Cocooning Love

Design experts share useful tips for transforming your space into something groovy

Design experts disclose top tips for transforming your space

CG&S Austin home design-build
The neutral-toned textiles and furniture scaled proportionately give this living room a light, clean feel. Photo by Ryann Ford
CG&S Austin home design-build
CG&S installed a central fire pit for a gathering area as part of this outdoor pool house project. Photo by Paul Finkel
CG&S Austin home design-build
The pop of turquoise serves as a focal point, creating depth in this kitchen. Photo by Paul Finkel
CG&S Austin home design-build
The right lighting can instantly change a room. The fixtures here highlight the pool table and bar top. Photo by Tommy Kile
CG&S Austin home design-build
CG&S Austin home design-build
CG&S Austin home design-build
CG&S Austin home design-build

Your home should be your sanctuary, and great care should be taken when it comes to designing and maintaining your space. It should be calming and well thought out, but more importantly, uniquely you.

Whether you are moving into a new place or want to elevate your existing space, we talked with Austin’s award-winning construction and design firm, CG&S Design-Build, to help navigate the interior decorating waters. Project designer Mark Evans and project architect Joanna Hartman pinpoint easy ways to transform and maximize your space, trends, and common mistakes people make when it comes to tackling an interiors project.

Design fads come and go, but some things never change. Here are some hard and fast rules to go by when it comes to styling your space.

Quick and easy ways to update your home
A quick way to update the look of your living room is through new textiles — textured and natural materials are on-trend right now. Adding a slipcover to the couch and changing out the throw pillows are easy ways to bring new life, color, and texture to a room without any major changes. 

In a bedroom, lighting is so important, so putting the lights on dimmers or exchanging old bedside lamps for new ones can change the ambiance of the room instantly. For an outside space, create a gathering area by bringing in a chimenea or fire bowl and placing chairs around it.

How to make your small space feel larger
There are a few ways to make a small space seem larger. First, check to make sure that your furniture is properly scaled to the room — avoid bulky furnishings and opt for more light and airy accents. Lighting also makes a huge difference in a small room, and by updating and improving light fixtures you can easily make a room feel larger.

Another trick is to create an accent wall using a different paint color or focal point finish. If you want something a little more labor intensive, upgrade the size of your windows; bigger windows make a room feel larger.

Design pitfalls to avoid
The biggest mistake we’ve noticed people make is using bad proportions within their design. Everything should fit within the area and make the most of the space available. Less is usually more.

In larger projects that require more than cosmetic upgrades, it is a big mistake to not hire a professional. We can’t say it enough: It saves time, headaches, and ultimately money to do it the right way the first time around. Some things can be done easily and beautifully on your own, but if it seems complicated and goes deeper than cosmetic changes — call in a professional.


CG&S Design-Build focuses on construction design and architecture, offering interior design services as it relates to a remodel project. For more design inspiration from CG&S, visit the company’s blog.