Looking for the best, home decor tips to make your home look like it was decorated by a pro? This post is all home decor tips!
Beautiful spaces that display balance and harmony are something most people strive for. It can be difficult to know where to place things or what to buy, in order to achieve a streamlined and cohesively designed space.
I’ve been into decorating and interior design for years now. I’ve had more trial and error than one should have. When I was in middle school, my mom let me design my own bedroom. My walls were alternating between lemon yellow and sky blue. My comforter was zebra print. I think I’ve already said enough.
I’ve learned the hard way, how to put things together that actually look appealing to the eye, especially after lots of fails in attempting to do so in my past. I think it’s safe to say I finally got the hang of it.
I wanted to put together some of the top tips I’ve learned over the years from actual designers, my work experiences, internships, books, youtube, google, and good old life trial and error. Here is a round-up of some of the best home decor tips so you can make your home look so beautiful people will think you had it professionally decorated! This post is long, but I promise these tips are valuable and will help improve the decor in your home a ton!
This post is all about home decor tips.
Best Home Decor Tips:
1. You Must Declutter
One of the biggest eyesores, when you walk into any space, is clutter. The most important thing to think about is where your eye is supposed to go when you walk in. A home should be a tranquil and peaceful place to dwell and gather and rest. It should not cause anxiety, and no matter what anyone says, messes, junk, clutter, and “stuff” everywhere cause anxiety and definitely doesn’t promote clarity in the mind or soul.
For example, if you have a living room with a large and beautiful floor to ceiling stone fireplace, my guess is you’d want that to be the focal point when you first walk into the space. This is why you would not what to have two huge shelves with an excessive amount of objects, nicknacks, multicolored books, and other junk to distract the eye from the focal point.
My recommendation is to store things like this inside of cabinets with doors, and if you don’t have those then you can put all the “stuff” in bins. Below are some awesome storage solutions for all the “stuff” you need to tuck away.
Here’s an example of how much different a space looks when it is decluttered. Just that alone does so much for the overall appeal of the room.
2. Simplify Your Decor
One of the most important home decor tips is simplifying decor. This kind of goes hand in hand with decluttering, however, it’s super important. I’ve seen so many times (and done myself many times) overly cluttered walls and surfaces. You’d be surprised at how much of a statement one meaningful and beautiful decorative piece makes, versus several meaningless, “just okay” pieces make on a surface.
In the photo above, some might put a few picture frames, some candles, maybe some books, maybe a few statues, and God knows what else. However, say this potted plant was made for them by a neighbor and given to them a few years ago before the neighbor passed away. Not to be morbid, but wouldn’t you want that piece to stand for itself and tell the story it’s meant to tell? Rather than being distracted by so much other junk.
Most designers know that simplified decor is SUPER important. When you walk into a room, you want your eye to have time to notice and enjoy each intentionally placed piece, not be distracted by hundreds of random pieces everywhere.
My best tip for simplifying decor is to look at each wall and surface and think of what you what that specific area to represent and feel like. Then determine which accessories and pieces will do that job, by themselves. Grouping a few together is fine, just make sure each piece is chosen intentionally and has the ability to speak for itself and not be taken over.
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3. Determine a color palette
Something I think is a super important home decor tip is to choose a color palette for the space you’re decorating. A great way to do this is to simply search on Pinterest something like, “warm living room color palette” or “colorful bedroom color palette.”
As seen in the image below, searching for a color palette on Pinterest can really help aid your design and bringing everything together. Something that is important is to always try to stick with odd-numbered color palettes.
Also, if you find a home decor inspiration photo, you can always use the website Coolors to develop a color palette from the image. Simply upload your inspiration photo, and allow the site to help pull a color palette from the photo.
4. Think texture
A big part of interior design and home decorating is trying to activate the five human senses to be able to fully experience the beauty of a space. One of the key components of this technique is texture. Incorporating texture into your design aids in the weight and feel of the room. Texture adds visual weight in a room, meaning that depending on what “vibe” your aiming for, texture can have a HUGE effect.
For cozy and warm spaces, use fur and knitted textiles. If the goal is rustic and farmhouse vibes, use rough reclaimed wood and galvanized metal. And for masculine and intellectual spaces, try iron and leather. Not only does the way each of these items looks affect the style of the design, but the way they feel adds so much depth and purpose to the room.
My recommendation is to be very intentional with the texture in your space. Ask yourself how you want the area you are decorating to feel, and what experience you’d like you, your family, and guests to have in each area of your home. Then, add textured items that compliment that goal and contribute to achieving it.
PS. A super easy way to add texture is through pillows and blankets. This is great because it is easy to change them if you ever get bored, versus through a large wall or huge piece of furniture!
5. Fresh paint goes a long way
Believe it or not, something as simple as giving a room (or entire floor) a fresh coat of paint can literally work wonders. Over the years, the paint wears A LOT. It can get dingy and color change over time as well, from things like the air, kids, animals, the sun, and just about everything else.
This photo shows how much more bright, airy and welcoming this room becomes with a few minor decor changes and a total paint refresh.
A major tip when painting any room with fresh paint is to also repaint the trim and ceiling. Here are some of the best recommendations for whites for trim, baseboards, and ceilings, as well as top neutral gray’s that are very popular and match anything.
Top 3 Paint colors for trim and baseboards:
Best Paint for Ceiling:
Top Neutral Grays for Any Room:
- Agreeable Gray by Sherwin Williams
- Repose Gray by Sherwin Williams
- Classic Gray by Benjamin Moore
- Silver Chain by Benjamin Moore
Gray walls are SUPER in right now, and I think it’s easy to see why. They are so simple, and allow the decor to speak for itself. Gray is such a calm and welcoming color as well. It goes well with pretty much any other color, and it just super neutral and amazing. If you are in need of a room refresh, I highly recommend going with a pretty gray!
6. Lighting is key
One of the best home decor tips I can give you is to make lighting your best friend. You can make such a gorgeous statement with good fixtures. Lighting in your home is literally SO important. Arguably one of the most important components or a beautiful space. Well, lit rooms feel warm and inviting. Poorly lit spaces feel cramped, dull, and just not very enjoyable.
Lighting helps tell a story. If you’ve ever been to an art gallery, you’ll notice the paintings have lights above them so they can be highlighted. This is intentional to draw your eye to these pieces. That’s what lighting does. It helps the person experience the room how it’s intended to be perceived.
Here are two examples of before and afters of renovations in which lighting was added. You can see the amazing difference that was made by the additions and especially by the lighting.
When looking at the space you’re working on, take a step back, and observe the lighting situation you have going on. Try to determine what story you’re trying to tell in that space. Ask yourself how you can use lighting to tell it better.
Also, please NEVER underestimate the importance of light fixtures. As humans, we are DRAWN to light. Do not get dinky, crappy light fixtures. Now I’m not saying you need to spend a fortune on crystal chandeliers, but you should be very intentional with which light fixtures you select. They can make such a beautiful and important impact on your space. I hope you see the value in lighting and do not take it’s importance lightly (pun intended!)
Lighting is your BFF in your design. Using it strategically and thoughtfully will add so much life to your space, I promise!
Drapery is a great way to tie a room together. It’s amazing once you realize just how many fabrics and patterns are types of drapery really are out there, and the impact they have on a space. For example, dark velvet drapes are heavy and luxurious. Light linen drapes are breezy and organic. Tweed drapes are a bit more rustic and casual, Thai Silk drapes are dressy and formal.
You have to be very intentional with which fabric, color and style of drapes you select, so that it compliments the story you are trying to tell with your design. As I’ve said several times in this post, the main question you need to ask yourself is how you want to feel in the room and what you want to experience, and the same goes when you think of your guests experiencing that space. This is the question that will guide you to your answer when selecting all of the small details that tie together in the big picture.
While I could probably write 10 different posts on all of the nitty gritty details on drapes, I’m going to just keep in simple. If you’re interested in reading a more in depth post about drapery 101, check out this post!
To keep it simple and to the point, please just make sure you hang your drapes HIGH and WIDE. This helps elevate the ceiling, allows more light to pass through the window, and overall makes the room look so much more open, airy, and professional!
Here is an incredibly useful resource for how to measure and hang your drapery properly.
8. Rule of 3s
The Rule of 3s is another of the home decor tips that I could write A LOT about. For the sake of your time and energy, I’ll keep it simple. An important rule all Designers are aware of and practice often is the Rule of 3s. This basically means whether it be pillows on a sofa, or decor on a shelf or in a tray, you want to try to group objects into 3s as seen in the photo below. This simply is just more appealing to the natural eye. It’s also recommending to try to use three different objects with different shapes, sizes, and textures to add visual interest.
9. Basic Measurements
I learned some helpful home decor tips when I worked at Restoration Hardware as a Design Consultant. Standard measurements are important because they appeal to the natural eye and what looks good to our human brains. Standard measurements have been tried and tested over several years, and make any room look aesthetically the best.
Basic measurements are good to know when decorating your home. Here are a few:
- Your coffee table should be 18 inches from the sofa
- There should be 3 ft of walking space in any walkway (ie. in a hallway, around a dining table, etc.)
- Chandeliers should be hung 36 inches above the dining table or around 72 inches above the ground for a standard ceiling height.
- Space between a conversation set of chairs should be about 42” (to fit a small side table in between)
- For optimum viewing distance from a TV’s is about 2.5 times the diagonal length of the screen in feet.
- All nightstands should be placed 3 inches from the bed
- The center of any artwork should be hung about 60 inches off the ground
- Art should be hung 4-6 inches above a sofa or console, It should also be about 2/3s the width of the furniture piece.
10. Furniture Layout
The functionality of a room is the most important thing, probably even before the design. Rooms need to function efficiently to enhance the person’s lifestyle and display who they are and what they stand for. A lot of this has to do with the arrangement of furniture. For example, a welcoming home will have lots of seating, arranged in a conversation focused arrangement.
You can tell a lot about a person, the purpose of a space, and the message intended to come across by the way furniture is laid out. For example, if a desk is set up with a view of a lake or pond, chances are the person is creative and enjoys being inspired by nature.
I love to use AutoCAD to layout my spaces, however, this is not a beginner’s program. If you’re looking for an easy program to use to layout your furniture and ensure everything will fit and all of your measurements will work together, I recommend using this free tool from RoomStyler. this site allows you to set the dimensions of the room, as well as of each piece of furniture. Doing this will help you make sure you get the correct pieces of furniture to meet the standard measurements like 18″ of space between the coffee table and sofa and 3′ of walking space, etc.
Whether you use a digital source or you draw out your furniture layout, it’s beneficial to see the room from a birds-eye view. This helps you be able to see traffic flow patterns etc. from that angle. It’s also so important to have accurately measured furniture pieces and room dimensions when doing this!
Here are some sample floor plan ideas for large living rooms. I recommend searching Google and Pinterest for furniture layout ideas and inspiration!