Interior Design: Hollywood Chic on a Human Budget | Mikel Welch | Skillshare

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Interior Design: Hollywood Chic on a Human Budget

teacher avatar Mikel Welch, Interior Designer

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Planning Your "Wow" Moment


    • 3.

      The Secret to Affordable Design


    • 4.

      Making Your Space Luxurious


    • 5.

      The Art of the Mix-and-Match


    • 6.

      Final Thoughts


    • 7.

      Q&A with Emily Henderson


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About This Class

Turn your home into a luxurious oasis — without breaking the bank.

What’s the secret to making your home look high-end? Turns out it’s just a few things, and they’re all much easier than you’d think. Join designer Mikel Welch for a hilarious, highly entertaining exploration of the ways you can make your furniture, art, and home look like a million bucks. Mikel has made his name as a set and interior designer of the stars, and now he’s here to share what he’s learned — for people who don’t have a Hollywood-level budget. 

Alongside Mikel, you’ll learn how to:

  • Design a “wow” moment in your home
  • Make your art look museum-ready
  • Give your fixtures and furniture a little upgrade
  • Design a gallery wall like a professional does

When you’re finished the class, you’ll have a rock-solid plan for a gallery wall that will take your guests’ breath away, plus the know-how and tools to create luxurious moments throughout your home (and all of your future homes, too). 

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Mikel Welch

Interior Designer


As a young boy growing up in Southfield, Michigan, Mikel Welch busied himself with the construction of sofas and dining tables using toy Legos for imaginary houses. It was evident to his family that an innate sense of creativity and a passion for design were embedded in Mikel from birth.

Today Welch runs a New York based interior design business, Mikel Welch Designs, and works as a host and design expert on Quibi's Murder House Flip. On camera, Mikel shows viewers tips and tricks for renovating homes, designing sophisticated spaces and creating luxury looks at affordable prices. Mikel is a former on-air personality of TLC’s Trading Spaces, and his designs have been featured on HGTV, The Real Housewives Of Atlanta and Good Morning America.

In January 2020, House Beaut... See full profile

Level: All Levels

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1. Introduction: I work with celebrities who can spend $0.5 million on the sofa, but for the person who can't afford that, what luxury design and working with celebrities has taught me is how to create that look without the hefty price to tag. I'm Mikel Welch. I like to think of myself as a magician. I do so many things, but the main thing is, I'm an interior designer here in New York City. I like to say, I stumbled into this career. Honestly, after college, I had this grand idea that because I like clothes that I would go work at a retail store. I hated it. One day while I was on my lunch break, I decided to go to a furniture store and I looked up at my watch and I had spent 40 of my 45-minute break in the store. That's when I had my Oprah aha moment. I hope you guys are going to cue some type of halo around my head, but that was like my Oprah moment and so that's when I knew I had an interest for a design and that's honestly how I got started. I promise if you stick around for this class, you are going to learn how you can make your space look like a million bucks. But guess what? We're not going to spend a fraction of that. You are in for a special treat because you are going to learn how you too can have a fabulous space just like a celebrity without breaking the bank. I'm going to teach you how to create some amazing wow moments will also going to show you how you can create your own version of a DIY wall installation. All right, kids, professor Welch is here and class is in session. Let's do it. 2. Planning Your "Wow" Moment: If there is one thing that I can not stand is a basic, you know what? I don't like anything that is basic and I believe every room should have a wow moment. Let's talk about that. I think when you're creating a wow moment is important to look at your space as a whole. There's always going to be one feature in the room that naturally gravitates to you where you know this is the focal point of the room. Oftentimes that can be a huge window or a fireplace. That's easy like you know what it is, but the reverse of that is when you have a space such as, I do in my home where you don't have that opportunity, so you have to create that. That's where I like to use my set design background to help my interior design clients. If you don't have a natural focal point in the space, you must create one. For me, I wanted something that felt like I was traveling to the Hamptons, and I just had this image in my head that I was like Carrie Bradshaw and I just traveled the world, and so I wanted it that feel in my space. It was important for me to create a pair barn doors, and as they create because these are not the real deal. I mean, literally I got a pallet of wood. I went deep in Brooklyn, with these big muscles, and I brought that wood back to the house. I hired a contractor, and we literally built the barn doors in my apartment, and then we added hardware to give you the illusion that the piece came from a barn. But then you have to take it a step further. I think the biggest thing when you're making wow moments is going to be about the details. For instance, the hardware that I've added to my barn doors, we went ahead and we took sandpaper and we scratched out marks on the piece to give it that feel of that age vintage patina. I think is that mixing of both worlds. It's like you're using functional material but then at the same time, you're adding a layer of set designer, almost smoke and mirrors where you're doctoring something up to give it that wow moment that you're looking for. The ultimate result for me turned out to be a pair of barn doors that I can't keep off of Instagram screens, and I appreciated. Every time I go Instagram, I see these barn doors. Whenever I have a client who stopped on how to create a wow moment, the first thing I do is I sit down and I discuss their lifestyle. Everyone operates a little bit differently, and so I like to see what their natural habits are in their home. Are you someone who likes to entertain? Are you someone who likes to travel? Are you someone who constantly goes to restaurants? If you can pinpoint something that people love and bringing that element to their home, you've got to win. I think is really about taking people to a destination, taking them to a place. That's really what I do, is set design when creating wow moments. Over the years, I have worked with some very interesting personality, some I can name, some I won't. But I got to do a really fun project with one of the Real Housewives of Atlanta. She had a 5 thousand square foot basement. Let's repeat that again, a 5 thousand square foot basement where I was tasked with creating several wow moments. One of those wow moments that the cast member wanted was a home spar. She wanted to spar in her basement. For me instantly, I knew I wanted to take her to a destination. This woman loves to travel. She loves to go to Spain. I had a pair of custom vintage doors, refit it, so that when she opens up these wooden doors, she's now walking into her own sanctuary. I mean, literally I had a 40 inch table with a huge four-foot piece of pottery, and it's just like, all this beautiful foliage just fallen all out. As a matter of fact, I need to call her because I want to go back and sit in that spar. But that is one of those moments when you talk about, wow, really taking people to a destination. For anyone who's looking to figure out their wow moment, I would challenge you to sit down and make a list of your top two places where you would like to spent all of your time. I think that's important because if you can create this space that you love to go to, then that's going to become your wow moment. Again for me, I love to spend my time at the Soho house, and I love things that are rustic and remind me of a cottage. That whole type of vibe, I needed to take home with me, especially in the times that we're living in now where you're constantly at home, you need to be able to bring that piece of something that you love and put it into your house. I would challenge everyone who's looking for a wow moment, and you don't know where to start, the first thing you want to do is look at the places that you visit the most thing that you absolutely love, and bring those elements to your home. There are several factors to wow moments. For instance, if you live in the space and maybe you haven't come up with the wow moment, it can definitely evolve over time. If there is one space where you need a lot of drama, it's definitely going to be the bedroom, and not like that you're nasty. I'm talking about the drama of all of the decor in the bed room. For me, my big wow moment in my bedroom have to be my ceiling to floor drapes. I know it sounds dramatic, because it is. Because when I'm in that room, I'm really channeling Marie Antoinette. I feel like I can just crawl up into this bed and just eat cake all day. Now, maybe that's not your thing, you don't have to eat cake in your bed, but for me that was my wow moment. I wanted something that really was strong and commanded attention. My bed room is super tidy. I live in New York City so I have to make it work. What I did was I created my version of a cannon P bed, and I went to my local big box store, I got a pair of four drapery rods and connect to corners. Then believe it or not, I took my fabric, and I went to my local cleaners, like literally I went down the street to the cleaners, and me and Ms. Joanne had a conversation. I got her to him drapes that would go perfectly around the new canopy that was installed in my bedroom. It's one of those things where I spent less than $500 to create a wow moment. Oftentimes, I think people think that wow moments can only be in larger areas where the entire family congregates. Doesn't have to be that way. You can take advantage of a wow moment in any area of your home. I feel like a bedroom is always a missed opportunity. Always search for the wow moment in every single room that you have. 3. The Secret to Affordable Design: Let's keep it real. Everyone does not have a celebrity budget, and that is fine. What you've really got to do in order to pull off a celebrity look without breaking the bank is study the heck out of that room. I think what you want to do is really examine the key pieces and the key components in the space that make it look very luxurious. When I say that it's really about finding the look for less and finding exact pieces that have similar attributes. This is the part of the class where I am going to give you some of my insider secrets. So take notes. Here are a few of my favorite go-to places when I'm always trying to like cut corners. First and foremost is Craigslist. Yes, I say Craigslist. I didn't say Facebook Marketplace, I said craigslist. Craigslist is always going to be your go-to place whenever you're looking to incorporate something into your space that's really expensive because you can go online and you can find people who have paid a lot of money for things and maybe they're just like gently used. Here's the thing, you got to be able to do a smart search. When I say a smart search, anytime I'm looking for an item online, let's say I'm looking for a mid-century sectional. Don't look up the word mid-century sectional because you are going to get taken to the bank. The thing about searching for things online on like Craigslist and even Facebook Market is you need to look for people who are going to dumb it down. I want to see the word couch. Even the word sofa, I don't know. The sofa throws me off too because you still using a fancy word. You need to find people who don't understand the value of what they have. Look for that person who puts couch. Now, you're going to have to search a little longer, but I guarantee you, you're going to find the price point for what you want. Again, it's just that art of how you search for things. Don't ever use designer or decorative words because these people know the value of what they're selling. I think that's the first thing. Another resource that I love to go to is everybody's, well, not everybody's favorite, but at least my favorite, go-to big-box store is going to be IKEA. I feel like IKEA has a lot of great hacks, and there are so many different brands now that work interchangeably with IKEA. For instance, you can purchase an inexpensive dresser, and then they have drawer fronts that can be applied with peel and stick. I'm also a big fan of spray paint. You can do wonders with a can of spray paint. IKEA has so many bookcases that you can spray paint a matte black or a shiny gold and is going to look like it has a high-end finish. Another thing I like about IKEA is even when it comes to their upholstery, for the most part, some of their chairs are a little bit more sturdy, and maybe it's not the fabric that you want. Well, buy the piece because it's inexpensive and then you can go down to your local fabric store, purchase some fabric, and have it re-upholstered. I think as interior designers, the one thing that typically works for us in terms of making things look lux is the fact that we get out of our heads. We are tasked with seeing a piece in a different manner. Anytime I look at a chair or whether I look at a lamp, I never see it in the form that it's in. I know that it can be altered. I can change a lamp shade, I can spray paint the entire piece. If I find the last ottoman at HomeGoods but it's not the perfect shade of blue that I want, well, I only paid $30 for it, just go in and re-upholster it. I think the thing is you need to begin to walk into a furniture store and re-envision a piece. I think another thing that will really help when shopping is how you repurpose things. We live in an era now where things are very gender fluid, and I think that should carry over into design. Just because you call something a soap dish, for me, this might be a cute tray that I want to put on my coffee table. So step outside of what something is labeled as and create your own version of it and make it work for you. 4. Making Your Space Luxurious: When you're trying to make your space look luxurious, there are certain things that you just cannot do without. That biggest piece that you must have is going to have to be your sofa or your bed or whatever object people are going to constantly touch. That is the one item that you definitely want to splurge on. I'm not saying you need to break the bank with that splurge, but anything that people are going to naturally touch and spend a lot of time on, that's where you want to devote your dollars. Nobody wants a lumpy sofa. Nobody wants a firm mattress or one that's just not right. You'll be walking around like Goldilocks and it'll be a mess. So what I encourage you to do is to put some thought into the items that you will use the most. Now, here's where you balance that out. On your accessories, and hardware, and vases, that's where you can cheat a little bit. One of the things that I love to do, for instance, let's talk about kitchens and doorways. You can easily change our hardware. You can change out doorknobs. All of those things are going to be super simple upgrades to where even if you rent and you can't change something out, you can change out all of your hardware in your place and your landlord won't get upset with you. But those are going to be those small little things that give your space that kind of elevated look. Another thing that I would encourage people to do is to spend money on drapery. Now, let's have a conversation about drapery because I feel like few of you are watching, I need to put you into detention because of some of the things that I have seen on Instagram. Class, let's write this down. Drapes need to go all the way down to the floor. Not halfway up the wall, not to the ledge that's on the wall, your drapes need to go from ceiling to floor and they need to kiss it perfectly. Here's a little hack, purchase longer drapes. When you purchase longer drapes, what you want to do is go ahead and place those drapes in your home. Go down to the bottom of the floor, and with a little marker, mark to the very, very end of the floor. Now, you're going to take those drapes to your local cleaners and they will hem them for less than $5 a panel. That's one of those things where you're going to create custom drapes for yourself and you're cutting out that high-end dollar amount that someone would spend like a celebrity. Here's another trick. When you're like, well, Professor Mikel, I've already purchased drapes and I didn't take this class at that time. That's probably because we didn't take the class yet, so what do I do? Well, what you can do is you can take those same drapes and now you want to go to your fabric store. What you want to do is let's say you have your drapes, I'm going to hold this up here. This will be our imaginary drape right here. Let's say the drapes are hanging here, we got a nice little gap. Well, you're going to go to the fabric store and get yourself some fabric, and we're going to make a small little band. What that band will do is link the two panels together so that you can create a full panel. It's going to look super fancy because your friends are going to be like, oh my gosh, girl, you went and you had your drapes custom-made? No, you went to the cleaners and you get some extra fabric. But what they really didn't know is that you bought panels that were too short. Here's another thing. Remember when I talked about in our last class, this is the pop quiz, we talked about how you can add a little bit of uh to your space with that art of illusion. Well, with that art of illusion, you can also bring in shower curtains. Shower curtains. You can honestly take that same shower curtain to your cleaners and have them create a rock pocket for you and you can create drapes the same way. Best of all, they're going to be moisture proof. I mean, it's like a win-win. Here is another hack that you are absolutely going to love. When you get finished with this hack, you are going to feel like you are walking through the Louvre Museum in Paris. What I'm talking about is adding picture lights to all of your artwork in your space. Now, I know you might be thinking, well, you know what, Mikel, I'm not an electrician and my husband is not very handy. Well, guess what? That's okay because there are a variety of different picture lights that you can incorporate into your space. They have several that you can get online where you can actually plug them in, and then you can also do little puck lights as well. But the main thing is you want to find a picture light, preferably something that's matte black or a brass. That is going to take you a long way. Now, here's another thing. Hopefully, you're watching this video right now and not 10 years later because maybe those two finishes that I gave you might not be so great in 10 years, but for right now, I want you to stick to matte black or a brass finish. Adding that picture light above a simple target picture is going to make it look like a million bucks. People are going to walk in and they're going to be like, oh my gosh, like don't touch that picture is very expensive. I'm telling you, that is a trick that will really elevate your space. What's nice is if you have repetition. Repetition is one of those things that will constantly help you and it falls over into that category of lighting. If you have several picture lights that are aligned in your hallway or flanking the side of maybe your TV cabinet, this is going to give you the illusion of luxury. Also, with repetition, I am really big on sticking to odd numbers. I think odd numbers and odd pairings always work better. Even with like a stack of books or a pair of objects, you always want to have things done in an odd number. It just helps it makes sense. For instance, this is a perfect example right here on the desk. Anytime I work with a piece, I always had to work in threes. Right now, if I were to just have these two books here, I mean, they're there, but it's boring. So it needs help, it needs a third object. I'll give you another example with this. Let's just say I have one book and then I just place this here, it's just low and it's flat and it needs a little bit of height. So it's always working with that element of three, of five, of seven because that's going to give you that drama that you want, that wow factor. That's another way that you can create some impact by always sticking to, we'll call it for today's class, the rule of thirds, but also know that that rule of thirds can also transition into rules of five and seven. Oftentimes, I will collect old vintage jags from HomeGoods. No, I'm joking, they're not vintage, but I will go to HomeGoods and I will get a collection of old vessels and I will nestle them together and it tells a story. Anytime you have more than three objects that are of the same family, it's telling a collected story. It makes it look more expensive. It's like you have a set of these things. I know typically in the design world, you don't want a set of something. But when you're dealing with things that are of luxury, anything that looks collected and you have many of them, it looks like you have a lot of money, darling, a lot of money. One of the things that will always help you out when you're trying to create a luxe style is going to be your toss pillows. Toss pillows are your friends because you can constantly change them out. You can change them out seasonally, or heck, if you just get tired of looking at a pillow, you can change the cover. That's something important to know. When you go into a store, just because you want to change your pillow doesn't mean that you need to buy an entire new pillow. Oftentimes, most retailers sell pillow covers. If you go into like your Crate & Barrels, your CB2s, your Pottery Barn, don't feel like you need to be tricked into buying that extra $40 goose feather pillow. You don't need it, you probably have one at home, just ask if you can buy that cover. But those are going to help you because you're able to diversify the pillows that you have on your couch. Because most of us, let's be honest, the couch gets delivered and then we have the standard set of pillows that we keep. Well, listen, honey, your house is not the [inaudible]. It does not have to be that generic. Already told you in less than one hour like basic. Go ahead and change out those pillow covers so that it feels different in the space. I think the great thing about playing around with pillows is you have the opportunity to play with different shapes. You can do some rectangular, mix them with some oblong. But it's all that art of storytelling. If you are someone who gets stuck on like, well, I don't know how to mix and match my patterns. What do I do? I say treat your pillows just like you would treat your clothing. For instance, if you have a wool pillow that you love, think of like your wool cashmere cable knit sweater that you have. What would you pair that with? In the fall, maybe you have denim or maybe you would mix it up with a little bit of leather with your shoes. So treat it the same way where you can pair some things together because I can envision a beautiful cable knit pillow pair with denim, with another leather pillow stacked in front of it. Treat your design just like you do your outfits. You can totally layer it like if I were designing my sofa right now, I could totally use this palette right now. I would do just like my navy tie, I would use that as the focal pillow. I'm going to go ahead and say that this kind of weak color would be my sofa, and so I would play with these blues and then I will find pillows that have all three of those colors. Treat your designs of your home just like you would do your clothes and that's going to help you out. We've been talking about luxury design, but now, let's go a little bit deeper into how we actually pick pieces that are inexpensive but exude that look of luxury. I think the most important thing that you want to do again is to have a guideline. You need to have a plan, and the smartest way to do that is to honestly start your own moodboard. You need to get magazine clippings, screenshots from all of your favorite designers on Instagram. I know Mikel Welch will be one of them. Once you've done that, I want you to really examine the pieces. Take a look at the tapered legs on the sofa. Take a look at the [inaudible] arms on the chair. Because these are the small details that make a piece look high-end. What I want you to do is to go into your local HomeGoods or your TJ Maxx, and I want you to find pieces that have the same bones and structure. Once you find a piece that has the same bones and structure, you can slowly manipulate things. Just because you can't find those same leg finishes that you see on that restoration hardware piece, I promise you, if you go to HomeGoods, you can find something that has the same structure. But maybe we need to go on Amazon and look for that particular leg finish that will give you the look of that RH piece. It's going to be a mix and match. You're really searching for the bones. You're searching for something that when you look at this piece, it has the potential. It's like when Tyra Banks is out there in the Middle of Nowhere, Iowa, and she's searching for those girls for America's Next Top Model. They may not look like a model right there, but she sees something in them. That's the same way you have to approach design. Look at a piece and see the potential in it. Think outside of what that piece is in its current state. I think the smartest thing that you want to do is always look for good bones and good structure. It's the same way when you're searching for a house. You don't buy the first house that you love on the block unless you're a millionaire. No, you do this like Chip and Joanna Gaines. You'd go and you find the ugliest house on the block that has potential. That's the same thing that you want to do whenever you're shopping for furniture pieces. Look for things that have potential. Look for something that just needs a little bit of spray paint, that just needs a little cushion added to it. Look for things that has the potential where all you have to do is slightly doctor it up, and that's how you win. All right, class, spring break is over and it's now time for another lesson. Get ready because we are going to talk about the art of the mix and match. 5. The Art of the Mix-and-Match: All right, class. I have a special treat for you. We are going to take a little field trip. Now settle down. We're not going too far. We're actually going to go right here to my living room because I'm going to show you how to put together your own gallery wall. There are a couple of rules of importance and we're going to walk through that so that I can give you all of the things that you need in order to be successful with the gallery wall. The first thing that you want to pay attention to is the placement of your artwork. You don't want it to be random in sporadic, it has to have some type of thought to it. What I like to do is to first choose all of the pieces of artwork that I like to use first. Then next, I like to lay things out on the floor just to get an idea of the symmetry and the styles of artwork. The main thing that you want to do here is you want to focus on the blending and the mixing. You don't want too many vintage pieces, you don't want too many modern pieces, is got to be just right. For me, that perfect formula is more or less a 70,30 split. So if you're more into modern artwork, I say go 70 percent modern, the other 30 percent can be vintage, and obviously, if you're on the other side of that, such as myself, I'm going to go 70 percent vintage and 30 percent modern. Now that we've got that under control, we want to go on to the portion of hanging, but before you do that, you've got to put some thought into it. First and foremost, when you're hanging art, you got to be precise. Why do we have to be precise? Because we don't want to have to put several holes in the wall and if you're renting your landlord is really going to be upset with you. Trust me, I know because I've done it many a time. I have a little trick for that. I want to have you go and grab some craft paper. Once you get the craft paper, what you want to do is trace out the outline of all of your pictures. So this piece that I have right here is traced out for this piece of art that I have here, as well as this bigger piece which is right here. What I would typically do is go ahead and I would place the paper on the wall using some simple tape. What this does is allow you an opportunity to move the artwork into variety of different places so that you can make sure that you're happy with the configuration. Let's debunk a couple of myths when we talk about putting together a gallery wall. There's a misconception that when you're putting the gallery wall together, you need to have equal spacing between each piece of art. I'm going to go ahead and tell no, now just so you know, Martha Stewart may disagree with that, but I don't think she's watching. I say go ahead and do what you want to do. I think the main thing here is to have some type of symmetry where at least the top frames are lined up and then the bottom frames are lined up. In the center, I feel like you can have a little bit of fun. Now my rule with my frames, I believe in going to Target and picking up basic frames, I'll also go to thrift markets and get frames that are vintage for $5 and I love the mix and match. My main rule is when shopping for vintage frames or when shopping for frames in general, try not to have more than two of the same frame. I am guilty of the two frames, and I have one here and one here that are identical. Now if you're going to have identical frames, I suggest that you switch up the orientation. You can see on the top, I have a vertical frame and then on the bottom, I have a horizontal frame. Now I'm going to give you one more tip that will help you out when we talk about how to put together a gallery wall and not break the bank? Well, these paintings would be extremely expensive if I were to go into a retail shop. Well, our friends over at Etsy, that's my secret., you can get printable art for less than $5, and then you just have it printed on photo paper and you are good to go. That's what these two pieces are right here. I think the whole thing about designing and making sure that the space feels lux is to have a combination of objects as well. Textures are really going to be your friend when you're designing your wall because it's going to allow you to incorporate something so it's not so stagnant. For instance, this piece of art that you see right here is actually a stamped piece of metal and so it breaks it up so it's not just all paintings. Another thing that I've done here is I brought in this ladder and then I've layered it with these little beautiful wooden beads. Honestly wooden beads are the answer for everything when you want to layer and you don't want to have to make things look cutter. You just put a couple of beads up there and you are good to go. This thing is getting on my nerves. I have another little trick that I have right here. Along with the ladder you see I've put some of my blankets. I wanted to bring something that softens the texture up on this wall and so that definitely does it. Another thing that you can also do is always bring the outdoors inside. I've done this cute little arrangement here where I have two little books and then I've done a cute little arrangement with the simple fern on it. It's all about the storytelling. Your gallery wall does not have to live on the wall, it can be the entire wall so that you're telling a complete story and that's what you really want to do when you're putting together a gallery wall. I've got one more trick up my sleeve when we talk about mixing and matching and layering. I'm going to do a little Vanna black action, look at that. You love TV. What I'm holding right here are a couple of pieces of pottery. This piece right here is your typical clay pottery piece that has been painted where you have this withered, antiqued piece that is actually made in India and I didn't pay that much for it, which was great. But what I love about both of these pieces is that they really add character. When I look at the beautiful notches on this piece, it really looked like a vintage vessel, and I paid like $5 for this piece, but these are the type of layering pieces that make it look like you've travel and it looked like you've curated these beautiful pieces over the years. The same thing with this jug right here. You can go to West Elm or Pottery Barn, but it's going to be the soft pieces that really help layer and define the space, and what I love about them is they're neutral enough where they can be used all season long. This would be amazing at Christmas if you were to have some beautiful berries that were just like hanging out, but then in the springtime, this can also work if you just have some beautiful eucalyptus. Now this guy right here, this is my favorite. Wooden vessels can go a long way. I love wooden vessels because not only can I put beautiful greenery in here, but I can also do a whole beaded moment. You've seen Joanna Gaines does it, Nate Berkus does it, Studio McGee does it, everybody does it. You can go ahead and you can drape beautiful beads right out of the jug and then that really becomes its own piece of artwork. The main thing is incorporate pottery into your design, and this will help give an elevated curated lux feel. 6. Final Thoughts: Now that you are bored out of your mind, actually you better not be bored out of your mind, I gave you some good information today. I feel like you should all be empowered now to go out and do your thesis. Guess what? You can go back and you can watch the video, it's like an open-book test, but I want to see what you create on your own. Please remember to go ahead and upload all of your projects so that we can see what you've done. Until next time, take care. 7. Q&A with Emily Henderson: Thank you guys so much for taking Mikel's class. Fun little fact, Mikel was an intern for me 10 years ago on Secrets From a Stylist. It's been so fun seeing his career explode. I can't wait to see all the gallery walls that you design, and don't forget to go over the design showcase. We're going to see Arlyn Hernandez and Albie Buabeng and take their classes too. All of the links to those classes are in the description below. Mikel, 10 years later, 11 years later maybe. That was my very first job in television. I was a fish out of water, literally, and you don't even know, but though I worked for you, like a really short stint, but this changed my life, and really, that was a turning point for me where I'm like, "I want to be on the other side of the cameras." So thank you. You're welcome. It's so fun. So I think what's so interesting and great about you is having the set design background just provides so much different information and tips on design. It's awesome. You have this whole inventory of ideas that are specific more for a set that you can bring to the home. Are you talking about that in your class? Oh, yes. You know, here's the thing, I feel like in set design, you really talk about art of this scrambler. The real set trick is to get it up there and it's live TV, but at the same time, you still are trying to offer practical solutions for people. It's really taught me the benefit of how to do something quickly, one, how to do it efficiently, and most of all, economically. I'm knocking on some wood here; hopefully, I'll be able to teach people how they can take some set tricks and really create a story. I feel like as a set designer, I'm a storyteller. That's what I'm really trying to help people with the class, is how to tell a story of their home, basically. Well, and one of the tips, I think I saw, is how to take something that's budget-friendly and be really high impact with it so it makes it look expensive because people do think that if something's really big, surely, that had to be something that you splurged on, but not necessarily. No, not all the time. Like for instance, like behind me, in my head, I live in Sag Harbor in the Hamptons, but I don't. I live in a tiny, 350 square-foot New York apartment and I'm creating that art. I'm [inaudible] backyard right here because she has an amazing barn door and I'm like, "I want that too." It's taking those elements and creating my own version of it. I couldn't go to an antique farm, so I had to go down so Brooklyn and pick up some old dusty wood and throw some hardware on it to give you the illusion. What have really not been said is that design is the art of illusion and how to embellish and make things look expensive. So question for you, where do you tell people to splurge and save? I tell people to splurge on things that they're going to spend the most time on. So for instance, the sofa. I feel like your sofa and your bed, your mattress, things that you're going to use on a constant basis that are going to have to everyday wear and tear, spend the money on it. If it's something often a distance that people aren't really going to touch, like for instance, me, my artwork that you see up there, people don't really know where it comes from. It can come from Annecy, I don't really care. Honestly, no one really knows, but you can't touch it. You don't know. But if it's something you're going to use every single day, you better spend that money on it because there's nothing worse than sitting on a sofa with loose springs or a sinking cushion. I just hate it. Or having to replace it quickly, which is a bummer for the Earth and for everybody. So you talk gallery wall in your Skillshare? Yes. Well, you know what? It's a beast to tackle, but I went over the basics, like the, "Go ahead and cut some scrap paper, play with it first just to make sure you feel comfortable with it," but I think the biggest thing for me has always been about them mix and match. I actually learned that from you. You are the first person that I learned that art of mixing vintage with modern. Hopefully, I did you justice, but I think that's really important for people to just understand. Because I think a lot of times people get scared when it comes to putting artwork and it's just like, "Well, does this go with this?" I gave a percentage. I won't tell the percentage here, you have to watch the video. I love rules like this. This is great. But I've tried to give a percentage for the everyday person who's maybe a little bit scared to just jump in there. So you can say like, "This percentage is vintage, this percentage is modern." Then I also try to talk about switching up the picture frames because you can put a modern piece of artwork in a vintage picture frame. It was just like the art of the mix and match and how to make that work. Then I threw a few, little extras in there that I can't wait for people to see. So did you actually build it in your apartment? Did you hang it? Yeah. I literally built it for Skillshare. It is still in, I like to call it, my hallway, but as one of my friends told me, my house is too small to have a hallway, so it is in the entry/hallway, but it is there. Tell me if I'm wrong, but your background and my background are actually not that dissimilar. Prop styling is basically doing set design before a magazine but not permanent. Sometimes you're judging in people's homes, but often, you're building a set. When I transitioned from styling to doing client work or even during the show, it's like going ahead to put myself back through design school, and I bet that was the same for you. Yes, because what's so funny in set design and prop styling, command strip is like, "Jesus." But don't try to put a command strip in someone's house. You will get a phone call a week later when that item drops on the ground. It's like a rethinking and you do have to retrain yourself because a lot of those little gimmicks and tricks, I call them infomercial techniques, they do not work in your home. So yes, you have to go a different route. You're thinking of what's photogenic and what's going to pop on a photo, and so I've had to shift so much because even for myself, I'm like, "Yes, I know that that sofa, intellectually, is, and aesthetically, so much cool and it's fun but I don't want to sit on it. It's not comfortable." As a stylist, it's all you care about, is what it looks like in a photo, so I've had to retrain that too. No, you do, and also having the art of got options, because what translate on a phone camera, a photograph, actually those two worlds are even different alone, and it's just on a set, I'm allowed to have eight rags stacked up in there. We can test them out. If I pull up to my client's house with eight rags, they're going to be like, "You're very indecisive and I don't know if you know what you're doing." It's like a different frame of thought. Yeah, a lot more planning goes into design work. You might have a mood board, you might have like an idea that the art director gave you, but really, just go shopping and find what's cool and you get all of it, take all of it. The design claims we would have to create a proper mood board and then a proper product board and then order just those products. Absolutely. I'm making it sound less fun, it's still fun. You have to be more careful and intentional with what you're actually purchasing. I think they're both fun. As a pro stylist, we can basically just play Russian Roulette at Target and HomeGoods. It's like whatever happens when you get there happens. That's the run you're going to get. But at a client's home, you do have to be a little more methodical and you have to plan it out, and so you can't cheat or rob. This maybe too small, so you just have to think about it. [inaudible] a little bit different. That is another thing, is cheating. There's so much cheating in photo and video that you cannot do in real life. No. No. There are some tricks you could do like you do it in the evening but then when the client wakes up in the morning, you're like, "I know they're going to catch that." So you've got to play by the rules when your design is somehow [inaudible] Yeah. That feels a little bit different because it is so much more permanent and has to be so practical and functional. I'm still obsessed with the tiny, little, beautiful things that you get at the flea market that most designers don't really care about. They don't care about tiny accessories or miniature spoons, things like that, that stylists do for whatever reason. I'm glad you brought that up because I think, to be honest, I learned a lot from residential design that I can more so or less apply into my set design, which is different because just like when I just think about, as a designer as a whole, when I'm designing things in a client's home, I can get cute, little, smalls. Actually, I learned the art of little, small trick because you love doing that. You too. But on television, when I would try to do that, unless they're zooming in, it doesn't read. What it taught me, from the television aspect, is you go big. For instance, I need the dramatics because the other little, smaller things that probably cost a lot more, you miss out on those just because on television, it doesn't read the same. Ironically, I learned a lot from the residential that teaches me things for the set design. My number 1 tip for beginners. I have two, just really quick. One is just think about how you want it to feel more than how you want to look. I think people, they think they have to come up with a certain vocabulary to describe, like, "This is my style." It's really just how do you want it to feel? Do you want it to feel open an airy or exciting and bold? Give me more adjectives. Think about adjectives versus descriptive words, that I guess, are also adjectives, but you know what I'm saying. Then I think that everybody's heard me say this over and over and over, but choose a consistent color palette and then just shop and style within that color palette so it does give you some cohesiveness throughout your home. I will have to say my go-to is always going to be to have a plan; and when I say have a plan, that's a floor plan. What I would say is take a look in magazines, on Instagram, on Pinterest, etc., and look at schematics and configurations. That's just a fancy word for configurations. Look for the configurations that fit the mode of which you have in your house. If you see a room that has a fireplace on the left side of the wall, try to find a room that's set up like yours. Ignore the sprout furniture. What you're going to look at is the placement. If the sofa's here and they have two chairs across from it, try to stick to that. Then I would say begin to venture out, have a little bit of fun and flexibility with it, but at least have a plan for where things should land and that will at least help you out with the placement. Then the second thing that I would say, for beginners, and this is for just the design in general, this is something that Emily taught me and she'll like this. Whenever you're searching, in a store, for items, and you're on the fence about it, what Emily taught me was you take a trip around the store one time, you go back a second time, and if that item is still there, then you get it because that means you really loved it and it was meant for you. That's a little one that you taught me. I love that. It's funny. I have a new version of that, which is if it's not a hell yes, it's a no, because otherwise, I would accumulate too much stuff. So if I'm debating it, then it's probably a no. I have probably made some mistakes where I've let things go, because especially when you are vintage shopping, it's a once in a lifetime opportunity. You're never going to see that again. It messes with your mind. I'm like, "You didn't respond. It wasn't a hell yes, so it must be a no." But yeah, I do remember that because I would do that at the flea market. I would think about something and if I kept thinking about it throughout the next three hours at the flea market, I kept thinking that clearly, I want it and I should get it. I love to you remember that. Yes. It's so sweet. I feel like I'm learning things about myself from 10 years ago. Thank you, again. I say it so many times, thank you so much for giving me the chance of a lifetime, and I'm glad that it got to come back full circle. But seriously, thank you, thank you, thank you. You're so welcome. I was saying earlier that it's been really, really, really fun watching your career explode the last 10 years. So congratulations. Thank you.