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Design a home that inspires

Lauren Fairbanks is a Brooklyn-based writer and editor who has penned for AOL, Young Money, and Eating Well Magazine, among others. She's also the founder and editor of LifeStyler, a NYC centric guide to budget living.

Break the traditional home design rules

Sometimes the best way to design your home is to throw all of the traditional design advice out the window. At least that's Kimberly Friedmutter's view on home design. And she should know — she's created a home with her husband Brad Friedmutter, architect and designer of the famed hotel The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, that's been dubbed Shangri-Las Vegas. We talked to the celebrity hypnotist about how she flips traditional design advice on its head to create whimsical, emotionally connected rooms.

Ethnic home decor

Break the traditional home design rules

Sometimes the best way to design your home is to throw all of the traditional design advice out the window. At least that's Kimberly Friedmutter's view on home design. And she should know — she's created a home with her husband Brad Friedmutter, architect and designer of the famed hotel The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, that's been dubbed Shangri-Las Vegas. We talked to the celebrity hypnotist about how she flips traditional design advice on its head to create whimsical, emotionally connected rooms.

SheKnows: How did you get involved in interior design?

Kimberly Friedmutter: It comes down to doing it [whether] you have the knack or not — just knowing how to put things together well. My whole life people have been really responsive to the homes I've had. And it's more of a spatial creation, instead of decoration.

I had a talk radio show in L.A. for years, and I was kind of doing a Dr. Laura meets Playboy, and that's when I started getting into hypnosis. When I saw how powerful it was, I thought this was really, really intriguing. The more I learned, the more I was able to understand why people were so intrigued by my spaces.

Door knob

SK: You talk a lot about sensory perception. What is that, and how does that affect someone's home?

KF: Sensory perception is about creating emotion. What creates emotion is what you touch, taste and feel. For example, for home we choose reverence and sanctity as the theme. What happens with us is that since we're always on the go, we really honor our home space as that safe nesting place to heal. And I believe firmly that if people did this more, people would be more content. People tend to treat their home as the box around their stuff.

We've dumbed down our spaces to try and make them more efficient, but we're not making them rejuvenating. Get your office out of your bedroom space. Your workout machines should be away from your sleeping space. We're staying at this level that's draining. And I blame this underlying hum of dissatisfaction of life on being unhappy in our home.

Cover yourself with that which you enjoy — fill yourself with it. If you find something you love, grab it and then figure it out when you get home. It's like improv. I always worry about function later. But also, identify what spaces are meant for, and separate your spaces to identify what you're doing where, and do that in that room.

ethnic box

SK: What are some common design rules that you think everyone can use in their homes?

KF:

1

Bring outdoor things in

It changes your perspective of where we are. We're animals, primal. If you take a cement fountain and put it inside, it tricks the body into thinking, "Oh, well that's interesting." I have a fairly sizable indoor fountain and I leave the algae — I literally filled it up this morning and put flowers and lotus blossoms in there. It connects you to the space outdoors and we love that. We leave it on 24 hours a day and it just keeps circulating. It gives you that garden feel inside. And because it's wrong to do, it makes it feel right. Even with outdoor trimmings: Take outdoor tree trimmings and put them in a vase of water. It's all subconscious.

2

No matter what your style is, put an ethnic piece in your rooms

Your guests will zero in on it because it adds this dimension and it says something about your history and your person. It could be as simple as an old chest or an old basket. All of a sudden, it means you're safe, you cherish relics, you have some kind of connection to historical value. These are all subconscious things. When you do that, it shows that you didn't forget about your soul — it's a character reference.

Bedroom decor

3

One of my pet peeves is when people hang their lighting fixtures too high

You can really spectacularize something by lowering it. [Lighting fixtures] that are too high, they feel too tight, too restricting, too unyielding. In our house, the chandelier was too high and we lowered it by about 4 feet. The technicians were like, "Really? Really?" and I was like, "Keep it coming!" But sure enough, ever since we lowered it, people walk in and say, "Oh, what a cool chandelier!" You need to feel your space, not light your ceiling.

My husband [designed] Hank's Steakhouse in Vegas. Hank's has these wonderful drippy pure crystal chandeliers and they're just about at each table and they have to pull the table out so you don't hit the chandelier. They're in the way, and that's how you want them because the presentation of it makes it spectacular and then helps set the mood.

Table with candle

SK: Your website, ShangriLasVegas.com, has a great collection of curated furniture and interesting knickknacks. What is your design aesthetic inspired by?

KF: It's inspired by travel. These are all pieces that I want [for my home], by the way. They're showstoppers. There are all these cool multi-use things that you can do lots with. Like the meditation stool that has the wood and you can sit things inside of it. I use mine filled with candles and picture frames and as a little feature to step up and make the coffee table look unique. Things that can be repurposed in these really unique and surprising ways. That's what inspires me — simple things.

More on home decor and design

Top 5 home decorating don'ts
How to choose the right color palette for your living room
Home design websites that make decorating fun

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