AT just 23 years old, luxury interior designer Bilal Rehman is an expert on all things chic – and how to get the look on the cheap.
Bilal regularly makes TikToks for his over 100,000 followers, teaching them how they can style their own space.
“There are lots of simple things that will make a big difference in any home,” Bilal said, in an exclusive interview with The U.S. Sun.
He shared some of his easy and transformative tips.
“Just doing things like raising your curtains from the floor to the ceiling, getting a larger size rug or scaling a room to size can elevate a space.”
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One thing he is not a fan of: furniture sets.
“Your chairs and sofas and coffee tables shouldn’t all match,” he said.
“Take out the side tables or some of the furnishings you have in the other room and swap them out.
“Incorporate mix matched lamps and always break up a set.
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“Change out the pillows on your sofa so that they are not all the same, or get a pop of color somewhere.
“These are all things that are easy to update.
“Sizing is also important – the appearance of having appropriate proportions is crucial.”
When it comes to the bedroom, Bilal wants to stop you before you make this mistake.
He said: “A lot of people don’t think they need to center their bed or have two nightstands.
“This really takes away a sense of symmetry when you are trying to unwind and relax.
“Space is something you can’t sacrifice – but you can get a smaller scale nightstand or push the bed off of the wall so that it will appear more central in the room.”
Bilal also advises not to clutter up your home with lots of smaller scale accessories, saying they look “tacky.”
“It makes everything feel choppy,” he said.
“I would opt for getting a larger statement piece like a big bowl or a larger scale vase as a focal feature instead of trying to fill up every nook and cranny.
“It looks disorganized and cheapens the look.”
Bilal is also a fan of budget buys.
“You don’t have to break the bank. You can go to a vintage store, a flea market, or a even a trip to Target can result in some finds,” he said.
He also advises to focus on spaces you use the most first.
“The living room is a place for entertaining with friends, so you want it to feel inviting and welcome and cozy,” he said.
“The bedroom is a place to unwind and be romantic or incorporate rituals, and where you get ready in the morning, so that needs to have its own voice. “
When it comes to holiday decorating, Bilal says don’t buy plastic turkeys or other junky decor.
“Decorate around the aesthetic you already have in your home,” he said.
“Run with a theme or a color pattern and incorporate it into your decor.
“You can use a fall palette or say silver if you like, and weave it into your table settings.
“You want it to feel incorporated and thematic, not like it’s taken over.
“Use a festive centerpiece on the table – a larger statement piece is richer looking than having small objects everywhere.
“You can upgrade things cheaply as well by adding linens or using nameplates.”
In order to help even more women get the haute home of their dreams, Bilal recently opened a gallery offering unique furniture and accessories.
Those who don’t have the budget to work with a studio can now buy some of Bilal’s handpicked finds that have been carefully curated from local artists around the world on bilalstudio.com.
“We change our inventory every two weeks and everything is one of a kind,” he said.
“It’s all from my travels or connections over the years.
“Pieces range from $3 to the thousands. The philosophy is that these things should be accessible to everybody.”
Growing up with immigrant parents, Bilal dreamed of having a creative career – but his family wanted him to take a more traditional clear cut path.
He wound up studying to become a computer engineer but he was more interested in making spaces look nice than math.
Bilal landed an interior design internship and immediately fell in love with the industry.
Fast forward six years, and he opened his own design firm, Bilal Rehman Studio, based in Houston, Texas.
Bilal Rehman offers one stop stylish decorating shopping.
“Companies tend to focus on either residential or commercial or hospitality, but my vision for my studio was to offer something for everyone – and for any kind of vibe.”
“We have a team of multi-faceted designers all with different expertise under one roof,” he explained.
Bilal explained his own style as being a mix of New York, Los Angeles and Miami all merged together.
“I would describe it as being timeless and traditional meets ultra contemporary.
“It’s crazy and wild and unique. We’re very focused on the experience of people in their space.”
They are also concerned about other elements of a space including the texture, materials, fabric, and even smell.
“Finding a smell that works in a commercial space can be a challenge because you have to find a scent that everyone agrees upon.
“I found Aroma Tech when I was looking for a scent machine for my own apartment. You can come up with any fragrance you can imagine.
“It’s the cherry on top of the complete experience you have in a property.
“You can mimic smells based on seasons, or travel, etc.”
He explained that design not only adds a sexy feel to any space – it can impact your mood.
“It can make you feel happier and more energetic, especially when a space is more functional.
“Design can elevate a home and show a different way of living.”
Bilal’s parents have also come around to his career choice.
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He redid both of their homes – while keeping their more muted color palettes and traditional aesthetic in mind – but was still able to keep things fresh and contemporary.
“I convinced them I can pay my bills,” he joked.
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