This super easy TikTok design hack is the key to elevating any space – and designers agree

Creator and designer Hans Lorei Design took to TikTok to share this genius yet easy hack to elevating even the most bland of spaces

tiktok design hack for pairing 1 normal thing with 1 unique thing
(Image credit: BAINA / 22 Interiors / Photography Noah Webb / Studio Atkinson)

Designing an entire room or home, something we frequently talk about here at Homes & Gardens, is not as simple as it seems. There's a myriad of decisions and purchases to be made, and sometimes you really don't have the time, energy, or budget to redo the whole space at once.

So, what if we told you that thanks to TikTok trends, there's actually a really simple design hack to elevating your already existing fixtures, fittings, and furnishings? No demolition necessary. 

Creator and designer of short-term rental spaces, Hans Lorei, took to TikTok to share this genius yet super easy hack to refreshing even the most bland of spaces. The trick is as simple as this: for every seemingly "normal" (aka boring, bland, or average) item in the room, pair it with something unique or interesting. And we think he might just be onto something.


Design hack: pair 1 interesting thing with 1 normal thing to make everything look better #interiordesign #interior #homedecor #homedesign #interiordesigner

♬ original sound - Hans Lorei Design

TikTok Design Hack: Unique Pairings

jonathan adler designed neutral living room with statement art

(Image credit: Jonathan Adler)

The concept is a brilliantly simple yet effective design hack that promises to elevate a room effortlessly. 'Here is a design framework that will help make every room look better,' says Hans Lorei (@hansloreidesign) in the video. 'Pair one "normal" thing with one interesting thing.' His tips revolve around one straightforward principle: pairing mundane elements with captivating counterparts.

For instance, if your bedroom boasts a typical bed, Hans suggests introducing a touch of intrigue with unique lamps. And the same concept applies across various rooms. 

A regular kitchen island can be rejuvenated with the addition of new stools, a bland bathroom can be transformed with vibrant towels, and a conventional dining room table can come to life with an attention-grabbing light above it. By combining everyday items with more eye-catching elements, you can breathe new life into an otherwise tired-looking space.

modern organic dining room with large oversized rattan light fixtures

(Image credit: 22 Interiors / Photography Noah Webb)

By placing unique objects, art pieces, and distinctive furnishings strategically, the result is a harmonious blend of the ordinary and the extraordinary. According to Hans, it is this intentional juxtaposition that is the key to creating a designed look in your home – and one that catches the eye.

'Pairing standard basics with statement pieces is a key design principle in ensuring that your home is both functional as well as stylish,' agrees interior designer Kathy Kuo. 'In many homes, it's hard to avoid having a certain amount of basic pieces that don't exactly exude luxury or high design, especially if you're aiming to be conscious of having a reasonable budget.'

kathy kuo home
Kathy Kuo

Kathy Kuo is a celebrated interior designer and international guru within the home and lifestyle space. She has 20+ years of experience in the design industry. 

marble neutral bathroom with an unexpected yellow lamp

(Image credit: Cathy Nordstrom / Photography Fanny Rådvik)

'Focus on dressing up your basics and making them shine with thoughtful styling and investing in some really bold and statement-making decor pieces,' Kathy continues. 

'For example, a bland bookshelf can totally come alive by styling the shelves with unique sculptures, bookends, and stacks of colorful art books; and a run-of-the-mill bed can look completely luxe if you invest in some visually interesting decorative pillows and throw blankets!'

neutral living room with unexpected red lamp

(Image credit: Studio Atkinson)

The concept, not dissimilar to that of the TikTok coined 'Unexpected Red Theory', is all about introducing an element of surprise, showcasing an eye for detail without the need for extensive renovations or redecorating.

'Decorating with meaningful pieces is not about chasing an aesthetic but curating spaces that resonate with authenticity and personal stories,' says Gideon Mendelson, founder and creative director of Mendelson Group. 'The true essence of this 'trend' lies in the subtleties and the intimate connection between a space and its inhabitants.'

'Personally, I have a pair of vintage French plaster shell sconces in my home that I bought 15 years ago and they still feel fresh and relevant today,' explains Gideon. 'They add an elegant, yet whimsical and beachy quality to a relatively formal space. I like the juxtaposition. Furthermore, this movement doesn't always have to be expensive and can be a great way to curate a space,' he adds.

So, the next time you find yourself surrounded by the ordinary, heed Hans Lorei's simple advice and look to invigorate it with a touch of uniqueness.

In a world inundated with design trends and complex décor options, this design framework emerges as quite the breath of fresh air. The beauty of this approach lies in its simplicity – the idea that elevating our living spaces doesn't require a complete overhaul. Instead, by adopting the simple yet effective strategy of pairing the "normal" with the "unique," we can transform our homes into curated spaces that exude both comfort and style.

Charlotte Olby
Style & Trends Editor

Charlotte is style and trends editor at Homes and Gardens, and has been with the team since Christmas 2023. Following a 5 year career in Fashion, she has worked at many women's glossy magazines including Grazia, Stylist, and Hello and most recently worked as Interiors Editor for British heritage department store Liberty. Her role at H&G fuses her love of style with her passion for interior design, and she is currently undergoing her second home renovation in Surrey - you can follow her journey over on @olbyhome