Decorating isn’t your favorite thing; in fact, it’s not even in your top 50. Don’t worry – your space can still look amazing without spending countless hours planning its design. These simple tips will allow your inner interior designer to shine through. You just may end up impressing yourself.
Now to some people, decluttering may not sound like a decorating tip, but it’s probably the most important part of the process. Remove everything that has no reason to be in the room, or that doesn’t enhance the decor – in other words, leave the furniture and anything else you deem essential. For added benefit, keep three boxes handy – one for trash, one for items to donate and one for things to keep – and place each item you remove from the room into one of the boxes. Take a good look at the clutter-free room and start thinking about the available space and any consistent themes or colors you find among what’s left in the room.
2. Talk Time: Conversational Groupings
Furniture placement has a huge impact on how the room feels as a whole. One trick used by home-staging experts, interior designers, and realtors alike is to create conversational groupings in the living room. Arrange your sofa and chairs (or whatever seating you have available) across from one another in a cozy grouping, as if you were inviting a few close friends over for casual conversation. Place a coffee table or ottoman in the center, within access of all or most of the seats. Your home will immediately feel more cozy and inviting, regardless of additional decor pieces brought into the space.
3. Let There Be Light
Natural light makes any room feel more inviting, spacious and airy. Incorporating the natural light will add the brightness your decor needs to let your style shine through. Ditch heavy curtains and opt for a lighter fabric. If you do chose heavier fabric curtains, open them up to allow light in during the day. (If you prefer a little privacy, sheer white curtain panels let in the light without you feeling like you’re being from outside.) White and light-colored sheers can be used on their own or paired with heavier light-blocking drapes that can be closed, as needed.
4. Mirror Magic
A small room without much natural light can make the space feel a bit claustrophobic, dark and uninviting. Enhance whatever light reaches the room through clever mirror placement. Place a large mirror on a wall opposite or next to a window to gain more light (and another view of the window). A mirror placed partially behind a table lamp reflects the light from the lamp, adding more illumination to the space. A wide mirror above a sofa makes the furniture look more prominent and grand, creating a focal point in that area of the room. Mirrors work with any decor style too; pick a frame that plays off other decorative elements in the room for a cohesive effect.
5. Pick a Theme
When it’s time for a complete overhaul of a room’s style, there’s no need to get overwhelmed. Find your ideal theme by thinking about things that interest you — travel, walks on the beach, vintage Hollywood or luxury hotel rooms, for instance. You may even find inspiration from items you’ve collected over the years.
If you still aren’t sure what you like, visit a home imports store, thumb through a few catalogs (West Elm or Pottery Barn, for instance), or check out pin boards or sites full of room decor photos and ideas. Write down what interests you most and you’ll find a theme and a few color options that work for you. Your theme doesn’t even have to be a cookie cutter for an existing style, for instance. Mix styles for an eclectic look, using color to tie the look together. It only takes two or three similar pieces to give the room a sense of theme or style.
6. Add Personality With Patterns
A few patterned fabrics pack an epic amount of punch in a room decorated solely solid colors. Add throw pillows or an accent piece decorated in chevrons, a damask print or another pattern that catches your eye, keeping the room’s color scheme in mind.
Mix and match colors a bit, keeping your choices down to three or four main hues. Blue, white and orange – along with patterns featuring two of the three colors –team up for a cheery effect; a hint of red in a room decorated in earthy tones adds surprising impact.
7. Accents Walls: Major Impact, Minimal Effort
Problem: A fresh color would look good in the living room, but you aren’t so sure about repainting the entire space. Solution: Accent wall. Paint one wall in a color other than the rest to turn it into a focal point for the room. For instance, a cobalt blue wall above a fireplace adds a sense of balance and depth in a room decorated with a warm yellow-orange color wash. A cheery orange accent wall in a somewhat sterile space instantly amps up the energy and makes the space more inviting. If you aren’t sure what color to go with, look to some of your furniture or decorative accessories for inspiration.
8. Work With What You Have
You’d be surprised how easy it is to give a room (or your entire home) a new look just by rearranging and repurposing items you already have. Move a piece of wall art from the bedroom to the living room. Take a few unused picture frames, paint them all the same color or two, then hang them on the wall to create a funky gallery effect. Turn your antique bottle collection into an illuminating display for a windowsill, or repurpose them into vases by adding a few fresh-cut flowers. Check your closets, the junk drawer, attic and garage for pieces you can repaint, rearrange or reuse in new ways for a completely inexpensive or even free way to update any room in the house.
Whatever your style may be take it and run with it. Don’t be afraid to try out new trends and styles in your own home. There are so many fun and easy ways to redecorate your home and there is no time like the present!