Best friends and design experts Nicole Babb and Caffery Vanhorne know a thing or two about transforming spaces from drab to fab. In addition to staging homes for realtors and sellers looking for top real estate dollars, this duo works with homeowners who want to make the most of their existing spaces. Now, with their new series Styled, we get to see them do exactly that. In each episode Nicole and Caffery elevate spaces with their unique style, transforming rooms into pieces of art with just the right layout and furniture selection. Read on for your own Styled tips (as seen on the show), and be sure to come back each week for updates.
Love these transformations? Shop the look here! And don’t miss Styled Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on HGTV Canada. It is also available on the Global TV App and on STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels and Rogers.
Opt for Minimalist Island Seating
When you have an open concept kitchen with lots of competing elements, the last thing you want to do is to clutter it with extra-large island stools. Here, Nicole and Caffery selected woven stools in a mid-century modern design, with low backs that complement the fresh wood cabinetry.
Make Use of Banquette Seating
If you have a small dining space, add a banquette. It’s an easy way to add bonus storage and extra seating. Here, Nicole and Caffery added a circular table to the centre of this custom banquette, which invites people to squeeze in and gather round for a good meal.
Use Cute Baskets to Organize Kids Spaces
Playrooms can be chaotic spaces, with toys and tripping hazards everywhere. Contain mess while adding style with baskets, which keep toys neat and organized. Here, Nicole and Caffery added matching wooden baskets to a console table for max design appeal, but the baskets are low enough that kids can easily access the toys they want with minimal supervision.
Create an Entrance
Even if you don’t have a foyer, you can still create an entrance with the addition of a small console table or smart shoe rack. This minimalist storage piece takes up little space but it creates a dramatic vibe as soon as you enter the home, plus it gives you another space to add decorative items and plants.
Use a Blanket Ladder as Decor
Blanket ladders can add immediate interest to a space while also serving as functional storage. Prop one behind a sofa or an armchair for an extra layer of cozy comfort to a room, and don’t forget to drape a pretty blanket or two overtop.
Don’t Be Afraid of Sectionals
Large sectionals can be a great addition to a family space, but depending on how big your room is they also take up most of the space. That doesn’t mean you need to avoid sectionals altogether, though. Add comfort and extra seating with a smaller sectional that fits your space, allowing you lots of room for an extra arm chair and a coffee table, too.
Consider a Bench
When delineating an open-concept space with a living room setup, consider adding a small bench behind a sofa. It’s a great way to add extra seating and style without cluttering the area. Plus it gives you even more storage potential, since you can tuck extra pillows and blankets inside.
There isn’t a room in the house that doesn’t come alive with a bit of greenery. The trick is to add plants in moderation so they don’t feel cluttered or overwhelming. Pops of green? Go for it. A full-out green house? Well unless you’re doing an actual green house, perhaps you’ll need to trim back.
Stylize Your TV
Let’s be honest: Everyone wants a TV in their family room. It’s what you like to do together as a family, after all. But that doesn’t mean most flat screens are designer-friendly. Enter picture TVs, which act as pieces of artwork when not in use. Throw up family photos, like Nicole and Caffery have done here, or chose another piece of artwork that complements your space.
Add Accent Colours to Neutrals
Everyone loves colour, but there is such a thing as too much. Instead of going all-out with a bold colour when you’re staging a home, opt for a more universally pleasing palate, like neutral greys and whites. Then, add a boost of colour that pops through accent pieces and artwork.
Seek Storage Solutions
One of the easiest ways to maintain a purposeful and decluttered space is by adding storage, storage and more storage. Nicole and Caffery definitely did that in this kitchen design by extending the cabinets all the way to the ceiling. Then, because what’s the point of storage if it isn’t practical, they added this library ladder for easy access.
Create a Focal Point
In this design, Nicole and Caffery removed a corner fireplace and inserted a sleeker electric model in the center of the room to create a balanced focal point that adds warmth and draws the eye without feeling cluttered or bulky. Simple white trim and a wood mantel add to that warmth, creating an automatic anchor to this new living room space.
Customize Your Space
When you’re creating your own room (as opposed to staging), don’t be afraid to add personalized elements you’ll love. Nicole and Caffery had this removable neon sign made for one client, customizing her office with undeniable flair. The best part is she can take the sign with her on the road for meet-and-greets or trade shows, while at home it serves as both design and inspiration.
Create an Actual Workspace
These days more people are working from home than ever. So if you’re staging a home office you want to ensure it’s a calm and dedicated space where potential buyers can actually see themselves getting some work done. Here, Nicole and Caffery added a sleek and modern desk along one wall with a statement chair. On the other wall, they added an armchair for zooming and catching up on news. Then, the whole look is tied together with simple finishes, like this colourful area rug and painting.
Don’t Forget the Laundry Room
Laundry rooms need love too, especially when you’re appealing to potential buyers. While you don’t need to break the bank on the space, ensuring it’s clean and neutral is a good way to make the room universally appealing. Here, the duo continued the waterproof, vinyl flooring from the main floor and brightened up the walls with some fresh, neutral paint. A small backsplash against the sink and a storage shelf completes the look.
Putting Money Where it Matters
In this primary ensuite, Nicole and Caffery put a large chunk of their budget to good use updating what used to be a 90s model bathroom. Modern finishes on the stand-up shower make it feel larger and more luxe, while the large soaker tub is a statement piece all by itself. A double vanity and large tiles that make the room feel even larger also add extra value. Now, buyers will walk in and realize they don’t need to do a single thing.
Use Built-Ins In Bedrooms
Need to create an organized living space in a bedroom? Built-ins are key. Unlike a closet, a built-in along one wall feels like a natural extension of the space while adding tons of organization. Here, Nicole and Caffery created the ultimate kids bedroom with exactly that kind of utility. Now there’s floor-to-ceiling built-ins that add a ton of options as the child grows up, without compromising at all on design.
Add Seating Without Bulk
Kitchen islands are a must-have in many home designs, but the stools you choose to accompany one can make a huge difference in terms of the overall feel and vibe. If you’re working within a smaller space, you want to select smaller, sturdy stools that are low-key and easy to tuck away. That way you’re adding design and function without making the room feel cluttered or weighed down.
Ground Your Space With an Area Rug
These days there are area rugs for any and all spaces, and for good reason — they anchor a room and pull in design elements for a cozy and complete feel. When choosing an area rug, always consider how much space you have to work with. Then, select a shape and design that will fit in that space. Be sure to measure ahead of time and don’t be afraid to lay down painter’s tape if you need a visual.
Make Use of the Fifth Wall
If you’re designing an office or small bedroom and you want to add a ton of personality without making the room feel tight and cramped, use the fifth wall — aka the ceiling — to add a dash of decor. Whether it’s a bright paint colour or themed wallpaper, ceilings are a great space to play with when you want to keep the rest of the walls a neutral colour.
Add Greenery to Bathrooms
No matter what kind of design you’ve chosen, a little greenery in the bathroom always feels fresh and bright. Choose plants that hold up well to damp spaces and can do okay without a ton of natural light. Or, if the maintenance is too much for you, choose a well-crafted fake plant to spruce up your bathroom space instead.
Open Up Small Hallways
In order to make small hallways appear larger, consider sturdy glass dividers instead of railings. They still feature all the same safety features you get with a regular old railing, but by keeping sightlines clear the space feels bigger than it is.
Mix Family Photos and Art
In this living room design Nicole and Caffery used a mix of family photos and pieces of art to create a photo wall with colour and meaning. By mixing the two styles the collage pops and stands out, but it also adds a personalized finish to the room without going over budget.
Add Personality With a Backsplash
In this kitchen, Nicole and Caffery wanted to break up the bright white with a touch of subtle colour. Enter this herringbone style backsplash in a glossy light grey that picks up some of the veining from the countertop below. Backsplash tile is an easy way to switch up a kitchen style or add instant personality and colour without breaking the bank.
Use Mirrors to Open Up a Space
This entrance may be small but it’s certainly mighty thanks to the design power behind it. Nicole and Caffery delineated this space from the main living room with simple grey tiles and a couple of hangers, adding easy function. Then, they installed this funky mirror that not only lets the owners do one final makeup or outfit check before leaving the house, but it also reflects the light and further opens up the space.
Play With Colour
Dramatic paint is an easy and affordable way to switch up a space and add interest—especially when it’s applied somewhere unexpected. Here, Nicole and Caffery used a bold blue to transform a simple archway, creating a transitional space between the front entrance and the main living room.
Continue Countertops As a Backsplash
In order to create a rich and seamless feel in this high-end kitchen, Nicole and Caffery continued the new counters right up and into a backsplash. The result is a functional but quality feel that ties the space together in a bright and purposeful way. Then, to break up the look, they installed glass doors on two of the cabinets above, where they can play with colour and textures with the items within.
Mix and Match Textiles
Sometimes it’s nice to have a matching set. But if you really want to create interest, don’t be afraid to mix and match complimentary pieces, such as this arm chair and ottoman. A simple throw pillow ties the two together in an unexpected way, adding yet another layer to the overall design.
Create Interest With Unexpected Finishes
We love the dramatic flair in this kitchen, where a dark island and a gold sink are total statement pieces. The contrast to the whites and greys creates a rich and unexpected finish, making this kitchen feel even more luxe and high-end.
Put Money Where it Matters
When you’re working with a budget, decide which elements of your design are the most important to you. If you love to cook, for example, perhaps you want to put more money into the kitchen and high-end finishes such as this gorgeous stove and range.
Create a Statement Entrance
The entrance is the first space you see when you enter the home, which means it’s also a great spot to set the tone. If you have room like the homeowners did in this space, add a small seating area with statement chairs and an accent table. The set is practical because it gives you a place to sit while putting on your shoes, but it’s also full of design appeal.