s and don’ts from my feed, I enlisted a local designer with 38 years of experience to answer hard-hitting questions about DIYs, rug sizes and more.

Amy Spanier, owner of SNOB (Slightly North of Buckhead) design and IDEA (Innovate Design Exhibit Art) gallery, agreed to be AJT’s “Ask Amy” for home design this week.


AJT: What are your top three do’s and don’ts of interior design?

• Always try to infuse your family’s personalities into each space. When in doubt, call an interior designer. You can hire them for consultation, advice on what you’re thinking, or to bring your feelings to fruition.
• Getting it right from the furniture to [crown] molding. Consider the scale of all elements in a room. Buy a durable, lux sofa with quality construction and fabric. The best interiors should take you and your lifestyle into consideration.
• Accessories are the jewelry of design. Layer lots of lighting too.

• Don’t hang artwork too high. Place a piece so its bottom is approximately 3 to 8 inches above furniture; 12 inches is OK too. You can go lower for large pieces and slightly higher for small pieces. When there is too much space between furniture and art, the eye rests on the void, blank space.
• Also don’t hang light fixtures too low or high.
• Don’t choose the wrong-size rug. Placing an area rug that’s too small for a seating area instantly throws the room out of scale. Make sure the rug touches every piece of furniture. All the furniture will relate to each other. If you have small rugs you love, you can layer them.

AJT: What DIY projects should homeowners attempt, and which should they save for the pros?

Amy: I think people can do just about any DIY job. It’s about getting all the right information, practice, prep and confidence. Some things not to DIY are obvious, like a new roof. Also, I would never suggest a DIY with electrical or plumbing or climbing really high ladders.

AJT: What advice do you give your clients to help them define their personal style?

Amy: Always listen to your instincts, and keeping a sense of humor never hurts. Call a designer to help refine and guide you.

AJT: Pantone’s color of 2018 was ultra violet. Did you see this successfully or unsuccessfully integrated into interiors this year?

Amy: Ultra violet is a lovely color in moderation. Accessories like pillows, the matting around art or photos, even an accent chair or woven into a rug is wonderful. Also, an accent wall.

AJT: Do you prefer stained wood or painted kitchen cabinets?

Amy: I prefer painted cabinets to stained.

AJT: Do you have any trend predictions for 2019?

Amy: More color. Younger generations will recognize the importance and value of original art. Interiors with reduced clutter, clean lines, but keeping things warm and cozy.

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