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Decorating for Dummies: 6 Basic House Tips

Whether you are decorating your home for the first time or giving it a fresh look, there are some basic house tips that can be used in any room.

When it comes to decorating a space, most of the rules are constantly changing with the trends. And as it is with any creative or artistic endeavor, its best to go with your gut and do whatever makes your home a place that you love. But keep in mind, there are still a few foolproof house tips that can ensure your design reaches its full potential. Read on for six basic decorating guidelines you can use in any room.

decorating house tips
Source: Emily Henderson

Hang Art at the Correct Height

One of the biggest amateur moves when it comes to decorating is hanging your artwork too high. When hanging art above furniture, like a sofa or console table, it should be about six to nine inches above the top of the furniture. If there is no furniture under the art, the middle of the artwork should be at eye-level or about 57 inches from the ground. For a gallery wall, plan on the middle of the whole arrangement to be at eye-level; and leave about two to three inches between each piece to give everything room to breathe.

family room decorating
Source: Studio McGee

Don’t Be Too Uniform

While buying a matching furniture set might be convenient, it can leave your room looking like a furniture catalog. Matching the end tables to the coffee table, to the TV stand will leave the room looking boring and flat with no personality. Mix it up with furniture pieces that coordinate, but don’t match. Add variety with shapes. If you have a square end table and a rectangular media cabinet, try adding interest with a round coffee table.

decorating house tips
Source: Chris Loves Julia

Hang a Mirror to Add Light

It’s a safe bet that a mirror can be hung in every room in the house. Mirrors add light and make a space feel larger. A simple tip is to hang a mirror opposite a window, allowing the mirror to reflect the natural light. A mirror can be hung just about anywhere, but consider a few of these tried and true locations: above a console table, as part of a gallery wall, over a bedroom dresser, or above the living room sofa.


Source: Design by Todd

Make Windows Look Bigger

The height at which you hang your curtains can make or break a room. Hang them too low and the whole window looks cramped. Here’s a trick to make your regular sized window look larger: hang the curtain rod higher than the top of the window; you can even go as high as a few inches below the ceiling. For width, expand the rod beyond the size of the window so that the curtain panels hang just outside the window width. This method will give the illusion that there is more window space behind the curtains, and the height will make the whole wall look larger.

home decor
Source: Apartment Therapy

Use Groups of Three

When accessorizing a bookshelf, mantle, or console table – stick to groups of three. Odd numbers look best for groupings and vary the height of each piece. For example, start with one tall skinny item, next to it place a medium wide item, and finish with a small accent.

shelving
Source: Little Green Notebook

Stick to Classics for Large Pieces

Trends will come and go, so don’t waste a lot of money on something that will be out of style before it’s a year old. But you can still have fun with trendy items, just stick to smaller accessories. Things like the sofa, your bed, an area rug, and the coffee table should be classic and neutral pieces that can stand the test of time. Then add trendy patterns and bold color with things like throw pillows, decorative accessories, and table lamps.

About the author

Erica Young

Erica Young is a freelance writer specializing in home decor and organization. She believes your home should make you happy, no matter how small your budget.

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