10 Quick & Easy Designer Pick-Me-Ups

Allison Egan Decor

When Allison Egan and her husband moved into an unfurnished apartment in Singapore with just a few suitcases, she was more excited than overwhelmed: after all, it's her job to make interiors look lovely and livable.

Allison's web-based interior design business, AllisonEgan.com, keeps her busy and inspired when she's not exploring her new home in Southeast Asia. Still, with so many ideas swirling (which Allison regularly shares on her blog, Spicer + Bank), there are a few basic tricks she never forgets. Here she shares her top 10 tips, along with some shots of her home in Singapore.

1. Splurge on plants and fresh flowers for texture and color. Allison especially loves large leaves or branches, which last a long time. Sure, she's especially spoiled in Singapore with the flora available, but, as she points out, a single fuchsia orchid or potted fern can add so much life to a space.

2. Switch up your throw pillows and layer patterns. A couple of bright or patterned pillows are a wonderful way to liven up your space — Etsy is full of affordable options.

3. Keep an eye out for small, interesting objects on your travels. Souvenirs and keepsakes are easy to fit in your suitcase and will always remind you of your trip. They are perfect objects for a bookshelf or a coffee table. For example, Allison treasures a gold-painted lotus flower that she found on a visit to Bangkok.

4. Don't forget about the beauty of everyday items. A basil plant, colorful potholders, or fruit waiting to ripen: especially in the kitchen, useful items can be so decorative — don't hide them.

5. Paint an accent wall your favorite color. It's an old rule of thumb, but it works! Paint is so inexpensive and it makes a huge impact. Especially if you're in a rental, doing just one key wall can make a room feel livelier.

6. Play with texture. The small faux sheepskin rug in Allison's living room was an inexpensive addition, and the contrast in texture next to the rougher sisal rug is eye-catching.

7. Embrace bedside beauty. Allison always makes sure that her bedside table has a collection of a few lovely items. Her favorite objects are blue-gray leather trays found in Bali and a mother-of-pearl frame.

8. Go nuts! A pretty dish filled with pistachios is so welcoming to visitors. So is a small bar cart with soda, ice, and Lillet, for that matter!

9. Bring a little feng shui home. Mirrors are a great place to start, which are said to give mental clarity, repel negativity, and provide added energy.

10. Remember: Nothing is glued in place! Don't be afraid to move around and rotate your accessories, art, or small pieces of furniture. It's amazing what you can do with the pieces you already have.

All images by Allison Egan Decor

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