10/22/2014 03:42 EDT | Updated 12/22/2014 05:59 EST

How to Create Home Decor Fit for Hollywood

Going to the movies in modern times so often means skipping the theatre and bringing that movie home to you. But do you ever wish you could bring some of that cinema style home as well? No matter your favourite genre of decor, I've got some tips to help you recreate that award-winning hollywood magic in your own home -- blockbuster budget not required.

Creating a Picture

Translating life to the screen can be trickier than it seems -- if you've ever tried to snap a picture of a memorable moment or space you know that things don't always look right on camera! This is why professionals have lots of tricks to make things look their best "in post" - tips you can use in advance so flaws never appear in the first place.

-Painting your walls and ceiling all one neutral colour is like real-life home photoshop: it erases imperfections (like an uneven ceiling) and can help hide outlets, thermostats and other distractions.

-Don't worry: you can introduce as much colour as you crave via bold art, and/or an accent wall. Giving the eye a few (2-3) focal points creates a sense of order.

-Open shelves help you curate an ever-changing story: bookshelves in living spaces and shelf-uppers in the kitchen let you mix old books, inexpensive frames, everyday items and priceless heirlooms to add unique character to your background.

-The eye expects to see a full range of tones from white to black, so if you look for it, you'll notice most professional photos have been colour-correct to include it. Add some touches of pure white and black to your space to create this diversity (and help neutrals sing).

Set Dressing: Look to IKEA for their updated shelving systems and staple dishware, CB2 for fun glam accessories, and try my favourite neutrals: Benjamin Moore's OC-23 Classic Gray for a pale greige with depth or OC-65 Chantilly Lace for a clean crisp white (in a contemporary washable-matte finish).


"Carrie Bradshaw's apartment" from Sex and The City 2

Stars of Stage and Screen

While the worlds in movies may always seem high-budget, even blockbuster film directors know where to spend and where to save. Keep in mind that not every piece in your home needs to be the star of the show - some pieces can just be "extras". Giving the eye some high quality pieces to rest on will make the entire space feel more luxe, even if the average item doesn't break the bank.

How To:

-Get great basics -- Audrey Hepburn's look in Breakfast in Tiffany's was memorable because it was simple, not outrageous. A quality grey sofa, rich wood dining table, or elegant shower tile will be your room's "little black dress" you can accessorize any way.

-On camera, faux materials will look real, but in life, they can sometimes cheapen your look. Use timeless plain subway tiles instead of faux stone, for example, and celebrate the beauty in humble classics.

-Other appealing yet inexpensive ideas: sleek plastic or metal modern seats (like Panton-style chairs), colourful plug-in lamp chords with Edison bulbs; wood stump stools (clustered for a coffee table); dramatic wallpaper mixed with simple curtains.

-Make sure to add true drama somewhere -- playing it safe with every item may feel comfortable but it won't create a cinematic masterpiece! A bold rug is an excellent way to punch up neutral furnishings, and you can always roll it away for a change-up later.

Set Dressing: Check out Bouclair Home for bold or demure wallpapers (under 30.00 per roll), visit Urban Barn for organic wood stools, and ask your tiler for coloured grout options to add kitchen or bathroom drama at little extra cost.


Elegant salon scene in The Great Gatsby

Lights! Lights! Action!

Before you're ready to roll on your camera-ready look, you'll need one last (but not least important) thing: lighting. Naturally a finely appointed Gatsby estate demands an opulent chandelier, but don't worry: in real life, lighting is one area where quantity is almost more important than quality (or at least budget!). The true key to a Great lighting scheme is depth and layers, so including multiple flattering light sources will make you and your space ready for a close-up.

How To:

-A room should have lighting on the ceiling, walls, and in the centre. Check what your space is lacking.

-Add table or floor lamps, or pendants for centre radiance; sconces to illuminate the edges (making a space feel bright); and ceiling lights or high pendants for overall glow and task lighting.

-In a kitchen, under-cabinet lighting is especially important to avoiding shadowy edges, which shrinks the space and dulls your beautiful surfaces.

-Where the budget allows, invest in one beautiful central lamp or fixture to be the show-stopper, and allow the eye to believe all this cinematic radiance is coming from one place - your own private movie-magic!

Set Dressing: Try West Elm for accessible-luxury fixtures, Target for mix-and-match lamps and shades, and Eclectic Revival for authentic Deco finds and cool industrial creations.


Deco inspired lamps from West Elm