All the Design Tricks We Learned in 2017

It was a very knowledgeable year.

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This year, we fell in (and out of) love with millennial pink, embraced both wild patterns and Scandi minimalism, created walls of art and wallpaper, and found some new materials to play with—so, it’s safe to say it’s been a pretty informative year. Here at Domino, we’re lucky enough to see a ton of amazing home makeovers on a daily basis, and we’re not too proud to say they’ve definitely taught us some things.

Scroll on to see some of our favorite design tricks from 2017—we can’t wait to incorporate some of them into our homes this new year.

For an airy space, remove interior walls.

This Boston makeover proves that the key to making a space seem bigger than it is relies on removing interior walls and creating an open floor plan. In order to create distinction between each room, the spaces all had their own unique look and feel—and a different color for each further exemplified their individual differences.

Outdoor fabrics work well in messy areas.

Who says you can’t use patio materials indoors? This Dutch colonial transformation relies on outdoor fabrics to spruce up a cozy little banquette in the dining area. Made by DwellStudio, this navy-patterned material serves double duty—it adds some great color to an otherwise minimalist room, while also being able to withstand messy meals.

Use your ceilings to create a divide if adding walls isn’t an option.

Can’t afford to add in some walls, or does your rental agreement prevent that? Don’t stress: It’s all in the ceilings. Each room in this cheerful NYC home plays with a different statement light fixture in order to differentiate them from one another.

“One of the ways in modern design that you can separate spaces without physical walls is by the use of ceilings: You can create separation just by how you design [them]. By dropping areas and creating decorative fixtures, you create a visual understanding of what the rooms are supposed to be,” explains the designer.

Use wallpaper on an accent wall.

We’re obsessed with wallpaper, but we completely get it: It can be wildly expensive. Not only that, but if you find a pattern you really love, it might just be a little too loud to take over your entire space. The solution? Take your cue from this budget bedroom makeover, where the designer chose to highlight only the accent wall behind the headboard to give the room a stylish makeover without breaking the bank.

Pull-out shelving is great for small spaces.

Living in New York means we’re no strangers to small spaces, so we’re always on the hunt for some great

storage hacks

and we have to say we found a really inventive one in this bright kitchen remodel. Instead of using cabinets or

open shelving

to store spices, the designer used a pull out to create space for a spice rack, as well as leave the additional space needed for the refrigerator door to swing open.

Installing a door is a great cheap hack.

In this home, the washer and dryer were part of the bathroom, leading to a mismatched, disorganized look. However, the owners created a makeshift laundry room by buying a $5 door and installing it using hooks—proving that a little creativity goes a long way.

You can splurge on what you want… as long as you save in other areas.

For this couple, the kitchen served as the ultimate hangout and entertaining spot, so in order to make their kitchen the size they wanted, they broke down their closet on the main floor. But of course, such a huge area required a ton of redesign, and it was important to set the budget earlier on. For example, the

subway tile

was a steal, while the Bertazzoni range required some investing—but it had already been established that certain areas were worth the splurge.

Hide essentials that mess with your room’s theme.

This gorgeous Brooklyn kitchen looks impeccable in polished white—and we’re loving that dreamy island in the center. However, take a look at that sleek column: You’ll never believe it, but it’s actually a fridge, hidden because it ruined the cohesive, neutral theme of the space. Talk about fully committing to a theme.

If you’re not blessed with floor-to-ceiling windows, add in transparent doors to let light in.

For a sleek Hamptons abode overlooking the beach, making use of that beautiful landscape was key—but it proved to be hard not having enough windows. To counteract this issue, the builder and designer worked together on a number of stunning glass doors on the main floor that let in the streaming sunlight with ease.

When in doubt, never underestimate the power of Ikea.

We’re all for buying our staples from the Swedish furniture giant, but this kitchen makeover proves that some customization can go a long way. Instead of shelving, an Ikea cabinet system was installed using custom brass knobs—resulting in a cheap yet stunning makeover.

See more best of 2017:

The Laundry Rooms We Couldn’t Stop Gushing Over In 2017Our Most-Loved Living Rooms of 2017The Wallpapered Rooms That Made Us Embrace Pattern in 2017

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Nikhita Mahtani


Nikhita is originally from Mumbai, India, but has called NYC home for over a decade now. She’s a huge fan of nutrition and fitness, and spends most of her free time researching the latest trends and easy, healthy hacks. She also loves to travel—just don’t take her anywhere cold.