You might not know Carlos Mota’s name, but you’ve definitely seen his work. His design touch has graced the pages of interior design bibles such as Elle Décor (where he was the former editor at large) and Architectural Digest (where he is currently the international style editor). His unique approach to design (sometimes “more is more,” he says) has rendered countless rooms into perfection, and now his new book, A Touch of Style (Assouline), chronicles his career with 200 glossy illustrations of the many vibrant rooms he’s styled.
Here, Mota offers advice on how to take a room from drab to dynamic. Sometimes it’s the little things that count, he emphasizes.
Tip 1: Let Your Art Leak From the Canvas
“Enhance the orange colour in the painting by using orange poppies. Pick a colour in your room and make a statement with flowers in the same colour.”
Tip 2: It’s the Small Things That Matter
“Small touches can bring unexpected and fun additions of colour. In this case it’s the chartreuse ashtray and the purple and orange flowers, not to mention the pillow.”
Tip 3: Flower Power
“I love flowers—every home should have flowers. It makes the room happier, and more alive. In this case, [adding flowers] looks more summery. I brought summer to this Parisian living room.”
Tip 4: Freshen Up Your Arrangements
“Sometimes, simple arrangements of green foliage is all you need to complete a moment. Also, green looks great with the blue china. It feels very fresh.”
Tip 5: Bring the Outside In
“This is the perfect touch. Just two fern leaves from the garden outside. [The look] is really simple, easy and will cost you nothing.”