Are You the kind of person who walks into a space and immediately sees past what is there to what it could be? Do you watch more Property Brothers than is healthy for one person? Has anyone ever told you that you ought to go back to school and take your interest in interior architecture and design to the next level? Well, perhaps they should have. Because you might have the eye. And that is something that can’t really be taught.

The eye is what separates amateur photographers from great photographers. The eye is what separates clothing manufacturers from fashion designers. The eye is what separates hobbyists from artists. You might be a competent home decorator. But you might have the ability to become an interior designer.

If you think you have the eye, kick it up a notch and see if you have what it takes. You can check out the program online. Contact an admissions advisor and get answers to your questions. And follow your passion all the way to a prosperous career. If you are not ready to take that step, you can still put yourself in the best position to transform your home into the perfect space. Here are a few tips to help you do just that:

Don’t Ignore the Bargains

You can have an attainable chic home decor that’s all you for a lot less money than you think. Expensive furniture pieces are no substitute for good taste. Your good taste can be satisfied at a thrift store as well as it can in a 5th Ave. boutique.

You can save a ton of money on functional and eye-catching pieces. Just because that table didn’t fit in with the original owner’s new apartment doesn’t mean that it won’t fit in with yours. Pre-owned doesn’t mean damaged, badly used, or unloved. If there is a scrape or scuff here and there, it doesn’t mean the piece is no good. You might find those bruises add character to the piece. If they don’t, such blemishes are usually easily repaired to like-new condition.

A lot of designer wannabes will miss out on some of the best pieces because they have an aversion to considering things in the pre-owned market. They wouldn’t be caught dead at a thrift store or flea market. They will never be a true designer because they are counting on their class and their purse to attain decor. Whereas you are relying on your wits and your eye.

Avoid Clutter

Clutter in your home could indicate clutter in your life. Clutter is what turns a fine piece of accent furniture into junk. If every inch of usable space is occupied, you have no room for improvement. You literally have no room. All you can do is rearrange the deck chairs. Unless you start stacking things atop the other, you have reached a design dead end. You know you have a problem with clutter if any of the following is true:

  • You cannot walk at normal speed or with confidence in the space.
  • You routinely have trouble finding small things within the space.
  • You would have a hard time finding a space for something new.

Clutter is not the end of the world. It is the beginning of spring cleaning. It is perfectly okay if you need to do your spring cleaning a little early.

Get Inspired

The eye must be tuned and recalibrated on occasion. You do that by going to interesting places and seeing things that make you look twice. Visit furniture stores and see how the furniture is staged. Don’t just look at the furniture. That is not really the most important thing to a designer. Look at the staging and learn from the good ideas on display.

See how that $300 accent piece makes that space next to the couch really come to life. Now realize you don’t have to have a $300 accent piece to get that same effect. See that weird vase? What would it look like upside down? See how that small step-ladder is perched against the wall? Notice how each rung holds little tid-bits of joy and curiosity? Now, you are calibrating your eye.

You really should consider enrolling in school and taking your dream as far as it can go. Till then, don’t pass up the bargains. Don’t use up all the space. And get out in the world and recalibrate from time to time.