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Home Decor

The 40 best home decor tricks you need to know

Timeless advice on accents, window treatments, finding the right-sized rug and more.
The 40 best home decor tricks you need to know

40 decor tricks

1. Keep investment pieces neutral

Stick to creams, beiges and greys for your sofa and headboard. Get trendy with less expensive items, like pillows and accessories.


The 40 best home decor tricks you need to knowPhoto, Sian Richards.

2. Use dimmer switches

Add dimmers to light switches wherever you can to soften a room's mood with the flip of a — well, you know.


The 40 best home decor tricks you need to know2. Photo, Sian Richards.
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3. Accent with pillows

Mix different-sized prints and patterns in your colour scheme. It’s a simple way to pull a room together.


The 40 best home decor tricks you need to knowPhoto, Roberto Caruso.

4. Avoid impulse buys

Before shopping, map out your room in advance — colour palette, materials, mood — to avoid spending money on items that don’t fit.  



 


The 40 best home decor tricks you need to knowPhoto, Sian Richards.

5. Store odds and ends on trays

Place a tray on a coffee table or sofa to corral smaller items, like books, magazines and remote controls.


The 40 best home decor tricks you need to know
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6. Hang art like a pro

Hanging art too high is a common design error. Ideally, the piece's centre should sit 57 to 60 inches above the floor.


The 40 best home decor tricks you need to knowPhoto, Sian Richards.

7. Use the 3-to-6-inch rule

Mounting art above furniture? Leave three to six inches of wall space above a sofa or headboard.


The 40 best home decor tricks you need to knowPhoto, Sian Richards.

8. Frame wisely

As a general rule, use a thick frame for large art and a thin frame for small pieces.


The 40 best home decor tricks you need to knowPhoto, Sian Richards.
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9. Hang textiles too

Hang a quilt or a textile on your walls (instead of art) for added warmth and texture.


The 40 best home decor tricks you need to knowPhoto, Roberto Caruso.

10. Choose your paint colour last

Match your paint to your furniture — not the other way around. And don’t be afraid of glossy paint: Multiple coats make for a super-shiny, lacquered look. 



 


The 40 best home decor tricks you need to knowPhoto, Sian Richards.

11. Paint trim the same colour as walls

Whether you’re using a light or dark colour, this trick minimizes contrast and makes a room feel larger. (Bonus: It’s also right on trend.) 



 





 


The 40 best home decor tricks you need to knowPhoto, Janis Nicolay.
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12. Use paint to expand a room's dimensions

Make a small room feel larger by painting the walls and the ceiling the same colour. Also consider adding a chair rail, then paint the top half of the wall a lighter shade than the bottom.


The 40 best home decor tricks you need to know

13. Be bold with wallpaper

Small spaces, like entryways, are good spots to experiment with eye-catching wallpaper or bright graphic paint.


The 40 best home decor tricks you need to knowPhoto, Sian Richards.

14. Invest in good light switches and plates

Outdated hardware can stick out like a sore thumb, especially against wallpaper. Contemporary or vintage switches and plates are inexpensive design upgrades.



 


The 40 best home decor tricks you need to knowPhoto, Erik Putz
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15. Work with negative space

Don’t try to fill every inch of your walls. Empty spots impart calmness and allow other design elements to pop.


The 40 best home decor tricks you need to knowPhoto, Sian Richards.

16. Create a look with books

Stack them on a stool, fan them out on a coffee table or display on a console. Books add colour, texture and substance to a room while injecting it with your personality.



 


The 40 best home decor tricks you need to knowPhoto, Roberto Caruso.

17. Layer your lighting

The most interesting rooms combine ambient, task and accent lighting.


The 40 best home decor tricks you need to knowPhoto, Sian Richards.
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18. Add texture with a stunning table lamp

Place them on side tables, entryway consoles and desks.


The 40 best home decor tricks you need to knowPhoto, Roberto Caruso.

19. Manipulate light with mirrors

Add mirrors to reflect light. They give a room a certain sparkle and a bright, open feeling.


The 40 best home decor tricks you need to knowPhoto, Sian Richards.

20. Try a low-hanging pendant light

Forgo the typical table lamp for a ceiling-hung light. (This is a great fix if your ceiling lacks a hard-wired connection.)


The 40 best home decor tricks you need to knowPhoto, Sian Richards.
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21. Use symmetry

Quickly pull together a room by placing a pair of matching lamps on nightstands, opposing end tables, console tables or behind a sofa.


The 40 best home decor tricks you need to knowPhoto, Roberto Caruso.

22. Centre your bed

If possible, position your bed so it can be boarded from either side. It will make the room feel balanced.


The 40 best home decor tricks you need to knowPhoto, Sian Richards.

23. Make your headboard a focal point

In addition to making a bedroom look finished, the headboard is a handy fixture to base your decorating scheme around.


The 40 best home decor tricks you need to knowPhoto, Sian Richards.
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24. Pay attention to scale

One art piece alone couldn’t anchor the wall pictured above, but four fill up the space nicely.


The 40 best home decor tricks you need to knowPhoto, Sian Richards.

25. Change your space with the seasons

Bust out heavier blankets and rugs for fall, and cycle in warmer fabrics and colours.



 


The 40 best home decor tricks you need to knowPhoto, Roberto Caruso.

26. Emphasize specific features

This could be a mantelpiece, a framed view out of a window, a piece of art, a statement light or even a kitchen range. Place your emphasis on this area and make other parts of the room supporting players. 



 


The 40 best home decor tricks you need to knowPhoto, Sian Richards.
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27. Consider a statement rug

Allow a beautifully patterned rug to be the starting point for your decorating scheme. It’s a quick way to establish a colour palette and a mood for your room.


The 40 best home decor tricks you need to knowPhoto, Janis Nicolay.

28. Move seating away from the walls

Assemble pieces around a coffee table to create an intimate conversation area. Situating a console table behind a sofa is another way to lend a room some breathing space.


The 40 best home decor tricks you need to knowPhoto, Roberto Caruso.

29. Beware of

Nautical references, like anchors and seashells, are great in small doses, but going too strong with one particular theme will make your room look clichéd. 



 


The 40 best home decor tricks you need to knowPhoto, Sian Richards.
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30. Choose appropriately sized rugs

At least two of your sofa’s feet and two of your lounge chair’s feet should touch your living room rug. In a dining room, all of your chair legs should fit on the rug when the chairs are pulled out from the table.


The 40 best home decor tricks you need to knowPhoto, Roberto Caruso.

31. Match your dining room table to its chairs

Most tables stand between 29 to 30 inches in height. If yours is taller or shorter, seek out chairs that are proportional so that eating isn’t uncomfortable.



 


The 40 best home decor tricks you need to knowPhoto, Roberto Caruso.

32. Create an everyday centrepiece

Simplify your decor by committing to a default look for your dining room table. Consider items like statement candlesticks, decorative bowls and beautiful runners.



 


The 40 best home decor tricks you need to knowPhoto, Roberto Caruso and Sian Richards.
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33. Hang curtains at the right height

Curtain rods should be mounted at least four inches above a window frame. And make small windows look bigger by extending your curtain rods. (For a standard window, extend your curtain rods approximately 10 inches beyond the frame. For an especially small window, extend the rod even further on either side.)


The 40 best home decor tricks you need to knowPhoto, Sian Richards.

34. Mix window treatments

When the sun shines through an unlined curtain, the colour of the fabric can infuse your room, affecting your paint colour and the overall feel. Layer textured blinds (like bamboo or a roller shade) with curtains to achieve a rich look.


The 40 best home decor tricks you need to knowPhoto, Donna Griffith.

35. Mind your curtain panels

For a single curtain panel, multiply the width of the window by two. For a fuller look, multiply the width by three.


The 40 best home decor tricks you need to knowPhoto, Roberto Caruso.
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36. Consider your sightlines

A house's design should flow from one room to the next. Think about views through doorways or, in an open-concept space, from room to room to make sure they work as a whole.



 


The 40 best home decor tricks you need to knowPhoto, Sian Richards.

37. Buy yourself flowers

Greenery is the cheapest, easiest way to add colour and life to a room.


The 40 best home decor tricks you need to knowPhoto, Sian Richards.

38. Group objects in odd numbers

When creating a vignette, group items in threes, fives or sevens. (Trust — they will look better.)


The 40 best home decor tricks you need to knowPhoto, Sian Richards.
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39. Edit your collectibles

If a piece doesn’t fit, find another home for it — or put it away until you find the right spot.



 


The 40 best home decor tricks you need to knowPhoto, Sian Richards.

40. Remember: You can always change your mind

Made a design mistake? Don’t linger in regret: paint it, sell it, re-do it and move on!



 


The 40 best home decor tricks you need to knowPhoto, Roberto Caruso.

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