Casa Cambiada

No matter your household budget, you can spruce up your space with expert ideas from New York City–based diseñadora Nina Isabella, founder of Nina Interiors & Styling.

Sala Sensual

Think rich texturas. Layer them on thick throughout the room, says Isabella, creating an abundancia of beg-to-be-touched telas. “Pillows, throws, window treatments and rugs -- they’ll all warm the space at relatively little expense,” says Isabella, who shops at IKEA for low-cost cool rugs. Next, change up el arte. “Use a different theme or color palette as a foundation,” says Isabella, adding that she routinely scours Etsy for eye-catching one-of-a-kind artwork at reasonable prices.

Add inspiration-on-demand by stacking splashy revistas and libros on chairs in corners and on floors, keeping an eye on how the binding colors combine. “We have no fewer than six piles of each around our home at any given time,” says Isabella. “Nothing says ‘lazy day’ more than reading material at the ready.” Lastly, infuse the room with intoxicating fragrancia. Make a ritual of lighting a candle or diffuser whenever you enter.

Lights in la Cocina

Never underestimate the power of el efecto visual. “Add tabletop lamps and mirrors to add warmth -- without relying on predictable and harsh overhead lighting.” Display pottery to brighten and add character; check out for such finds. Finally, add punches of fresh green with a potted jardín de hierba. “I keep a window box of herbs off the kitchen and can easily snip as I cook. In winter, I replant and keep them inside,” says Isabella.

La Recámara Romántica

Keep it simple. “It should feel uncluttered,” says Isabella. “Relaxed and romantic.” Remove any desk or television and reserve the space for relajación. “You should be able to fully detach from work there,” says Isabella. Next, splatter on fresh paint. “I’m into darker hues for bedrooms. People tend to go lighter -- it’s safe, uplifting. But darker shades bring coziness, which is what we want in our bedrooms.” Use bright, energizing colores in cocinas, and reserve darker cafés de cocoa for bedrooms.

Photo Credit: Eric Morales (

by Julie D. Andrews