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Top 10 Decorating Ideas

Linda is a seasoned writer and home-decorating authority. She loves sharing design trends, decor ideas, and useful tips with her readers.

If you recently moved and want to restyle your new digs we have a list of top 10 decorating tips that can change things up without much effort. You can bring in a new rug, lamp, plant or ottoman to add a fresh and unique style to your space.

Simple ideas like these can create a dramatic transformation. It doesn’t really matter whether you live in a studio apartment, bungalow cottage or a rambler ranch these ideas will work in a home of any size. We’ll show you how you give your place a distinctive look and feel.

Adding bits of color, furnishings, lighting and greenery will make a world of difference in your home. These suggestions will help determine your room’s color palette, curate personal accessories that speak to you and discover perfect furniture pieces. This list of designer tricks can easily revamp your home’s interior without breaking the bank.

1. Use Rugs to Anchor the Room

Here are the basics for the placement of an area rug: To define the living room, place the sofa and chair front legs on the rug. Whether your living space is either small or large you need a rug size that is suitable for the seating area.

If the rug is the wrong size it will throw off the scale and make the room look awkward. Before you go out and buy a rug plan the layout of your room. Think about the size of furniture, doorways and separation within an open concept space.

An area rug pulls the furniture into the room.

An area rug pulls the furniture into the room.

2. Go with Neutrals and Pops of Color

If you’re not sure what color to use on the walls why not go with the new neutrals, such as white dove, latte, greige, pinkish white, gray mist, rich cashmere, mink, gold dust and silver fox. Choose a single paint strip and go with one or two shades that flow from room to room.

While it is often tempting to paint each room in vibrant colors it makes more sense to go with neutrals and bring in bright pops of color with pillows, artwork, upholstery or accessories. Subtle neutrals are easy on the eyes instead of contrasting colors which tend to clash. This way a few splashes of color will complement the room's palette and make it a happy home.

A soft neutral gray makes it easy to bring in artwork with a pop of color.

A soft neutral gray makes it easy to bring in artwork with a pop of color.

3. Add Greenery

Bring on the plants to give your home natural beauty, organic elements and a healthy environment. They impart verdant colors, create living accessories and improve indoor air quality. Use plants in every space that add energy and provide a cheerful look in each room.

Plants don’t take up too much space and add a variety of shapes and sizes. Position potted plants in terrariums, decorative containers, wall planters and macrame holders. Arrange smaller plants on shelves or tables, hang them from the ceiling or place indoor trees in corners.

A wall of plants adds life to the space.

A wall of plants adds life to the space.

4. Make Your Ceilings Look Taller

If your house has relatively low ceilings you can make the space less cramped by painting ceilings a bright white. Another way to trick the eye into making the walls look much taller, hang your window curtains all the way up to the ceiling or the crown molding.

Ready made standard curtain panel lengths come in 63, 84, 96 or 108 inches. Depending on the room’s ceiling height hang them above the window opening until the bottom hem hits the floor. If you like patterned curtains try vertical stripes that visually lengthen the walls.

Taking the curtain rods above the top of the window gives the room a visual higher ceiling.

Taking the curtain rods above the top of the window gives the room a visual higher ceiling.

5. Incorporate Personal Accessories

When it comes to accessories don’t limit yourself to trendy accessories. To make your home special choose distinctive items from your travels or local places where you spend time like the museum, beach or botanical garden. Look for unique items that speak to you, such as a handcrafted vase, coffee table books, artisan sculptures, energy crystals, eclectic objects or vintage collectibles.

Collected objects make your room feel personal.

Collected objects make your room feel personal.

6. Let the Sun In

If you don’t require privacy let in natural light without hanging heavy curtains, shades or blinds over the windows. Instead install breezy sheers to soften hard surfaces. Pick lightweight fabrics in neutral colors that won’t fade from the sun. Natural gauzy curtains like linen, silk blends or cotton hang beautifully and won’t obscure the sunlight.

A room with few windows can work magic with mirrors to make it much brighter. The reflective surfaces help bounce light around the space. Hang a mirror on the wall in the correct spot to enhance natural light. Place it adjacent to a window to catch just the right angle of light and avoid glare.

Sheers add a bit of privacy but in lots of natural light.

Sheers add a bit of privacy but in lots of natural light.

7. Creative Lighting for Your Home

Lighting is one of the most important elements in the home. Lighting designers layer natural, ambient, task and accent lighting throughout the house. Using multiple lighting fixtures minimize shadows, reduce glare and create visual depth and balance.

Each space requires at least three types of lighting. General illumination is typically used with ceiling lights. Task fixtures, such as under cabinet lighting, table lamps, pendants and floor lamps are great for reading and close work. Directional accent lights and uplights accentuate artwork, architectural details and highlight floor plants.

Multiple lighting layers open up the space and create general illumination.

Multiple lighting layers open up the space and create general illumination.

8. Fill Your Walls with Art

Art is an essential design component that immediately transforms a room with color and movement. Art with specific colors and style will complement the room and serve as a focal point. Always purchase art that fits within your budget.

If you can’t afford paintings, mixed media or photography by local artists check out used artwork at garage sales, thrift stores and flea markets. Another inexpensive option is DIY artwork. You can create your own canvas with splatter paint, abstract brushstrokes or layered watercolor.

Purchase a blank canvas and go to town with paints and your imagination.

Purchase a blank canvas and go to town with paints and your imagination.

9. Create an Intimate Conversation Area

Invite family and friends to enjoy cordial conversations. Arrange your living room furniture to create balance and seating for intimate chats. Two chairs and a sofa facing each other make a warm and welcoming conversation area.

Avoid placing furniture against the walls to keep the room cozy. Consider a sectional, sofa chaise or curved sofa paired with an accent chair for relaxed, informal and cohesive group. If you prefer traditional seating, place two identical sofas facing each other or a try four club chairs surrounding a coffee table or ottoman in the center of the conversation area.

Placing opposite sofas make for a cozy conversation area.

Placing opposite sofas make for a cozy conversation area.

10. Refurbish Old Fixtures

This budget-friendly option is a great way to update things around the house. Outdated kitchen and bathroom cabinetry is relatively easy to refinish. Bring them back to life with a swift sanding, paint and new hardware. Your old laminate countertops can go from ugly to updated using a restoration kit that includes multiple paint colors and a protective coating to give it the appearance of new granite.

One of the easiest and cheapest changes is swapping out cracked and discolored outlet covers and switch plates that coordinate with the room. What about that brass chandelier in the dining room or bathroom vanity lights? Instead of buying a new light fixture take it from tarnished brass to brushed nickel or rubbed bronze with a can of spray paint.

Don't toss the old brass chandelier. Paint will update it.

Don't toss the old brass chandelier. Paint will update it.

© 2019 Linda Chechar

Start a Conversation!

Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on April 15, 2019:

Dianna, that's right. Lighting emphasizes virtually every design element in the home. You're welcome!

Dianna Mendez on April 15, 2019:

Great suggestions and so simple to put in place. I find lighting so important in my home. Thank you for the creative ideas.

Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on April 13, 2019:

CindyBBell, So glad you enjoyed this article. Thanks for saving on Pinterest!

CindyBBell from Smyrna, Tennessee on April 13, 2019:

This was the best read in a long time! It’s going straight to my Pinterest saves!

Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on April 13, 2019:

Marj, Thanks, I'm glad you like these ideas. Have fun trying them out!

Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on April 13, 2019:

Hey Liz -- Sounds like it's the springtime honey-do lists. I have so many projects I don't know where to start!

Muhammad Abdullah on April 13, 2019:

These are some great decorating ideas ...

I think I can give a few of these, a little tryout ...

Great article ...

Liz Westwood from UK on April 13, 2019:

We have a whole list of jobs that need doing, when I get the time. So I read and note your very useful articles with interest.