How often do you look at a magazine home and think, “Does anyone actually live there?” Minimalism looks expensive, but it isn’t always functional. The best way to go about it is to leave a good amount of white space on your walls and surfaces (via RD). As they say, less is more. Keep oversized items (like toys or bins) in bedrooms, basements, attics, or closets (via RD). Give everything a home, and make sure never to put form over function. That’s the real key to avoiding a house that looks magazine-worthy but unlivable in reality.
Who doesn’t want to associate coziness or softness with their home? Fabrics like velvet, velour, and silk feel and look luxurious, especially in jewel tones and paired with neutral colors (via RD). You may have heard of ‘hygge,’ the Danish concept of coziness that promotes warmth and comfort (via RD). For example, sweatpants are the epitome of hygge, especially if you’re curled up in them by a fireplace with a warm cup of cocoa in your favorite mug. The design does not need to be perfect; that’s the whole point of having personal items.
The most critical step in updating your space is determining your color scheme (via HGTV). Factor in things like natural lighting, things that won’t change (flooring, for example), and items you’ll be keeping. Decorate from dark to light vertically and start with the house’s formal areas (via HGTV). Use the color wheel to find colors that complement and contrast. Whatever you do, make sure you showcase your own style and not try to emulate something else – that won’t feel authentic. Paint shades that seem trendy include sage green and other soft shades, along with mauve or blush shades for bedrooms. Beige and tan are always in style as well.
One way to make decorating easier for yourself is finding the most prominent pattern in the room and choosing a color scheme (via HGTV). Choosing too many statement pieces can overwhelm a space and confuse the eye. Thus, try to have one or two showstopping pieces in each room and use the rest of your decor choices to highlight those pieces (via HGTV). One or two focal points are manageable for our brains and can still allow us to appreciate the beauty of everything else in the room.
8. Consider Foot Traffic When Establishing Your Floor Plan
The term “circulation” refers to the movement through, around, and between furniture. People follow the route as they move from one place to another in their homes. When determining your furniture layout, make sure to give yourself room to move around your furniture instead of just measuring whether they fit. You don’t want a room to feel crowded; a room with proper circulation feels comfortable (via My Domaine). Ideally, you should have about four feet between more oversized furniture items and about a foot and a half between smaller furniture pieces (via My Domaine). Not only that, but a room looks more luxurious if you don’t have the furniture pushed up against the walls.
Your entryway is the first thing people see, so make the first impression count (via My Domaine). It should be welcoming and well-lit. Consider adding a mirror, a sparkling chandelier, or a vibrant area rug. This is one area that bold color may be a good idea to make a striking impression off the bat. Maybe a sculptural light fixture is more up your alley if a chandelier isn’t your style. Add a table or dresser with some storage to display additional eye-catching decor like photos, lamps, vases, or a floral arrangement (via My Domaine).
Hallways often get the short end of the decorating stick. You may not think of it when you’re making your home over, but it deserves attention. Making your hallway more inviting will change the mood of your home and make you happier as you walk through it. You could paint or wallpaper it a different color, hang some fun art, or even add a small bench to create a reading nook (via My Domaine). Put up some mirrors for an eccentric funhouse effect, change out your light fixtures, or even style it with shiplap (via My Domaine).
5. Invest In Smart Storage Solutions For An Instant Upgrade
Storage is always sought after, even in the most spacious of homes. Consider both functionality and flexibility when determining what you need for storage (via My Domaine). Don’t buy anything before you know exactly what you need, or you run the risk of making do without it really working for you. If you live in a small space, outfit your room with hooks and open shelving (via My Domaine). That way, you can create a specific drop zone or “mudroom alternative” that works for you and your family. Utilize hidden storage and vertical spaces like behind doors and along walls.
Bookshelves offer endless styling opportunities. They can be color-coordinated or organized by size. You can try stacking some of them horizontally, alphabetically, or by genre (via Oprah Daily). You can separate hardcovers and paperbacks and incorporate objects like vases, photos, and baskets. Keep your room’s color palette in mind and add a healthy mix of wood, glass, and metal for a fun variety of materials (via Oprah Daily). Look for inspiration online with sites like Pinterest. A great tip is to take a photo of the final product once you are happy with it so you can return things to their place when they get out of sorts.
You may or may not be familiar with the rule of threes in design. It states that things arranged in odd numbers are more appealing to the eye than even-numbered groupings (via Talie Jane Interiors). Three seems to be the magic number, but odd numbers generally seem to be effective. The rule also pops up in other aesthetic fields like graphic design and photography, so it’s definitely been proven (via Talie Jane Interiors). Our eyes have to move around and move with odd numbers, so our brains work harder to recognize and experience the visual pattern.
Natural materials like reclaimed wood, marble countertops, and wicker chairs are investment pieces that will prove more durable than fast furniture that will break down quickly (via Vogue). These investment pieces will stand the test of time and can be used repeatedly, especially if you take good care of them. There’s a reason we seek out antique furniture and love when your grandma hands down her good china cabinet. If you want to make your home look more luxurious, opt for natural textures (via Vogue).
Keep in mind that decorating is a process (via My Domaine). Creating a space that you love takes time, so don’t rush into anything. Layer your pieces into your home as you find them (via My Domaine). Don’t pressure yourself into buying things you aren’t happy with just because you think you have to. Of course, you want your space to be finished, but breaking the process into a smaller set of choices will make it much more fulfilling and easier in the long run.