These 11 home decor suggestions from the pros won’t cost a fortune.
Professional home stagers know how best to showcase your house’s strengths while hiding its flaws. They also know how to make it appeal to almost everyone. We spoke to several home stagers across the nation to learn their tips and tricks for improving the look of your home.
11 DIY Home Decor Tips
1. The Front Door: Set the Tone
Your front door can make a big impression. Use a bright and vibrant color. Lara Allen Brett, a New Jersey-based stager says “Red” is a lucky color for many cultures. In early America, the red door signified “welcome” to travelers who were tired. The church is an example of a safe haven.
According to Christopher Breining from San Francisco, orange and yellow are becoming more popular. Both colors can be associated with joy or warmth. Unused screen doors should be thrown out. You can replace it or get rid it with a storm entrance with full-length, clear glass that can be switched out for a screened panels.
2. Paint Wall Colors Neutral or Light
Beige and gray are best for first-floor areas where flow is crucial. Breining said, “You want a minimum of jarring transitions.” Neutral walls offer the best decorating flexibility and allow you to quickly change out your accessories.
It can also make a small room feel bigger if it is painted the same neutral shade. Allen-Brett suggests that you can look at a paint strip and shift up or down one or two shades for subtle variations in each room.
3. Living Area: Make Your Sofa Talk to Your Chairs
Think about a nice hotel lobby. All the furniture is in groups that invite conversation. The furniture should be placed in a way that creates a sense of intimacy and balance.
Michelle Lynne of Dallas is a stager. She says: “A conversation space that has a U shaped, with a couch and two or more chairs facing eachother at each end on the coffee table, or a H-shaped, with a couch directly across from the chairs and a table in the center, is ideal.”
Avoid one common mistake: Pushing all furniture against the walls. She says, “People think that it will make their space look bigger. In reality, floating furniture away creates a larger feeling in the room.”
4. Let The Sun Shine in Your Kitchen
Lynne says, “When it’s heavy, outdated drapes a naked bank or windows is better than one that is ugly.” Window dressings should be practical and elegant. This means that sheers are paired with full length panels.
Opt for lighter colors that won’t fade if the room is subject to sun. Because of their ability to hang well, the most preferred lightweight fabrics are linen, cotton, and silk-blends.
5. In Every Room, Hang At Least One Mirror
Breining says mirrors can make a room feel brighter, because they bounce the light around. However, it can be nearly as fatal to have one placed in the wrong place as none at all.
Mirrors should be mounted perpendicularly to windows. A mirror placed opposite a window can help bounce the light back.
6. Scale artwork to your Wall
Breining says, “There are few things that look more ridiculous than hanging tiny pieces of art too high on a wall.” The middle of the picture should be displayed at eye level. If two people are different heights, you can use the average to determine their heights.
Scale is also important. A large wall can be created by using one large piece of furniture or a grouping of smaller pieces. It is best to space your photos 2 to 4 in between the items.
7. Layer Your Lighting
Ambient lighting is the best type of lighting for a room. It provides light throughout the room, and can often be found from ceiling fixtures. Task lighting is used to provide illumination over a small area like a table or in a reading nook. Accent lighting is more decorative and highlights artwork.
Living room lighting should be at least 3 watts (42 lin) per square meter. One visual trick Breining swears by: using uplights. Breining states that uplights can be used to make a room appear bigger by placing a torchiere, or a canister light in the corner.
8. Anchor Rugs
Breining suggests these rules to help you choose an area rug. He states that “at the very minimum, the front two legs (of the sofa or chairs) should rest upon it.”
Even small living rooms require a 9-by-12-foot or 8-by-10 foot rug in order to provide adequate seating. The rug’s size can make everything seem out of proportion.
9. Hire a professional to help you declutter
The more you live in a home, the less you will notice the mess. Sometimes you need fresh eyes. A few hours of organizing can be done by hiring an organizer. The cost will vary depending on where you live.
Breining suggests you cut down on the amount of books that are currently on your shelves 50 percent. Mix vertical rows with horizontal stacks of books and place decorative objects such vases or bowls among them.
10. Visual Tricks can raise the ceiling
Whiteen your ceilings to reduce claustrophobic feeling if they are too low. Allen-Brett suggests placing curtains higher than your windows to trick your mind into thinking that the room appears taller. Standard curtains are either 84″ or 96″, so you can hang them up to 3 inches above the windows.
Custom drapes will be required to hang the panels higher. Would you like patterned panels? Vertical stripes will visually lengthen your walls. You can also make a room appear taller if you place a large mirror against one wall.
11. Old Finishes Get the Cinderella Treatment
You have old fixtures? Get them repainted with spray paint or cheap refinishing tools. Breining says that a chandelier made of brass from the 1980s can be given new life with a simple coat of satin-nickel or even hammered chrome spray paint.
A few coats in white paint can make even the most old kitchen cabinets look new again. For Formica countertops, there is hope. Rust Oleum Countertop transformations is what Breining recommends. This DIY counter-coating product mimics stone making even the most ugly 1970s counters look brand new.
Now it’s time for you to replace your mismatched, cracked or damaged outlet covers and switch plate covers with matching ones. Lynne says, “Nothing can slow down a revitalized space more than a dingy and almond-colored switching plate.”