Lee Snijders Breaking The Rules Of Design


Here are Lee Snijders simple design tips that break the rules of traditional design standards and check out more tips at Lee Snijders Designs


lee snijders of HGTV Design on a DImeLee Snijders Designer


  • Mid to dark tones actually can make your room look larger, because they absorb light, giving the room depth.  Lighter colors reflect light, causing your eyes to stop on a flat plain.
  • The easiest way to pick a color for a room is to choose the least dominant color out of an art piece, duvet cover or area rug. 
  • Accessories and plants are the fastest way to transform a space, not paint.  Paint however is the cheapest way to transform a space.
  • Mix in silk plants with live plants.  Use live plants below and silk plants up above (where it is hard to water a plant) in niches.  By incorporating both, it is hard to tell which ones are the real ones and which ones are the silk ones.
  • By pulling furniture away from the walls and into the room, you can now accessories adding more depth and a sense of intimacy in the space.
  • You can give the illusion that a room is taller, by placing all of your artwork vertical, by placing tall plants in the corners and using taller linear furniture pieces.  This will draw your eye line up to the ceiling, creating forced perspective.  To make a room look longer, place everything horizontally (low profile furniture, horizontal pictures), causes your eye line to move from one side to another.
  • Using dark and light stains can add additional color and contemporary contrast.

Lee Snijders high energy and personable style has given him the ability to gain instant rapport with his guests. His playful interaction on camera has brought many humorous and memorable moments to HGTV’s ninety three million viewers where Lee has enjoyed a successful four years as the host of HGTV’s reality show, Design on a Dime. 

Lee will be the first person to tell you that he’s not your stereotypical designer; his approach to design comes from his diverse creative background.   Lee’s inviting and sophisticated interiors range from classic mid modern and contemporary styles, to his own unique tropical environments.
Lee’s passion for entertaining and design began at an early age.  In 1990, Lee created Lee Snijders Designs, which encompassed his love of interior and furniture design.  While working as a designer, Lee began designing multi dimensional wall sculptures and started exhibiting his work in trendy underground galleries.  He then created his own “signature” limited edition art collection for the exclusive Martin Lawrence Galleries.  In 1995, Lee was given the opportunity to work with Walt Disney Imagineering as a dimensional designer where he became part of the WDI creative team.  For four years, Lee helped to create numerous theme parks and attractions. 

In 2001, Lee was asked to be the spokesperson for House to Home, which propelled his dream to be a part of the growing “home remodeling” television market.  In 2002, he was invited as a guest designer on HGTV’s Designing for the Sexes and was the “chosen” designer on two episodes of Designers Challenge.  Lee’s longest career endeavor would soon follow, which encompasses his love of entertaining and design as the Host and Designer of HGTV’s highest rated show.

Lee’s high demand for personal appearances launched his successful “Breaking the Rules” national appearance tour which landed him in the studios of ABC, CBS and NBC morning news shows, the popular Today Show and across the oceans to Good Morning Jamaica.

Lee’s entrepreneurial drive and motivational spirit has been recognized in several magazines such as Entrepreneur, TV Guide, Business Leader, House Beautiful and numerous news articles.  He’s even reached pop culture status as a TV Guide cross word puzzle clue, not once but twice.

Lee Snijders former career as a Walt Disney Imagineer has taught him, “as long as you have imagination your creativity is limitless”. 

‘Design on a Dime’ host shares summer home improvement tips

Article published on Friday, Sept. 16, 2005

ST. PETERSBURG – Lee Snijders, host and designer of HGTV’s “Design on a Dime,” visited the Lowes store Aug. 20.

Carrying personal household items such as vases, lamps, and outdoor pots, spectators patiently waited in line for their opportunity to speak with Snijders about their individual ideas.

“Design on a Dime” is HGTV’s highest rated television show. With a budget of $1,000, a host and design team transform a selected homeowner’s decorating and design dilemma into a room of modern and stylish marvel.

As spokesperson for KILZ, manufacturer of primer and other paint products, Snijders enthusiastically shared one day project ideas with fans, homeowners, and curious store on-lookers. According to a KILZ survey, 30 percent of Americans nominated their kitchens as most in need of home improvement help this summer with bathrooms coming in at a close 27 percent. More than half of those surveyed admitted to abandoning a home improvement project they started.

Currently in the process of remodeling her kitchen and dining room, homeowner Jan Scott asked Snijders specific questions regarding paint colors and how to best tie the two rooms together. After her quick consultation, Scott headed straight for the paint department to select her colors, feeling good about the advice Snijders gave her.

While there are many design shows, “Design on a Dime” stands out for its out-of-the–box design creations.

“We are not your traditional designers,” said Snijders. “We break all the rules when it comes to colors, placement, fabrics, and textures. It’s about creating an illusion.”

For instance, he commented that while it’s a popular “rule” that lighter colors make a room look larger, he prefers a darker palette.

“Deeper tones absorb light, creating the illusion of depth and character,” Snijders said.

Shane Merriman, operations manager for the St. Petersburg Lowes store, commented that the store had approximately one month’s notice for Snijders’ visit. Snijders made appearances on NBC’s “Tampa Bay Today,” FOX’s “Good Day Tampa Bay” and ABC’s “Action News: Tampa Bay” the day prior to the event.

A few KILZ “Summer Saturday” tips include painting your kitchen the color of food (consider eggplant, caramel, buttery yellow or chocolate brown) to entice guests to get in the mood to eat; perk up patios by re-finishing old ceramic and terra cotta flower pots with color, patterns or designs and sealing them with an oil-based primer to ensure wet soil and water don’t affect the final result; create one wall as a focal point in a room by changing its color.

A unique idea for bathrooms: select a paint color that is in contrast to your hair color, making your hair style stand out for easier styling.

Snijders also shared some of his personal decorating tricks such as placing live plants throughout a home in low places such as a floor or plant stand to give it instant warmth. Guests will assume that silk and other artificial plants placed in higher spaces of your home are real too.

“Never place furniture up against a wall to make a room appear larger. The illusion of space is created when there are no direct lines for the eye to follow,” said Snijders.

For instance, placing a couch more toward the center of the room and placing a couch table behind it, will take the focus off the perimeter of the floor’s edge.

From Snijders perspective, the main element that sets “Design on a Dime” apart from all other design shows is that the creative talents on this show give people what they want.

“Many design shows are into creating shock value. That’s not what we are about. We interview the homeowners and really get a feel for what they want, and take all those considerations into our design plans. We take the extra step to give it that edge, but compliment the personalities of those we’re creating the new look for.”

The 37-year-old’s career highlights include the creation of his own company Lee Snijders Designs, creating artistic sculptures and working for several Walt Disney World locations as an Imagineer creating some of Disney’s most memorable set designs. He has also competed in three episodes of “Designers Challenge” (winning twice), made numerous television appearances including “House to Home” and “Designing for the Sexes” and has been profiled in a number of publications. His newest endeavor focuses on the release of two new books available next year, “Breaking the Rules” and “Illusion of the Design.”

Article published on Friday, Sept. 16, 2005

Copyright © Tampa Bay Newspapers: All rights reserved.



July 25, 2005 12:48 ET

Brush Up Your Home in Just One Saturday

HGTV's Design Expert Lee Snijders Shares His Secrets

ST. LOUIS, MO -- (MARKET WIRE) -- July 25, 2005 --It's no surprise that Americans' summer plans include time for sun and fun. But for a large number of people, it's also time for adventures in home improvement. According to a new survey* conducted on behalf of KILZ®, more than 80 percent of Americans admit to putting off home repairs until the summer.

Their good intentions, however, don't always yield results. Many people choose to spend time at the pool, vacation or relax and home improvement projects often fall to the wayside. In fact, 60 percent of those surveyed admitted to starting home improvement projects, but not completing them. And, nearly half said they've abandoned a project more than two times.

The key to checking off summer home improvement projects is using insider tips to tackle (and complete) a task in a day -- allowing extra time for family and fun.

"As the pace of life picks up this summer, you can still set aside an afternoon for quick home improvement projects that will make an impact," said Lee Snijders, host of HGTV's "Design on a Dime." "There are a number of simple projects that are easy and inexpensive, but will make a real difference in the look of your home."

Snijders, who has re-designed more than 100 rooms on HGTV's "Design on a Dime," says primer is the "secret weapon" to take something that is an eyesore and make it eye-popping. In fact, primers can be used on more than just walls. With the right technique, primer can prep glossy surfaces like kitchen cabinets, revamp an old lamp, wake up a weary floor, revitalize old outdoor furniture or cover up awful colors from past fashion trends.

"Primer is a great tool to help you deliver professional-looking results for home improvement projects like repainting walls or refinishing wood furniture and cabinets," said Snijders.

Transform Your Home

When it comes to rooms that are most in need of home improvement help, Americans nominated their bathrooms and kitchens. Snijders teamed up with KILZ to develop KILZ Summer Saturdays, a series of one-day projects that can take any room from dull to dazzling.

-- Perk Up Patios: Add pizzazz to an outdoor living space in an hour by
re-finishing old ceramic and terra cotta flower pots with vibrant colors,
patterns or designs. Take terra cotta pots and seal them with an oil-based
primer, like KILZ Original, to ensure wet soil and water won't damage your
final design. Add a fresh coat of paint -- in any style you like -- and
you have new accent pieces for patios, window sills or front porches.

-- Hair-Brained Design: Turn your bathroom into a hairdresser's heaven.
Snijders suggests changing your bathroom wall color to contrast your hair
color, which makes it easier to see and style your hair. Use a dark wall
color, such as chocolate brown or deep purple, to enhance light hair
colors, and a light shade, such as sky blue, to highlight dark hair.

-- Refresh Old Floors: In one weekend, you can change the look of a
bathroom or kitchen by re-finishing the floor. Pull up old linoleum to
expose concrete floors and paint the floor with a dark, warm color.
Remember to seal the floor first with a mildew-resistant prime, such as
KILZ Premium, let dry and apply a fresh coat of paint. Finish with a
glossy top coat to make the floor shine.

-- Let There Be (New) Light: Give an old wood lamp a shabby chic look by
re-finishing it. Snijders suggests sealing the surface with a spray
primer, such as KILZ Upshot®. Then, apply a coat of rub & buff metal
paint, which can be found at a local craft store. After it dries, wipe off
the metal paint for a textured look.

-- Wonderful Walls: Enhance the look and feel of a room quickly by
creating one wall as a focal point with a change of color. Apply your
desired color of paint, then use a rag or a plastic bag and press it into
the paint while still wet to create depth and texture.

About KILZ®:
Introduced in 1974, KILZ® is a stainblocking primer for professionals and do-it-yourself home improvement projects. Designed to tackle the toughest stains, KILZ is available in multiple formulas. For more information, call 866-PRIMER-1 or log onto www.kilz.com. KILZ® Casual Colors® offers a full line of premium quality paints with a one-coat guarantee. For details of the Limited Warranty log on to www.casualcolors.com or call 866-ASK-KILZ. HAMMERITE® Rust Cap® is a long-lasting quick dry enamel that lets you paint right over rust, with no primer needed. Visit www.rustcap.com for more information. KILZ, KILZ Casual Colors and HAMMERITE Rust Cap are marks of the Masterchem Industries LLC, which is based in St. Louis, Mo.

*Impulse Research Corporation conducted a national online survey with a random sample of 1,512 men and women -- all members of the CyberPulse Advisory Panel -- for KILZ. The overall sampling error is +/- 2.5% at the 95% level of confidence.

Check out Lee's biography and pics at


Lee Snijders Designs

Wikipedia Design on a DIme

Better Homes And Gardens article