Homeshareus

Best Home Decorating Ideas – 80+ Top Designer Decor Tricks & Tips


image

Douglas Friedman

While the process of decorating your home is thrilling, it also comes with its fair share of challenges. Your goal should be to showcase your design aesthetic in a tasteful way, but it’s a given that you’ll be faced with everything from an interior that lacks natural light to a layout that’s much smaller than you’d like. So it’s no surprise that these common dilemmas might turn you off from decorating altogether. But instead of viewing them as stumbling blocks, use them as inspiration to design the home of your dreams.

Regardless of the type of space you’re decorating, there’s nothing more important than paying attention to details—and expressing your creativity. Taking the time to understand the basic principles of decorating, from choosing the right furniture to finding the perfect color palette, will get you one step closer to crafting the home you’ve always wanted.

Here, we share decorating pointers from our archives and useful tips from top interior decorators to help you make sense of what good design really means. If you’re ready to master the art of decorating and up for putting your imagination to the test, click through for some of the best tips in the business.

Go Bold in Small Spaces

Graphic prints can have a major impact in small spaces such as a powder room. Here, an Ellie Cashman floral wallpaper is the star of a powder room a New Orleans manse designed by Sara Ruffin Costello.

$600, Expedition Accent Wall Mirror, Perigold
Get the Look

1 of 79

Experiment with Patterns

Layering patterns in a range of styles and scales is an easy way to add visual interest to a room. Here, Refinery29 Global Editor-in-Chief Christene Barberich pairs black and white pillows with green chevron bedding in her Brooklyn Heights bedroom.

$46, Integral Pillow, Anthropologie
Get the Look

2 of 79

Use Color in Hallways

If you tend to be more reserved when it comes to color choices, step outside of your comfort zone by choosing a bold hue, like purple, for a hallway. It’s unexpected and can be a chic backdrop for showcasing an art collection like this design by David Hicks.

$38, Vigorous Violet, Sherwin-Williams
Get the Look

3 of 79

Display Collectibles on a Table

Every room can benefit from accessories that have a history. Rather than showcasing your collectibles on a shelf, set them out on a table, as seen in this Italian apartment. Just be sure your collection is highly curated to maintain a sense of balance in your display.

$1,695, Brooke Club Chair, One Kings Lane
Get the Look

4 of 79

Group Antiques By Color

There’s a fine line between kitschy and curated. Rebecca Robertson unifies vintage and new pieces by grouping them by color.

$173, Skyline Furniture Linen Talc Nail Button Storage Ottoman, Overstock

Get The Look

5 of 79

Mix Your Time Periods

“You mix things up with old and new,” suggests textiles and interior designer Kathryn M. Ireland, as she did in the living room of her Santa Monica home; a room where the furnishings include 17th-century French chairs, an 18th-century Mexican console, and a cocktail table from her furniture line.

$690, Fredson Coffee Table, Wayfair

Get The Look

6 of 79

Try Floor-to-Ceiling Shelving

Floor-to-ceiling shelving never fails to add character to a room. In his Los Angeles home, acclaimed chef Ludovic “Ludo” Lefebvre opted for this shelving style for his collection of more than 1,000 cookbooks.

$749, Woven Leather Lounge Chair, Wisteria
Get the Look

7 of 79

Look at the Bigger Picture

Looking at your home from a holistic perspective—seeing how each room works in balance against the others—can help craft a welcome variety in your spaces, like this emerald and charcoal dining room that adds a touch of formality to an otherwise contemporary Los Angeles home.

$2,462, Saiba Dining Chair, Design Within Reach

Get The Look

8 of 79

Embrace the Fear of Commitment

To avoid being locked into a single style, lighting designer Lindsey Adelman switches up the fixtures in her Park Slope home on a regular basis. “It’s part of my creative process,” she explains, “I love to see things in context, in real life—to live with them.”

$560, Sphere + Stem Chandelier, West Elm

Get The Look

9 of 79

Use Your Walls as a Canvas

Rather than art, a high-impact wallpaper can give a subdued room some wow-factor. The 19th century wallcovering from this luxe Milan apartment was purchased at auction in France and adapted to the room. “We created the missing parts, the plinth and the ceiling frame, to depict an Italian capriccio, a fantastical and bucolic landscape with architectural features,” Laura Sartori Rimini of Studio Peregalli says.

$122, Amazonia Wall Mural, Perigold

Get The Look

10 of 79

Anchor Your Room With a Classic

“Bringing a touch of the Old World into the mix creates a home that will never feel dated,” designer Alex Papachristidis explains of the art-studded Manhattan apartment he designed for a family friend. For example, the silver leaf–and–rock crystal chandelier from Liz O’Brien that he hung in the otherwise modern dining room.

$3,660, Rococo Iron & Crystal Chandelier, Restoration Hardware

Get The Look

11 of 79

Create Moody Contrast with Color

Instead of meshing a color scheme with a sense of place, designer Irakli Zaria used rich gold and turquoise as an antidote to gloomy London days in this chic pied-a-terre. “In a place where there are such cloudy skies, it makes no sense to have a gray interior,” he said.

$6,500, Color Reform Rug, ABC Carpet & Home

Get The Look

12 of 79

Add Playfulness with Repurposed Items

Art director Vivia Horn’s zen upstate New York home makes use of an unexpected gift to give her traditional kitchen a dose of fun. This breakfast table made of a refurbished hibachi—a present from the late wrestler and Benihana restaurateur Rocky Aoki.

$1,178, Bertoia Counter Stool, Design Within Reach

Get The Look

13 of 79

Use Fabrics Beyond Soft Furnishings

Looking beyond the traditional with wallcoverings can create a truly standout design presence. “I do think I might have scared [architect Ken Linsteadt] a little bit when I announced I was planning to install two levels of green floral fabric on the walls of the grand salon,” says Ken Fulk of his Sonoma Valley lakeside retreat, yet the fabric gives the high walls a richness that wallpaper alone might not have achieved.

$399, Windsor Pendant Light, Crate & Barrel

Get The Look

14 of 79

Balance New and Old

When renovating a building that already has plenty of character, like this 1920s Spanish Colonial home in Los Angeles, it’s all about striking the balance between what you add and what you leave. “We wanted to make it feel more holistic while still honoring its heritage,” designer Steven Johanknecht says of the decision to keep the original hand-carved ceiling beams and wrought-iron chandeliers while removing mismatched materials from previous renovations.

$959, Laughlin Accent Chair, Horchow

Get The Look

15 of 79

Mix Metals for Added Warmth

To soften the modern edge of stainless steel, decorator Alisa Bloom put a traditional spin on the kitchen cabinetry of her 1920s Chicago penthouse with brass inlays. With the help of a local hardware maker, she even designed her own hinges and drawer pulls. “I would never go into a store and just buy something,” she says. “It’s all about the process and the hunt.”

$127, Bar Stool, All Modern

Get The Look

16 of 79

Don’t Underestimate The Power Of High-Low Design

17 of 79

Layer Decor Over The Years

19 of 79

Combine Your Favorite Design Styles

“A lot of people love the idea of really simple, modern living—it’s appealing, it’s nice and it seems serene,” says Erika Yeaman, a Homepolish designer and owner of YES Associates. “But the reality of maintaining that is a little tricker. Mixing Scandinavian design with bohemian style warms it up and makes it feel more homey and attainable.”

$480, Arturo 8-Light Rectangular Chandelier, Ballard Designs

Get The Look

20 of 79

Play With Texture

It’s easy to gravitate toward the usual suspects like wood and leather when trying to craft a textured living space, but branch outside of your comfort zone. Emilie Munroe of Studio Munroe recommends drawing from your own personal style, especially the articles of clothing and patterns you’re attracted to.

$1,109, Matégot Bar Cart, TRNK

Get The Look

21 of 79

Create A “Bouquet” Of Colors

Want to make a variety of bright colors cohesive? Think about how you would arrange a flower bouquet, as Sasha Bikoff did in this SoHo apartment. “The same can apply to a space, but you need to find a connection,” she says. “Here, that connection is the fabric on the dining room chairs, which showcases colors also found throughout the room.”

$695, Mid Century Dining Chair, Mod Shop

Get The Look

22 of 79

Installing Shiplap? Go Horizontal (Usually)

If Chip and Joanna Gaines have convinced you that your abode needs shiplap, you’re usually best off installing the boards horizontally rather than vertically. “It can really expand a space, making it feel larger than vertical boards can,” says Jason Arnold. “Horizontal boards also feel more contemporary.” Vertical boards, however, can be ideal for rooms with high ceilings.

$72, Shiplap Interior Siding, Home Depot

Get The Look

23 of 79

Don’t Sacrifice Comfort

Sure, your eyes may want the most modern, chic couch in the showroom. But your back may not. “In my experience, it’s really better to test out seating and take the time to look at the dimensions,” says Sharon Blaustein. If you’re tall, for instance, you might want to opt for a depth of between 40 to 42 inches for a sofa (rather than the standard depth of 36 inches).

$3,599, Aidan 2-Piece Sectional Sofa, Crate & Barrel

Get The Look

24 of 79

Always Shop For A Rug In Person

This is not the time for e-shopping, people. “It’s just so hard to tell on a computer screen what the color really looks like,” Arnold says. “You might think it looks red, but in reality, it’s watermelon pink.” Not to mention the texture of the rug may be totally different than what you were expecting.

$225, Safavieh Adirondack Round Area Rug, Bed, Bath & Beyond

Get The Look

25 of 79

Let A Locale Inspire Your Space

It’s exactly what Jenny Cipoletti, founder of fashion, beauty and travel blog Margo & Me, did in her decidedly Parisian office (which is actually in West Hollywood). “Just like when you walk into a cafe in Paris, and you see all the details and the golds, silvers and light blush tones, all of these elements in this space really sing to me,” says Cipoletti. This lets you travel to your favorite destination without stepping outside.

$169, Round Tufted Linen Ottoman, Wayfair

Get The Look

26 of 79

Never Settle On One “Look”

Allow your space to continuously change—as your life does. “Remember that your home should always be evolving, just as you are,” says Kelly Framel, creative director, stylist and founder of online magazine The Glamourai. “I am constantly picking up new treasures on my travels. Your nest should always be a place of comfort and inspiration, and it’s a constant work in progress.”

$100, Yellow Droplet Table Lamp, Lamps Plus

Get The Look

27 of 79

Use Curtains As A Backdrop For Art

Instead of hanging a painting on a bare wall, accent it with a rich, velvet curtain background. “Curtains just create a great, calming energy in which you feel very shrouded and comforted, making for a luxurious and restful environment,” says Framel. “And being able to put a really great pop of artwork in front of that textural colored backdrop has a lot of impact.”

$409, Inverted Pleat Drapes, The Shade Store

Get The Look

28 of 79

Upholster Antique Furniture With Modern Fabric

Make what’s old new again by invigorating antique pieces with colorful fabric from the 21st century. Take, for example, the two 18th-century French bergère chairs here, upholstered in a hot pink Maharam fabric. “Maharam is a very modern, contemporary fabric company, with velvets that are really bright in color,” says Bikoff. “That color was such a pop of freshness and youthfulness on these old chairs.”

$6,950, Pair of French Louis XVI Style 1870s Wingback Bergères Chairs with Upholstery, 1stdibs

Get The Look

29 of 79

Choose One Piece Of Artwork To Anchor The Room

In Josh Groban’s “The Great Comet” dressing room, interior designer Mike Harrison selected this constellation artwork as a clear focal point for the room. “I loved this piece for its dimensions and colors, but also as a tip of the hat to the ‘Comet’ influences that I know were of importance to Josh,” says Harrison. “I was searching for artwork that would tie together all of Josh’s design sensibilities.”

$18+, Star Map Print, Etsy

Get The Look

30 of 79

kitchen rugs


image

Douglas Friedman

While the process of decorating your home is thrilling, it also comes with its fair share of challenges. Your goal should be to showcase your design aesthetic in a tasteful way, but it’s a given that you’ll be faced with everything from an interior that lacks natural light to a layout that’s much smaller than you’d like. So it’s no surprise that these common dilemmas might turn you off from decorating altogether. But instead of viewing them as stumbling blocks, use them as inspiration to design the home of your dreams.

Regardless of the type of space you’re decorating, there’s nothing more important than paying attention to details—and expressing your creativity. Taking the time to understand the basic principles of decorating, from choosing the right furniture to finding the perfect color palette, will get you one step closer to crafting the home you’ve always wanted.

Here, we share decorating pointers from our archives and useful tips from top interior decorators to help you make sense of what good design really means. If you’re ready to master the art of decorating and up for putting your imagination to the test, click through for some of the best tips in the business.

Go Bold in Small Spaces

Graphic prints can have a major impact in small spaces such as a powder room. Here, an Ellie Cashman floral wallpaper is the star of a powder room a New Orleans manse designed by Sara Ruffin Costello.

$600, Expedition Accent Wall Mirror, Perigold
Get the Look

1 of 79

Experiment with Patterns

Layering patterns in a range of styles and scales is an easy way to add visual interest to a room. Here, Refinery29 Global Editor-in-Chief Christene Barberich pairs black and white pillows with green chevron bedding in her Brooklyn Heights bedroom.

$46, Integral Pillow, Anthropologie
Get the Look

2 of 79

Use Color in Hallways

If you tend to be more reserved when it comes to color choices, step outside of your comfort zone by choosing a bold hue, like purple, for a hallway. It’s unexpected and can be a chic backdrop for showcasing an art collection like this design by David Hicks.

$38, Vigorous Violet, Sherwin-Williams
Get the Look

3 of 79

Display Collectibles on a Table

Every room can benefit from accessories that have a history. Rather than showcasing your collectibles on a shelf, set them out on a table, as seen in this Italian apartment. Just be sure your collection is highly curated to maintain a sense of balance in your display.

$1,695, Brooke Club Chair, One Kings Lane
Get the Look

4 of 79

Group Antiques By Color

There’s a fine line between kitschy and curated. Rebecca Robertson unifies vintage and new pieces by grouping them by color.

$173, Skyline Furniture Linen Talc Nail Button Storage Ottoman, Overstock

Get The Look

5 of 79

Mix Your Time Periods

“You mix things up with old and new,” suggests textiles and interior designer Kathryn M. Ireland, as she did in the living room of her Santa Monica home; a room where the furnishings include 17th-century French chairs, an 18th-century Mexican console, and a cocktail table from her furniture line.

$690, Fredson Coffee Table, Wayfair

Get The Look

6 of 79

Try Floor-to-Ceiling Shelving

Floor-to-ceiling shelving never fails to add character to a room. In his Los Angeles home, acclaimed chef Ludovic “Ludo” Lefebvre opted for this shelving style for his collection of more than 1,000 cookbooks.

$749, Woven Leather Lounge Chair, Wisteria
Get the Look

7 of 79

Look at the Bigger Picture

Looking at your home from a holistic perspective—seeing how each room works in balance against the others—can help craft a welcome variety in your spaces, like this emerald and charcoal dining room that adds a touch of formality to an otherwise contemporary Los Angeles home.

$2,462, Saiba Dining Chair, Design Within Reach

Get The Look

8 of 79

Embrace the Fear of Commitment

To avoid being locked into a single style, lighting designer Lindsey Adelman switches up the fixtures in her Park Slope home on a regular basis. “It’s part of my creative process,” she explains, “I love to see things in context, in real life—to live with them.”

$560, Sphere + Stem Chandelier, West Elm

Get The Look

9 of 79

Use Your Walls as a Canvas

Rather than art, a high-impact wallpaper can give a subdued room some wow-factor. The 19th century wallcovering from this luxe Milan apartment was purchased at auction in France and adapted to the room. “We created the missing parts, the plinth and the ceiling frame, to depict an Italian capriccio, a fantastical and bucolic landscape with architectural features,” Laura Sartori Rimini of Studio Peregalli says.

$122, Amazonia Wall Mural, Perigold

Get The Look

10 of 79

Anchor Your Room With a Classic

“Bringing a touch of the Old World into the mix creates a home that will never feel dated,” designer Alex Papachristidis explains of the art-studded Manhattan apartment he designed for a family friend. For example, the silver leaf–and–rock crystal chandelier from Liz O’Brien that he hung in the otherwise modern dining room.

$3,660, Rococo Iron & Crystal Chandelier, Restoration Hardware

Get The Look

11 of 79

Create Moody Contrast with Color

Instead of meshing a color scheme with a sense of place, designer Irakli Zaria used rich gold and turquoise as an antidote to gloomy London days in this chic pied-a-terre. “In a place where there are such cloudy skies, it makes no sense to have a gray interior,” he said.

$6,500, Color Reform Rug, ABC Carpet & Home

Get The Look

12 of 79

Add Playfulness with Repurposed Items

Art director Vivia Horn’s zen upstate New York home makes use of an unexpected gift to give her traditional kitchen a dose of fun. This breakfast table made of a refurbished hibachi—a present from the late wrestler and Benihana restaurateur Rocky Aoki.

$1,178, Bertoia Counter Stool, Design Within Reach

Get The Look

13 of 79

Use Fabrics Beyond Soft Furnishings

Looking beyond the traditional with wallcoverings can create a truly standout design presence. “I do think I might have scared [architect Ken Linsteadt] a little bit when I announced I was planning to install two levels of green floral fabric on the walls of the grand salon,” says Ken Fulk of his Sonoma Valley lakeside retreat, yet the fabric gives the high walls a richness that wallpaper alone might not have achieved.

$399, Windsor Pendant Light, Crate & Barrel

Get The Look

14 of 79

Balance New and Old

When renovating a building that already has plenty of character, like this 1920s Spanish Colonial home in Los Angeles, it’s all about striking the balance between what you add and what you leave. “We wanted to make it feel more holistic while still honoring its heritage,” designer Steven Johanknecht says of the decision to keep the original hand-carved ceiling beams and wrought-iron chandeliers while removing mismatched materials from previous renovations.

$959, Laughlin Accent Chair, Horchow

Get The Look

15 of 79

Mix Metals for Added Warmth

To soften the modern edge of stainless steel, decorator Alisa Bloom put a traditional spin on the kitchen cabinetry of her 1920s Chicago penthouse with brass inlays. With the help of a local hardware maker, she even designed her own hinges and drawer pulls. “I would never go into a store and just buy something,” she says. “It’s all about the process and the hunt.”

$127, Bar Stool, All Modern

Get The Look

16 of 79

Don’t Underestimate The Power Of High-Low Design

17 of 79

Layer Decor Over The Years

19 of 79

Combine Your Favorite Design Styles

“A lot of people love the idea of really simple, modern living—it’s appealing, it’s nice and it seems serene,” says Erika Yeaman, a Homepolish designer and owner of YES Associates. “But the reality of maintaining that is a little tricker. Mixing Scandinavian design with bohemian style warms it up and makes it feel more homey and attainable.”

$480, Arturo 8-Light Rectangular Chandelier, Ballard Designs

Get The Look

20 of 79

Play With Texture

It’s easy to gravitate toward the usual suspects like wood and leather when trying to craft a textured living space, but branch outside of your comfort zone. Emilie Munroe of Studio Munroe recommends drawing from your own personal style, especially the articles of clothing and patterns you’re attracted to.

$1,109, Matégot Bar Cart, TRNK

Get The Look

21 of 79

Create A “Bouquet” Of Colors

Want to make a variety of bright colors cohesive? Think about how you would arrange a flower bouquet, as Sasha Bikoff did in this SoHo apartment. “The same can apply to a space, but you need to find a connection,” she says. “Here, that connection is the fabric on the dining room chairs, which showcases colors also found throughout the room.”

$695, Mid Century Dining Chair, Mod Shop

Get The Look

22 of 79

Installing Shiplap? Go Horizontal (Usually)

If Chip and Joanna Gaines have convinced you that your abode needs shiplap, you’re usually best off installing the boards horizontally rather than vertically. “It can really expand a space, making it feel larger than vertical boards can,” says Jason Arnold. “Horizontal boards also feel more contemporary.” Vertical boards, however, can be ideal for rooms with high ceilings.

$72, Shiplap Interior Siding, Home Depot

Get The Look

23 of 79

Don’t Sacrifice Comfort

Sure, your eyes may want the most modern, chic couch in the showroom. But your back may not. “In my experience, it’s really better to test out seating and take the time to look at the dimensions,” says Sharon Blaustein. If you’re tall, for instance, you might want to opt for a depth of between 40 to 42 inches for a sofa (rather than the standard depth of 36 inches).

$3,599, Aidan 2-Piece Sectional Sofa, Crate & Barrel

Get The Look

24 of 79

Always Shop For A Rug In Person

This is not the time for e-shopping, people. “It’s just so hard to tell on a computer screen what the color really looks like,” Arnold says. “You might think it looks red, but in reality, it’s watermelon pink.” Not to mention the texture of the rug may be totally different than what you were expecting.

$225, Safavieh Adirondack Round Area Rug, Bed, Bath & Beyond

Get The Look

25 of 79

Let A Locale Inspire Your Space

It’s exactly what Jenny Cipoletti, founder of fashion, beauty and travel blog Margo & Me, did in her decidedly Parisian office (which is actually in West Hollywood). “Just like when you walk into a cafe in Paris, and you see all the details and the golds, silvers and light blush tones, all of these elements in this space really sing to me,” says Cipoletti. This lets you travel to your favorite destination without stepping outside.

$169, Round Tufted Linen Ottoman, Wayfair

Get The Look

26 of 79

Never Settle On One “Look”

Allow your space to continuously change—as your life does. “Remember that your home should always be evolving, just as you are,” says Kelly Framel, creative director, stylist and founder of online magazine The Glamourai. “I am constantly picking up new treasures on my travels. Your nest should always be a place of comfort and inspiration, and it’s a constant work in progress.”

$100, Yellow Droplet Table Lamp, Lamps Plus

Get The Look

27 of 79

Use Curtains As A Backdrop For Art

Instead of hanging a painting on a bare wall, accent it with a rich, velvet curtain background. “Curtains just create a great, calming energy in which you feel very shrouded and comforted, making for a luxurious and restful environment,” says Framel. “And being able to put a really great pop of artwork in front of that textural colored backdrop has a lot of impact.”

$409, Inverted Pleat Drapes, The Shade Store

Get The Look

28 of 79

Upholster Antique Furniture With Modern Fabric

Make what’s old new again by invigorating antique pieces with colorful fabric from the 21st century. Take, for example, the two 18th-century French bergère chairs here, upholstered in a hot pink Maharam fabric. “Maharam is a very modern, contemporary fabric company, with velvets that are really bright in color,” says Bikoff. “That color was such a pop of freshness and youthfulness on these old chairs.”

$6,950, Pair of French Louis XVI Style 1870s Wingback Bergères Chairs with Upholstery, 1stdibs

Get The Look

29 of 79

Choose One Piece Of Artwork To Anchor The Room

In Josh Groban’s “The Great Comet” dressing room, interior designer Mike Harrison selected this constellation artwork as a clear focal point for the room. “I loved this piece for its dimensions and colors, but also as a tip of the hat to the ‘Comet’ influences that I know were of importance to Josh,” says Harrison. “I was searching for artwork that would tie together all of Josh’s design sensibilities.”

$18+, Star Map Print, Etsy

Get The Look

30 of 79

kitchen rugs


image

Douglas Friedman

While the process of decorating your home is thrilling, it also comes with its fair share of challenges. Your goal should be to showcase your design aesthetic in a tasteful way, but it’s a given that you’ll be faced with everything from an interior that lacks natural light to a layout that’s much smaller than you’d like. So it’s no surprise that these common dilemmas might turn you off from decorating altogether. But instead of viewing them as stumbling blocks, use them as inspiration to design the home of your dreams.

Regardless of the type of space you’re decorating, there’s nothing more important than paying attention to details—and expressing your creativity. Taking the time to understand the basic principles of decorating, from choosing the right furniture to finding the perfect color palette, will get you one step closer to crafting the home you’ve always wanted.

Here, we share decorating pointers from our archives and useful tips from top interior decorators to help you make sense of what good design really means. If you’re ready to master the art of decorating and up for putting your imagination to the test, click through for some of the best tips in the business.

Go Bold in Small Spaces

Graphic prints can have a major impact in small spaces such as a powder room. Here, an Ellie Cashman floral wallpaper is the star of a powder room a New Orleans manse designed by Sara Ruffin Costello.

$600, Expedition Accent Wall Mirror, Perigold
Get the Look

1 of 79

Experiment with Patterns

Layering patterns in a range of styles and scales is an easy way to add visual interest to a room. Here, Refinery29 Global Editor-in-Chief Christene Barberich pairs black and white pillows with green chevron bedding in her Brooklyn Heights bedroom.

$46, Integral Pillow, Anthropologie
Get the Look

2 of 79

Use Color in Hallways

If you tend to be more reserved when it comes to color choices, step outside of your comfort zone by choosing a bold hue, like purple, for a hallway. It’s unexpected and can be a chic backdrop for showcasing an art collection like this design by David Hicks.

$38, Vigorous Violet, Sherwin-Williams
Get the Look

3 of 79

Display Collectibles on a Table

Every room can benefit from accessories that have a history. Rather than showcasing your collectibles on a shelf, set them out on a table, as seen in this Italian apartment. Just be sure your collection is highly curated to maintain a sense of balance in your display.

$1,695, Brooke Club Chair, One Kings Lane
Get the Look

4 of 79

Group Antiques By Color

There’s a fine line between kitschy and curated. Rebecca Robertson unifies vintage and new pieces by grouping them by color.

$173, Skyline Furniture Linen Talc Nail Button Storage Ottoman, Overstock

Get The Look

5 of 79

Mix Your Time Periods

“You mix things up with old and new,” suggests textiles and interior designer Kathryn M. Ireland, as she did in the living room of her Santa Monica home; a room where the furnishings include 17th-century French chairs, an 18th-century Mexican console, and a cocktail table from her furniture line.

$690, Fredson Coffee Table, Wayfair

Get The Look

6 of 79

Try Floor-to-Ceiling Shelving

Floor-to-ceiling shelving never fails to add character to a room. In his Los Angeles home, acclaimed chef Ludovic “Ludo” Lefebvre opted for this shelving style for his collection of more than 1,000 cookbooks.

$749, Woven Leather Lounge Chair, Wisteria
Get the Look

7 of 79

Look at the Bigger Picture

Looking at your home from a holistic perspective—seeing how each room works in balance against the others—can help craft a welcome variety in your spaces, like this emerald and charcoal dining room that adds a touch of formality to an otherwise contemporary Los Angeles home.

$2,462, Saiba Dining Chair, Design Within Reach

Get The Look

8 of 79

Embrace the Fear of Commitment

To avoid being locked into a single style, lighting designer Lindsey Adelman switches up the fixtures in her Park Slope home on a regular basis. “It’s part of my creative process,” she explains, “I love to see things in context, in real life—to live with them.”

$560, Sphere + Stem Chandelier, West Elm

Get The Look

9 of 79

Use Your Walls as a Canvas

Rather than art, a high-impact wallpaper can give a subdued room some wow-factor. The 19th century wallcovering from this luxe Milan apartment was purchased at auction in France and adapted to the room. “We created the missing parts, the plinth and the ceiling frame, to depict an Italian capriccio, a fantastical and bucolic landscape with architectural features,” Laura Sartori Rimini of Studio Peregalli says.

$122, Amazonia Wall Mural, Perigold

Get The Look

10 of 79

Anchor Your Room With a Classic

“Bringing a touch of the Old World into the mix creates a home that will never feel dated,” designer Alex Papachristidis explains of the art-studded Manhattan apartment he designed for a family friend. For example, the silver leaf–and–rock crystal chandelier from Liz O’Brien that he hung in the otherwise modern dining room.

$3,660, Rococo Iron & Crystal Chandelier, Restoration Hardware

Get The Look

11 of 79

Create Moody Contrast with Color

Instead of meshing a color scheme with a sense of place, designer Irakli Zaria used rich gold and turquoise as an antidote to gloomy London days in this chic pied-a-terre. “In a place where there are such cloudy skies, it makes no sense to have a gray interior,” he said.

$6,500, Color Reform Rug, ABC Carpet & Home

Get The Look

12 of 79

Add Playfulness with Repurposed Items

Art director Vivia Horn’s zen upstate New York home makes use of an unexpected gift to give her traditional kitchen a dose of fun. This breakfast table made of a refurbished hibachi—a present from the late wrestler and Benihana restaurateur Rocky Aoki.

$1,178, Bertoia Counter Stool, Design Within Reach

Get The Look

13 of 79

Use Fabrics Beyond Soft Furnishings

Looking beyond the traditional with wallcoverings can create a truly standout design presence. “I do think I might have scared [architect Ken Linsteadt] a little bit when I announced I was planning to install two levels of green floral fabric on the walls of the grand salon,” says Ken Fulk of his Sonoma Valley lakeside retreat, yet the fabric gives the high walls a richness that wallpaper alone might not have achieved.

$399, Windsor Pendant Light, Crate & Barrel

Get The Look

14 of 79

Balance New and Old

When renovating a building that already has plenty of character, like this 1920s Spanish Colonial home in Los Angeles, it’s all about striking the balance between what you add and what you leave. “We wanted to make it feel more holistic while still honoring its heritage,” designer Steven Johanknecht says of the decision to keep the original hand-carved ceiling beams and wrought-iron chandeliers while removing mismatched materials from previous renovations.

$959, Laughlin Accent Chair, Horchow

Get The Look

15 of 79

Mix Metals for Added Warmth

To soften the modern edge of stainless steel, decorator Alisa Bloom put a traditional spin on the kitchen cabinetry of her 1920s Chicago penthouse with brass inlays. With the help of a local hardware maker, she even designed her own hinges and drawer pulls. “I would never go into a store and just buy something,” she says. “It’s all about the process and the hunt.”

$127, Bar Stool, All Modern

Get The Look

16 of 79

Don’t Underestimate The Power Of High-Low Design

17 of 79

Layer Decor Over The Years

19 of 79

Combine Your Favorite Design Styles

“A lot of people love the idea of really simple, modern living—it’s appealing, it’s nice and it seems serene,” says Erika Yeaman, a Homepolish designer and owner of YES Associates. “But the reality of maintaining that is a little tricker. Mixing Scandinavian design with bohemian style warms it up and makes it feel more homey and attainable.”

$480, Arturo 8-Light Rectangular Chandelier, Ballard Designs

Get The Look

20 of 79

Play With Texture

It’s easy to gravitate toward the usual suspects like wood and leather when trying to craft a textured living space, but branch outside of your comfort zone. Emilie Munroe of Studio Munroe recommends drawing from your own personal style, especially the articles of clothing and patterns you’re attracted to.

$1,109, Matégot Bar Cart, TRNK

Get The Look

21 of 79

Create A “Bouquet” Of Colors

Want to make a variety of bright colors cohesive? Think about how you would arrange a flower bouquet, as Sasha Bikoff did in this SoHo apartment. “The same can apply to a space, but you need to find a connection,” she says. “Here, that connection is the fabric on the dining room chairs, which showcases colors also found throughout the room.”

$695, Mid Century Dining Chair, Mod Shop

Get The Look

22 of 79

Installing Shiplap? Go Horizontal (Usually)

If Chip and Joanna Gaines have convinced you that your abode needs shiplap, you’re usually best off installing the boards horizontally rather than vertically. “It can really expand a space, making it feel larger than vertical boards can,” says Jason Arnold. “Horizontal boards also feel more contemporary.” Vertical boards, however, can be ideal for rooms with high ceilings.

$72, Shiplap Interior Siding, Home Depot

Get The Look

23 of 79

Don’t Sacrifice Comfort

Sure, your eyes may want the most modern, chic couch in the showroom. But your back may not. “In my experience, it’s really better to test out seating and take the time to look at the dimensions,” says Sharon Blaustein. If you’re tall, for instance, you might want to opt for a depth of between 40 to 42 inches for a sofa (rather than the standard depth of 36 inches).

$3,599, Aidan 2-Piece Sectional Sofa, Crate & Barrel

Get The Look

24 of 79

Always Shop For A Rug In Person

This is not the time for e-shopping, people. “It’s just so hard to tell on a computer screen what the color really looks like,” Arnold says. “You might think it looks red, but in reality, it’s watermelon pink.” Not to mention the texture of the rug may be totally different than what you were expecting.

$225, Safavieh Adirondack Round Area Rug, Bed, Bath & Beyond

Get The Look

25 of 79

Let A Locale Inspire Your Space

It’s exactly what Jenny Cipoletti, founder of fashion, beauty and travel blog Margo & Me, did in her decidedly Parisian office (which is actually in West Hollywood). “Just like when you walk into a cafe in Paris, and you see all the details and the golds, silvers and light blush tones, all of these elements in this space really sing to me,” says Cipoletti. This lets you travel to your favorite destination without stepping outside.

$169, Round Tufted Linen Ottoman, Wayfair

Get The Look

26 of 79

Never Settle On One “Look”

Allow your space to continuously change—as your life does. “Remember that your home should always be evolving, just as you are,” says Kelly Framel, creative director, stylist and founder of online magazine The Glamourai. “I am constantly picking up new treasures on my travels. Your nest should always be a place of comfort and inspiration, and it’s a constant work in progress.”

$100, Yellow Droplet Table Lamp, Lamps Plus

Get The Look

27 of 79

Use Curtains As A Backdrop For Art

Instead of hanging a painting on a bare wall, accent it with a rich, velvet curtain background. “Curtains just create a great, calming energy in which you feel very shrouded and comforted, making for a luxurious and restful environment,” says Framel. “And being able to put a really great pop of artwork in front of that textural colored backdrop has a lot of impact.”

$409, Inverted Pleat Drapes, The Shade Store

Get The Look

28 of 79

Upholster Antique Furniture With Modern Fabric

Make what’s old new again by invigorating antique pieces with colorful fabric from the 21st century. Take, for example, the two 18th-century French bergère chairs here, upholstered in a hot pink Maharam fabric. “Maharam is a very modern, contemporary fabric company, with velvets that are really bright in color,” says Bikoff. “That color was such a pop of freshness and youthfulness on these old chairs.”

$6,950, Pair of French Louis XVI Style 1870s Wingback Bergères Chairs with Upholstery, 1stdibs

Get The Look

29 of 79

Choose One Piece Of Artwork To Anchor The Room

In Josh Groban’s “The Great Comet” dressing room, interior designer Mike Harrison selected this constellation artwork as a clear focal point for the room. “I loved this piece for its dimensions and colors, but also as a tip of the hat to the ‘Comet’ influences that I know were of importance to Josh,” says Harrison. “I was searching for artwork that would tie together all of Josh’s design sensibilities.”

$18+, Star Map Print, Etsy

Get The Look

30 of 79

kitchen rugs


image

Douglas Friedman

While the process of decorating your home is thrilling, it also comes with its fair share of challenges. Your goal should be to showcase your design aesthetic in a tasteful way, but it’s a given that you’ll be faced with everything from an interior that lacks natural light to a layout that’s much smaller than you’d like. So it’s no surprise that these common dilemmas might turn you off from decorating altogether. But instead of viewing them as stumbling blocks, use them as inspiration to design the home of your dreams.

Regardless of the type of space you’re decorating, there’s nothing more important than paying attention to details—and expressing your creativity. Taking the time to understand the basic principles of decorating, from choosing the right furniture to finding the perfect color palette, will get you one step closer to crafting the home you’ve always wanted.

Here, we share decorating pointers from our archives and useful tips from top interior decorators to help you make sense of what good design really means. If you’re ready to master the art of decorating and up for putting your imagination to the test, click through for some of the best tips in the business.

Go Bold in Small Spaces

Graphic prints can have a major impact in small spaces such as a powder room. Here, an Ellie Cashman floral wallpaper is the star of a powder room a New Orleans manse designed by Sara Ruffin Costello.

$600, Expedition Accent Wall Mirror, Perigold
Get the Look

1 of 79

Experiment with Patterns

Layering patterns in a range of styles and scales is an easy way to add visual interest to a room. Here, Refinery29 Global Editor-in-Chief Christene Barberich pairs black and white pillows with green chevron bedding in her Brooklyn Heights bedroom.

$46, Integral Pillow, Anthropologie
Get the Look

2 of 79

Use Color in Hallways

If you tend to be more reserved when it comes to color choices, step outside of your comfort zone by choosing a bold hue, like purple, for a hallway. It’s unexpected and can be a chic backdrop for showcasing an art collection like this design by David Hicks.

$38, Vigorous Violet, Sherwin-Williams
Get the Look

3 of 79

Display Collectibles on a Table

Every room can benefit from accessories that have a history. Rather than showcasing your collectibles on a shelf, set them out on a table, as seen in this Italian apartment. Just be sure your collection is highly curated to maintain a sense of balance in your display.

$1,695, Brooke Club Chair, One Kings Lane
Get the Look

4 of 79

Group Antiques By Color

There’s a fine line between kitschy and curated. Rebecca Robertson unifies vintage and new pieces by grouping them by color.

$173, Skyline Furniture Linen Talc Nail Button Storage Ottoman, Overstock

Get The Look

5 of 79

Mix Your Time Periods

“You mix things up with old and new,” suggests textiles and interior designer Kathryn M. Ireland, as she did in the living room of her Santa Monica home; a room where the furnishings include 17th-century French chairs, an 18th-century Mexican console, and a cocktail table from her furniture line.

$690, Fredson Coffee Table, Wayfair

Get The Look

6 of 79

Try Floor-to-Ceiling Shelving

Floor-to-ceiling shelving never fails to add character to a room. In his Los Angeles home, acclaimed chef Ludovic “Ludo” Lefebvre opted for this shelving style for his collection of more than 1,000 cookbooks.

$749, Woven Leather Lounge Chair, Wisteria
Get the Look

7 of 79

Look at the Bigger Picture

Looking at your home from a holistic perspective—seeing how each room works in balance against the others—can help craft a welcome variety in your spaces, like this emerald and charcoal dining room that adds a touch of formality to an otherwise contemporary Los Angeles home.

$2,462, Saiba Dining Chair, Design Within Reach

Get The Look

8 of 79

Embrace the Fear of Commitment

To avoid being locked into a single style, lighting designer Lindsey Adelman switches up the fixtures in her Park Slope home on a regular basis. “It’s part of my creative process,” she explains, “I love to see things in context, in real life—to live with them.”

$560, Sphere + Stem Chandelier, West Elm

Get The Look

9 of 79

Use Your Walls as a Canvas

Rather than art, a high-impact wallpaper can give a subdued room some wow-factor. The 19th century wallcovering from this luxe Milan apartment was purchased at auction in France and adapted to the room. “We created the missing parts, the plinth and the ceiling frame, to depict an Italian capriccio, a fantastical and bucolic landscape with architectural features,” Laura Sartori Rimini of Studio Peregalli says.

$122, Amazonia Wall Mural, Perigold

Get The Look

10 of 79

Anchor Your Room With a Classic

“Bringing a touch of the Old World into the mix creates a home that will never feel dated,” designer Alex Papachristidis explains of the art-studded Manhattan apartment he designed for a family friend. For example, the silver leaf–and–rock crystal chandelier from Liz O’Brien that he hung in the otherwise modern dining room.

$3,660, Rococo Iron & Crystal Chandelier, Restoration Hardware

Get The Look

11 of 79

Create Moody Contrast with Color

Instead of meshing a color scheme with a sense of place, designer Irakli Zaria used rich gold and turquoise as an antidote to gloomy London days in this chic pied-a-terre. “In a place where there are such cloudy skies, it makes no sense to have a gray interior,” he said.

$6,500, Color Reform Rug, ABC Carpet & Home

Get The Look

12 of 79

Add Playfulness with Repurposed Items

Art director Vivia Horn’s zen upstate New York home makes use of an unexpected gift to give her traditional kitchen a dose of fun. This breakfast table made of a refurbished hibachi—a present from the late wrestler and Benihana restaurateur Rocky Aoki.

$1,178, Bertoia Counter Stool, Design Within Reach

Get The Look

13 of 79

Use Fabrics Beyond Soft Furnishings

Looking beyond the traditional with wallcoverings can create a truly standout design presence. “I do think I might have scared [architect Ken Linsteadt] a little bit when I announced I was planning to install two levels of green floral fabric on the walls of the grand salon,” says Ken Fulk of his Sonoma Valley lakeside retreat, yet the fabric gives the high walls a richness that wallpaper alone might not have achieved.

$399, Windsor Pendant Light, Crate & Barrel

Get The Look

14 of 79

Balance New and Old

When renovating a building that already has plenty of character, like this 1920s Spanish Colonial home in Los Angeles, it’s all about striking the balance between what you add and what you leave. “We wanted to make it feel more holistic while still honoring its heritage,” designer Steven Johanknecht says of the decision to keep the original hand-carved ceiling beams and wrought-iron chandeliers while removing mismatched materials from previous renovations.

$959, Laughlin Accent Chair, Horchow

Get The Look

15 of 79

Mix Metals for Added Warmth

To soften the modern edge of stainless steel, decorator Alisa Bloom put a traditional spin on the kitchen cabinetry of her 1920s Chicago penthouse with brass inlays. With the help of a local hardware maker, she even designed her own hinges and drawer pulls. “I would never go into a store and just buy something,” she says. “It’s all about the process and the hunt.”

$127, Bar Stool, All Modern

Get The Look

16 of 79

Don’t Underestimate The Power Of High-Low Design

17 of 79

Layer Decor Over The Years

19 of 79

Combine Your Favorite Design Styles

“A lot of people love the idea of really simple, modern living—it’s appealing, it’s nice and it seems serene,” says Erika Yeaman, a Homepolish designer and owner of YES Associates. “But the reality of maintaining that is a little tricker. Mixing Scandinavian design with bohemian style warms it up and makes it feel more homey and attainable.”

$480, Arturo 8-Light Rectangular Chandelier, Ballard Designs

Get The Look

20 of 79

Play With Texture

It’s easy to gravitate toward the usual suspects like wood and leather when trying to craft a textured living space, but branch outside of your comfort zone. Emilie Munroe of Studio Munroe recommends drawing from your own personal style, especially the articles of clothing and patterns you’re attracted to.

$1,109, Matégot Bar Cart, TRNK

Get The Look

21 of 79

Create A “Bouquet” Of Colors

Want to make a variety of bright colors cohesive? Think about how you would arrange a flower bouquet, as Sasha Bikoff did in this SoHo apartment. “The same can apply to a space, but you need to find a connection,” she says. “Here, that connection is the fabric on the dining room chairs, which showcases colors also found throughout the room.”

$695, Mid Century Dining Chair, Mod Shop

Get The Look

22 of 79

Installing Shiplap? Go Horizontal (Usually)

If Chip and Joanna Gaines have convinced you that your abode needs shiplap, you’re usually best off installing the boards horizontally rather than vertically. “It can really expand a space, making it feel larger than vertical boards can,” says Jason Arnold. “Horizontal boards also feel more contemporary.” Vertical boards, however, can be ideal for rooms with high ceilings.

$72, Shiplap Interior Siding, Home Depot

Get The Look

23 of 79

Don’t Sacrifice Comfort

Sure, your eyes may want the most modern, chic couch in the showroom. But your back may not. “In my experience, it’s really better to test out seating and take the time to look at the dimensions,” says Sharon Blaustein. If you’re tall, for instance, you might want to opt for a depth of between 40 to 42 inches for a sofa (rather than the standard depth of 36 inches).

$3,599, Aidan 2-Piece Sectional Sofa, Crate & Barrel

Get The Look

24 of 79

Always Shop For A Rug In Person

This is not the time for e-shopping, people. “It’s just so hard to tell on a computer screen what the color really looks like,” Arnold says. “You might think it looks red, but in reality, it’s watermelon pink.” Not to mention the texture of the rug may be totally different than what you were expecting.

$225, Safavieh Adirondack Round Area Rug, Bed, Bath & Beyond

Get The Look

25 of 79

Let A Locale Inspire Your Space

It’s exactly what Jenny Cipoletti, founder of fashion, beauty and travel blog Margo & Me, did in her decidedly Parisian office (which is actually in West Hollywood). “Just like when you walk into a cafe in Paris, and you see all the details and the golds, silvers and light blush tones, all of these elements in this space really sing to me,” says Cipoletti. This lets you travel to your favorite destination without stepping outside.

$169, Round Tufted Linen Ottoman, Wayfair

Get The Look

26 of 79

Never Settle On One “Look”

Allow your space to continuously change—as your life does. “Remember that your home should always be evolving, just as you are,” says Kelly Framel, creative director, stylist and founder of online magazine The Glamourai. “I am constantly picking up new treasures on my travels. Your nest should always be a place of comfort and inspiration, and it’s a constant work in progress.”

$100, Yellow Droplet Table Lamp, Lamps Plus

Get The Look

27 of 79

Use Curtains As A Backdrop For Art

Instead of hanging a painting on a bare wall, accent it with a rich, velvet curtain background. “Curtains just create a great, calming energy in which you feel very shrouded and comforted, making for a luxurious and restful environment,” says Framel. “And being able to put a really great pop of artwork in front of that textural colored backdrop has a lot of impact.”

$409, Inverted Pleat Drapes, The Shade Store

Get The Look

28 of 79

Upholster Antique Furniture With Modern Fabric

Make what’s old new again by invigorating antique pieces with colorful fabric from the 21st century. Take, for example, the two 18th-century French bergère chairs here, upholstered in a hot pink Maharam fabric. “Maharam is a very modern, contemporary fabric company, with velvets that are really bright in color,” says Bikoff. “That color was such a pop of freshness and youthfulness on these old chairs.”

$6,950, Pair of French Louis XVI Style 1870s Wingback Bergères Chairs with Upholstery, 1stdibs

Get The Look

29 of 79

Choose One Piece Of Artwork To Anchor The Room

In Josh Groban’s “The Great Comet” dressing room, interior designer Mike Harrison selected this constellation artwork as a clear focal point for the room. “I loved this piece for its dimensions and colors, but also as a tip of the hat to the ‘Comet’ influences that I know were of importance to Josh,” says Harrison. “I was searching for artwork that would tie together all of Josh’s design sensibilities.”

$18+, Star Map Print, Etsy

Get The Look

30 of 79

kitchen rugs


image

Douglas Friedman

While the process of decorating your home is thrilling, it also comes with its fair share of challenges. Your goal should be to showcase your design aesthetic in a tasteful way, but it’s a given that you’ll be faced with everything from an interior that lacks natural light to a layout that’s much smaller than you’d like. So it’s no surprise that these common dilemmas might turn you off from decorating altogether. But instead of viewing them as stumbling blocks, use them as inspiration to design the home of your dreams.

Regardless of the type of space you’re decorating, there’s nothing more important than paying attention to details—and expressing your creativity. Taking the time to understand the basic principles of decorating, from choosing the right furniture to finding the perfect color palette, will get you one step closer to crafting the home you’ve always wanted.

Here, we share decorating pointers from our archives and useful tips from top interior decorators to help you make sense of what good design really means. If you’re ready to master the art of decorating and up for putting your imagination to the test, click through for some of the best tips in the business.

Go Bold in Small Spaces

Graphic prints can have a major impact in small spaces such as a powder room. Here, an Ellie Cashman floral wallpaper is the star of a powder room a New Orleans manse designed by Sara Ruffin Costello.

$600, Expedition Accent Wall Mirror, Perigold
Get the Look

1 of 79

Experiment with Patterns

Layering patterns in a range of styles and scales is an easy way to add visual interest to a room. Here, Refinery29 Global Editor-in-Chief Christene Barberich pairs black and white pillows with green chevron bedding in her Brooklyn Heights bedroom.

$46, Integral Pillow, Anthropologie
Get the Look

2 of 79

Use Color in Hallways

If you tend to be more reserved when it comes to color choices, step outside of your comfort zone by choosing a bold hue, like purple, for a hallway. It’s unexpected and can be a chic backdrop for showcasing an art collection like this design by David Hicks.

$38, Vigorous Violet, Sherwin-Williams
Get the Look

3 of 79

Display Collectibles on a Table

Every room can benefit from accessories that have a history. Rather than showcasing your collectibles on a shelf, set them out on a table, as seen in this Italian apartment. Just be sure your collection is highly curated to maintain a sense of balance in your display.

$1,695, Brooke Club Chair, One Kings Lane
Get the Look

4 of 79

Group Antiques By Color

There’s a fine line between kitschy and curated. Rebecca Robertson unifies vintage and new pieces by grouping them by color.

$173, Skyline Furniture Linen Talc Nail Button Storage Ottoman, Overstock

Get The Look

5 of 79

Mix Your Time Periods

“You mix things up with old and new,” suggests textiles and interior designer Kathryn M. Ireland, as she did in the living room of her Santa Monica home; a room where the furnishings include 17th-century French chairs, an 18th-century Mexican console, and a cocktail table from her furniture line.

$690, Fredson Coffee Table, Wayfair

Get The Look

6 of 79

Try Floor-to-Ceiling Shelving

Floor-to-ceiling shelving never fails to add character to a room. In his Los Angeles home, acclaimed chef Ludovic “Ludo” Lefebvre opted for this shelving style for his collection of more than 1,000 cookbooks.

$749, Woven Leather Lounge Chair, Wisteria
Get the Look

7 of 79

Look at the Bigger Picture

Looking at your home from a holistic perspective—seeing how each room works in balance against the others—can help craft a welcome variety in your spaces, like this emerald and charcoal dining room that adds a touch of formality to an otherwise contemporary Los Angeles home.

$2,462, Saiba Dining Chair, Design Within Reach

Get The Look

8 of 79

Embrace the Fear of Commitment

To avoid being locked into a single style, lighting designer Lindsey Adelman switches up the fixtures in her Park Slope home on a regular basis. “It’s part of my creative process,” she explains, “I love to see things in context, in real life—to live with them.”

$560, Sphere + Stem Chandelier, West Elm

Get The Look

9 of 79

Use Your Walls as a Canvas

Rather than art, a high-impact wallpaper can give a subdued room some wow-factor. The 19th century wallcovering from this luxe Milan apartment was purchased at auction in France and adapted to the room. “We created the missing parts, the plinth and the ceiling frame, to depict an Italian capriccio, a fantastical and bucolic landscape with architectural features,” Laura Sartori Rimini of Studio Peregalli says.

$122, Amazonia Wall Mural, Perigold

Get The Look

10 of 79

Anchor Your Room With a Classic

“Bringing a touch of the Old World into the mix creates a home that will never feel dated,” designer Alex Papachristidis explains of the art-studded Manhattan apartment he designed for a family friend. For example, the silver leaf–and–rock crystal chandelier from Liz O’Brien that he hung in the otherwise modern dining room.

$3,660, Rococo Iron & Crystal Chandelier, Restoration Hardware

Get The Look

11 of 79

Create Moody Contrast with Color

Instead of meshing a color scheme with a sense of place, designer Irakli Zaria used rich gold and turquoise as an antidote to gloomy London days in this chic pied-a-terre. “In a place where there are such cloudy skies, it makes no sense to have a gray interior,” he said.

$6,500, Color Reform Rug, ABC Carpet & Home

Get The Look

12 of 79

Add Playfulness with Repurposed Items

Art director Vivia Horn’s zen upstate New York home makes use of an unexpected gift to give her traditional kitchen a dose of fun. This breakfast table made of a refurbished hibachi—a present from the late wrestler and Benihana restaurateur Rocky Aoki.

$1,178, Bertoia Counter Stool, Design Within Reach

Get The Look

13 of 79

Use Fabrics Beyond Soft Furnishings

Looking beyond the traditional with wallcoverings can create a truly standout design presence. “I do think I might have scared [architect Ken Linsteadt] a little bit when I announced I was planning to install two levels of green floral fabric on the walls of the grand salon,” says Ken Fulk of his Sonoma Valley lakeside retreat, yet the fabric gives the high walls a richness that wallpaper alone might not have achieved.

$399, Windsor Pendant Light, Crate & Barrel

Get The Look

14 of 79

Balance New and Old

When renovating a building that already has plenty of character, like this 1920s Spanish Colonial home in Los Angeles, it’s all about striking the balance between what you add and what you leave. “We wanted to make it feel more holistic while still honoring its heritage,” designer Steven Johanknecht says of the decision to keep the original hand-carved ceiling beams and wrought-iron chandeliers while removing mismatched materials from previous renovations.

$959, Laughlin Accent Chair, Horchow

Get The Look

15 of 79

Mix Metals for Added Warmth

To soften the modern edge of stainless steel, decorator Alisa Bloom put a traditional spin on the kitchen cabinetry of her 1920s Chicago penthouse with brass inlays. With the help of a local hardware maker, she even designed her own hinges and drawer pulls. “I would never go into a store and just buy something,” she says. “It’s all about the process and the hunt.”

$127, Bar Stool, All Modern

Get The Look

16 of 79

Don’t Underestimate The Power Of High-Low Design

17 of 79

Layer Decor Over The Years

19 of 79

Combine Your Favorite Design Styles

“A lot of people love the idea of really simple, modern living—it’s appealing, it’s nice and it seems serene,” says Erika Yeaman, a Homepolish designer and owner of YES Associates. “But the reality of maintaining that is a little tricker. Mixing Scandinavian design with bohemian style warms it up and makes it feel more homey and attainable.”

$480, Arturo 8-Light Rectangular Chandelier, Ballard Designs

Get The Look

20 of 79

Play With Texture

It’s easy to gravitate toward the usual suspects like wood and leather when trying to craft a textured living space, but branch outside of your comfort zone. Emilie Munroe of Studio Munroe recommends drawing from your own personal style, especially the articles of clothing and patterns you’re attracted to.

$1,109, Matégot Bar Cart, TRNK

Get The Look

21 of 79

Create A “Bouquet” Of Colors

Want to make a variety of bright colors cohesive? Think about how you would arrange a flower bouquet, as Sasha Bikoff did in this SoHo apartment. “The same can apply to a space, but you need to find a connection,” she says. “Here, that connection is the fabric on the dining room chairs, which showcases colors also found throughout the room.”

$695, Mid Century Dining Chair, Mod Shop

Get The Look

22 of 79

Installing Shiplap? Go Horizontal (Usually)

If Chip and Joanna Gaines have convinced you that your abode needs shiplap, you’re usually best off installing the boards horizontally rather than vertically. “It can really expand a space, making it feel larger than vertical boards can,” says Jason Arnold. “Horizontal boards also feel more contemporary.” Vertical boards, however, can be ideal for rooms with high ceilings.

$72, Shiplap Interior Siding, Home Depot

Get The Look

23 of 79

Don’t Sacrifice Comfort

Sure, your eyes may want the most modern, chic couch in the showroom. But your back may not. “In my experience, it’s really better to test out seating and take the time to look at the dimensions,” says Sharon Blaustein. If you’re tall, for instance, you might want to opt for a depth of between 40 to 42 inches for a sofa (rather than the standard depth of 36 inches).

$3,599, Aidan 2-Piece Sectional Sofa, Crate & Barrel

Get The Look

24 of 79

Always Shop For A Rug In Person

This is not the time for e-shopping, people. “It’s just so hard to tell on a computer screen what the color really looks like,” Arnold says. “You might think it looks red, but in reality, it’s watermelon pink.” Not to mention the texture of the rug may be totally different than what you were expecting.

$225, Safavieh Adirondack Round Area Rug, Bed, Bath & Beyond

Get The Look

25 of 79

Let A Locale Inspire Your Space

It’s exactly what Jenny Cipoletti, founder of fashion, beauty and travel blog Margo & Me, did in her decidedly Parisian office (which is actually in West Hollywood). “Just like when you walk into a cafe in Paris, and you see all the details and the golds, silvers and light blush tones, all of these elements in this space really sing to me,” says Cipoletti. This lets you travel to your favorite destination without stepping outside.

$169, Round Tufted Linen Ottoman, Wayfair

Get The Look

26 of 79

Never Settle On One “Look”

Allow your space to continuously change—as your life does. “Remember that your home should always be evolving, just as you are,” says Kelly Framel, creative director, stylist and founder of online magazine The Glamourai. “I am constantly picking up new treasures on my travels. Your nest should always be a place of comfort and inspiration, and it’s a constant work in progress.”

$100, Yellow Droplet Table Lamp, Lamps Plus

Get The Look

27 of 79

Use Curtains As A Backdrop For Art

Instead of hanging a painting on a bare wall, accent it with a rich, velvet curtain background. “Curtains just create a great, calming energy in which you feel very shrouded and comforted, making for a luxurious and restful environment,” says Framel. “And being able to put a really great pop of artwork in front of that textural colored backdrop has a lot of impact.”

$409, Inverted Pleat Drapes, The Shade Store

Get The Look

28 of 79

Upholster Antique Furniture With Modern Fabric

Make what’s old new again by invigorating antique pieces with colorful fabric from the 21st century. Take, for example, the two 18th-century French bergère chairs here, upholstered in a hot pink Maharam fabric. “Maharam is a very modern, contemporary fabric company, with velvets that are really bright in color,” says Bikoff. “That color was such a pop of freshness and youthfulness on these old chairs.”

$6,950, Pair of French Louis XVI Style 1870s Wingback Bergères Chairs with Upholstery, 1stdibs

Get The Look

29 of 79

Choose One Piece Of Artwork To Anchor The Room

In Josh Groban’s “The Great Comet” dressing room, interior designer Mike Harrison selected this constellation artwork as a clear focal point for the room. “I loved this piece for its dimensions and colors, but also as a tip of the hat to the ‘Comet’ influences that I know were of importance to Josh,” says Harrison. “I was searching for artwork that would tie together all of Josh’s design sensibilities.”

$18+, Star Map Print, Etsy

Get The Look

30 of 79

kitchen rugs


image

Douglas Friedman

While the process of decorating your home is thrilling, it also comes with its fair share of challenges. Your goal should be to showcase your design aesthetic in a tasteful way, but it’s a given that you’ll be faced with everything from an interior that lacks natural light to a layout that’s much smaller than you’d like. So it’s no surprise that these common dilemmas might turn you off from decorating altogether. But instead of viewing them as stumbling blocks, use them as inspiration to design the home of your dreams.

Regardless of the type of space you’re decorating, there’s nothing more important than paying attention to details—and expressing your creativity. Taking the time to understand the basic principles of decorating, from choosing the right furniture to finding the perfect color palette, will get you one step closer to crafting the home you’ve always wanted.

Here, we share decorating pointers from our archives and useful tips from top interior decorators to help you make sense of what good design really means. If you’re ready to master the art of decorating and up for putting your imagination to the test, click through for some of the best tips in the business.

Go Bold in Small Spaces

Graphic prints can have a major impact in small spaces such as a powder room. Here, an Ellie Cashman floral wallpaper is the star of a powder room a New Orleans manse designed by Sara Ruffin Costello.

$600, Expedition Accent Wall Mirror, Perigold
Get the Look

1 of 79

Experiment with Patterns

Layering patterns in a range of styles and scales is an easy way to add visual interest to a room. Here, Refinery29 Global Editor-in-Chief Christene Barberich pairs black and white pillows with green chevron bedding in her Brooklyn Heights bedroom.

$46, Integral Pillow, Anthropologie
Get the Look

2 of 79

Use Color in Hallways

If you tend to be more reserved when it comes to color choices, step outside of your comfort zone by choosing a bold hue, like purple, for a hallway. It’s unexpected and can be a chic backdrop for showcasing an art collection like this design by David Hicks.

$38, Vigorous Violet, Sherwin-Williams
Get the Look

3 of 79

Display Collectibles on a Table

Every room can benefit from accessories that have a history. Rather than showcasing your collectibles on a shelf, set them out on a table, as seen in this Italian apartment. Just be sure your collection is highly curated to maintain a sense of balance in your display.

$1,695, Brooke Club Chair, One Kings Lane
Get the Look

4 of 79

Group Antiques By Color

There’s a fine line between kitschy and curated. Rebecca Robertson unifies vintage and new pieces by grouping them by color.

$173, Skyline Furniture Linen Talc Nail Button Storage Ottoman, Overstock

Get The Look

5 of 79

Mix Your Time Periods

“You mix things up with old and new,” suggests textiles and interior designer Kathryn M. Ireland, as she did in the living room of her Santa Monica home; a room where the furnishings include 17th-century French chairs, an 18th-century Mexican console, and a cocktail table from her furniture line.

$690, Fredson Coffee Table, Wayfair

Get The Look

6 of 79

Try Floor-to-Ceiling Shelving

Floor-to-ceiling shelving never fails to add character to a room. In his Los Angeles home, acclaimed chef Ludovic “Ludo” Lefebvre opted for this shelving style for his collection of more than 1,000 cookbooks.

$749, Woven Leather Lounge Chair, Wisteria
Get the Look

7 of 79

Look at the Bigger Picture

Looking at your home from a holistic perspective—seeing how each room works in balance against the others—can help craft a welcome variety in your spaces, like this emerald and charcoal dining room that adds a touch of formality to an otherwise contemporary Los Angeles home.

$2,462, Saiba Dining Chair, Design Within Reach

Get The Look

8 of 79

Embrace the Fear of Commitment

To avoid being locked into a single style, lighting designer Lindsey Adelman switches up the fixtures in her Park Slope home on a regular basis. “It’s part of my creative process,” she explains, “I love to see things in context, in real life—to live with them.”

$560, Sphere + Stem Chandelier, West Elm

Get The Look

9 of 79

Use Your Walls as a Canvas

Rather than art, a high-impact wallpaper can give a subdued room some wow-factor. The 19th century wallcovering from this luxe Milan apartment was purchased at auction in France and adapted to the room. “We created the missing parts, the plinth and the ceiling frame, to depict an Italian capriccio, a fantastical and bucolic landscape with architectural features,” Laura Sartori Rimini of Studio Peregalli says.

$122, Amazonia Wall Mural, Perigold

Get The Look

10 of 79

Anchor Your Room With a Classic

“Bringing a touch of the Old World into the mix creates a home that will never feel dated,” designer Alex Papachristidis explains of the art-studded Manhattan apartment he designed for a family friend. For example, the silver leaf–and–rock crystal chandelier from Liz O’Brien that he hung in the otherwise modern dining room.

$3,660, Rococo Iron & Crystal Chandelier, Restoration Hardware

Get The Look

11 of 79

Create Moody Contrast with Color

Instead of meshing a color scheme with a sense of place, designer Irakli Zaria used rich gold and turquoise as an antidote to gloomy London days in this chic pied-a-terre. “In a place where there are such cloudy skies, it makes no sense to have a gray interior,” he said.

$6,500, Color Reform Rug, ABC Carpet & Home

Get The Look

12 of 79

Add Playfulness with Repurposed Items

Art director Vivia Horn’s zen upstate New York home makes use of an unexpected gift to give her traditional kitchen a dose of fun. This breakfast table made of a refurbished hibachi—a present from the late wrestler and Benihana restaurateur Rocky Aoki.

$1,178, Bertoia Counter Stool, Design Within Reach

Get The Look

13 of 79

Use Fabrics Beyond Soft Furnishings

Looking beyond the traditional with wallcoverings can create a truly standout design presence. “I do think I might have scared [architect Ken Linsteadt] a little bit when I announced I was planning to install two levels of green floral fabric on the walls of the grand salon,” says Ken Fulk of his Sonoma Valley lakeside retreat, yet the fabric gives the high walls a richness that wallpaper alone might not have achieved.

$399, Windsor Pendant Light, Crate & Barrel

Get The Look

14 of 79

Balance New and Old

When renovating a building that already has plenty of character, like this 1920s Spanish Colonial home in Los Angeles, it’s all about striking the balance between what you add and what you leave. “We wanted to make it feel more holistic while still honoring its heritage,” designer Steven Johanknecht says of the decision to keep the original hand-carved ceiling beams and wrought-iron chandeliers while removing mismatched materials from previous renovations.

$959, Laughlin Accent Chair, Horchow

Get The Look

15 of 79

Mix Metals for Added Warmth

To soften the modern edge of stainless steel, decorator Alisa Bloom put a traditional spin on the kitchen cabinetry of her 1920s Chicago penthouse with brass inlays. With the help of a local hardware maker, she even designed her own hinges and drawer pulls. “I would never go into a store and just buy something,” she says. “It’s all about the process and the hunt.”

$127, Bar Stool, All Modern

Get The Look

16 of 79

Don’t Underestimate The Power Of High-Low Design

17 of 79

Layer Decor Over The Years

19 of 79

Combine Your Favorite Design Styles

“A lot of people love the idea of really simple, modern living—it’s appealing, it’s nice and it seems serene,” says Erika Yeaman, a Homepolish designer and owner of YES Associates. “But the reality of maintaining that is a little tricker. Mixing Scandinavian design with bohemian style warms it up and makes it feel more homey and attainable.”

$480, Arturo 8-Light Rectangular Chandelier, Ballard Designs

Get The Look

20 of 79

Play With Texture

It’s easy to gravitate toward the usual suspects like wood and leather when trying to craft a textured living space, but branch outside of your comfort zone. Emilie Munroe of Studio Munroe recommends drawing from your own personal style, especially the articles of clothing and patterns you’re attracted to.

$1,109, Matégot Bar Cart, TRNK

Get The Look

21 of 79

Create A “Bouquet” Of Colors

Want to make a variety of bright colors cohesive? Think about how you would arrange a flower bouquet, as Sasha Bikoff did in this SoHo apartment. “The same can apply to a space, but you need to find a connection,” she says. “Here, that connection is the fabric on the dining room chairs, which showcases colors also found throughout the room.”

$695, Mid Century Dining Chair, Mod Shop

Get The Look

22 of 79

Installing Shiplap? Go Horizontal (Usually)

If Chip and Joanna Gaines have convinced you that your abode needs shiplap, you’re usually best off installing the boards horizontally rather than vertically. “It can really expand a space, making it feel larger than vertical boards can,” says Jason Arnold. “Horizontal boards also feel more contemporary.” Vertical boards, however, can be ideal for rooms with high ceilings.

$72, Shiplap Interior Siding, Home Depot

Get The Look

23 of 79

Don’t Sacrifice Comfort

Sure, your eyes may want the most modern, chic couch in the showroom. But your back may not. “In my experience, it’s really better to test out seating and take the time to look at the dimensions,” says Sharon Blaustein. If you’re tall, for instance, you might want to opt for a depth of between 40 to 42 inches for a sofa (rather than the standard depth of 36 inches).

$3,599, Aidan 2-Piece Sectional Sofa, Crate & Barrel

Get The Look

24 of 79

Always Shop For A Rug In Person

This is not the time for e-shopping, people. “It’s just so hard to tell on a computer screen what the color really looks like,” Arnold says. “You might think it looks red, but in reality, it’s watermelon pink.” Not to mention the texture of the rug may be totally different than what you were expecting.

$225, Safavieh Adirondack Round Area Rug, Bed, Bath & Beyond

Get The Look

25 of 79

Let A Locale Inspire Your Space

It’s exactly what Jenny Cipoletti, founder of fashion, beauty and travel blog Margo & Me, did in her decidedly Parisian office (which is actually in West Hollywood). “Just like when you walk into a cafe in Paris, and you see all the details and the golds, silvers and light blush tones, all of these elements in this space really sing to me,” says Cipoletti. This lets you travel to your favorite destination without stepping outside.

$169, Round Tufted Linen Ottoman, Wayfair

Get The Look

26 of 79

Never Settle On One “Look”

Allow your space to continuously change—as your life does. “Remember that your home should always be evolving, just as you are,” says Kelly Framel, creative director, stylist and founder of online magazine The Glamourai. “I am constantly picking up new treasures on my travels. Your nest should always be a place of comfort and inspiration, and it’s a constant work in progress.”

$100, Yellow Droplet Table Lamp, Lamps Plus

Get The Look

27 of 79

Use Curtains As A Backdrop For Art

Instead of hanging a painting on a bare wall, accent it with a rich, velvet curtain background. “Curtains just create a great, calming energy in which you feel very shrouded and comforted, making for a luxurious and restful environment,” says Framel. “And being able to put a really great pop of artwork in front of that textural colored backdrop has a lot of impact.”

$409, Inverted Pleat Drapes, The Shade Store

Get The Look

28 of 79

Upholster Antique Furniture With Modern Fabric

Make what’s old new again by invigorating antique pieces with colorful fabric from the 21st century. Take, for example, the two 18th-century French bergère chairs here, upholstered in a hot pink Maharam fabric. “Maharam is a very modern, contemporary fabric company, with velvets that are really bright in color,” says Bikoff. “That color was such a pop of freshness and youthfulness on these old chairs.”

$6,950, Pair of French Louis XVI Style 1870s Wingback Bergères Chairs with Upholstery, 1stdibs

Get The Look

29 of 79

Choose One Piece Of Artwork To Anchor The Room

In Josh Groban’s “The Great Comet” dressing room, interior designer Mike Harrison selected this constellation artwork as a clear focal point for the room. “I loved this piece for its dimensions and colors, but also as a tip of the hat to the ‘Comet’ influences that I know were of importance to Josh,” says Harrison. “I was searching for artwork that would tie together all of Josh’s design sensibilities.”

$18+, Star Map Print, Etsy

Get The Look

30 of 79

kitchen rugs


image

Douglas Friedman

While the process of decorating your home is thrilling, it also comes with its fair share of challenges. Your goal should be to showcase your design aesthetic in a tasteful way, but it’s a given that you’ll be faced with everything from an interior that lacks natural light to a layout that’s much smaller than you’d like. So it’s no surprise that these common dilemmas might turn you off from decorating altogether. But instead of viewing them as stumbling blocks, use them as inspiration to design the home of your dreams.

Regardless of the type of space you’re decorating, there’s nothing more important than paying attention to details—and expressing your creativity. Taking the time to understand the basic principles of decorating, from choosing the right furniture to finding the perfect color palette, will get you one step closer to crafting the home you’ve always wanted.

Here, we share decorating pointers from our archives and useful tips from top interior decorators to help you make sense of what good design really means. If you’re ready to master the art of decorating and up for putting your imagination to the test, click through for some of the best tips in the business.

Go Bold in Small Spaces

Graphic prints can have a major impact in small spaces such as a powder room. Here, an Ellie Cashman floral wallpaper is the star of a powder room a New Orleans manse designed by Sara Ruffin Costello.

$600, Expedition Accent Wall Mirror, Perigold
Get the Look

1 of 79

Experiment with Patterns

Layering patterns in a range of styles and scales is an easy way to add visual interest to a room. Here, Refinery29 Global Editor-in-Chief Christene Barberich pairs black and white pillows with green chevron bedding in her Brooklyn Heights bedroom.

$46, Integral Pillow, Anthropologie
Get the Look

2 of 79

Use Color in Hallways

If you tend to be more reserved when it comes to color choices, step outside of your comfort zone by choosing a bold hue, like purple, for a hallway. It’s unexpected and can be a chic backdrop for showcasing an art collection like this design by David Hicks.

$38, Vigorous Violet, Sherwin-Williams
Get the Look

3 of 79

Display Collectibles on a Table

Every room can benefit from accessories that have a history. Rather than showcasing your collectibles on a shelf, set them out on a table, as seen in this Italian apartment. Just be sure your collection is highly curated to maintain a sense of balance in your display.

$1,695, Brooke Club Chair, One Kings Lane
Get the Look

4 of 79

Group Antiques By Color

There’s a fine line between kitschy and curated. Rebecca Robertson unifies vintage and new pieces by grouping them by color.

$173, Skyline Furniture Linen Talc Nail Button Storage Ottoman, Overstock

Get The Look

5 of 79

Mix Your Time Periods

“You mix things up with old and new,” suggests textiles and interior designer Kathryn M. Ireland, as she did in the living room of her Santa Monica home; a room where the furnishings include 17th-century French chairs, an 18th-century Mexican console, and a cocktail table from her furniture line.

$690, Fredson Coffee Table, Wayfair

Get The Look

6 of 79

Try Floor-to-Ceiling Shelving

Floor-to-ceiling shelving never fails to add character to a room. In his Los Angeles home, acclaimed chef Ludovic “Ludo” Lefebvre opted for this shelving style for his collection of more than 1,000 cookbooks.

$749, Woven Leather Lounge Chair, Wisteria
Get the Look

7 of 79

Look at the Bigger Picture

Looking at your home from a holistic perspective—seeing how each room works in balance against the others—can help craft a welcome variety in your spaces, like this emerald and charcoal dining room that adds a touch of formality to an otherwise contemporary Los Angeles home.

$2,462, Saiba Dining Chair, Design Within Reach

Get The Look

8 of 79

Embrace the Fear of Commitment

To avoid being locked into a single style, lighting designer Lindsey Adelman switches up the fixtures in her Park Slope home on a regular basis. “It’s part of my creative process,” she explains, “I love to see things in context, in real life—to live with them.”

$560, Sphere + Stem Chandelier, West Elm

Get The Look

9 of 79

Use Your Walls as a Canvas

Rather than art, a high-impact wallpaper can give a subdued room some wow-factor. The 19th century wallcovering from this luxe Milan apartment was purchased at auction in France and adapted to the room. “We created the missing parts, the plinth and the ceiling frame, to depict an Italian capriccio, a fantastical and bucolic landscape with architectural features,” Laura Sartori Rimini of Studio Peregalli says.

$122, Amazonia Wall Mural, Perigold

Get The Look

10 of 79

Anchor Your Room With a Classic

“Bringing a touch of the Old World into the mix creates a home that will never feel dated,” designer Alex Papachristidis explains of the art-studded Manhattan apartment he designed for a family friend. For example, the silver leaf–and–rock crystal chandelier from Liz O’Brien that he hung in the otherwise modern dining room.

$3,660, Rococo Iron & Crystal Chandelier, Restoration Hardware

Get The Look

11 of 79

Create Moody Contrast with Color

Instead of meshing a color scheme with a sense of place, designer Irakli Zaria used rich gold and turquoise as an antidote to gloomy London days in this chic pied-a-terre. “In a place where there are such cloudy skies, it makes no sense to have a gray interior,” he said.

$6,500, Color Reform Rug, ABC Carpet & Home

Get The Look

12 of 79

Add Playfulness with Repurposed Items

Art director Vivia Horn’s zen upstate New York home makes use of an unexpected gift to give her traditional kitchen a dose of fun. This breakfast table made of a refurbished hibachi—a present from the late wrestler and Benihana restaurateur Rocky Aoki.

$1,178, Bertoia Counter Stool, Design Within Reach

Get The Look

13 of 79

Use Fabrics Beyond Soft Furnishings

Looking beyond the traditional with wallcoverings can create a truly standout design presence. “I do think I might have scared [architect Ken Linsteadt] a little bit when I announced I was planning to install two levels of green floral fabric on the walls of the grand salon,” says Ken Fulk of his Sonoma Valley lakeside retreat, yet the fabric gives the high walls a richness that wallpaper alone might not have achieved.

$399, Windsor Pendant Light, Crate & Barrel

Get The Look

14 of 79

Balance New and Old

When renovating a building that already has plenty of character, like this 1920s Spanish Colonial home in Los Angeles, it’s all about striking the balance between what you add and what you leave. “We wanted to make it feel more holistic while still honoring its heritage,” designer Steven Johanknecht says of the decision to keep the original hand-carved ceiling beams and wrought-iron chandeliers while removing mismatched materials from previous renovations.

$959, Laughlin Accent Chair, Horchow

Get The Look

15 of 79

Mix Metals for Added Warmth

To soften the modern edge of stainless steel, decorator Alisa Bloom put a traditional spin on the kitchen cabinetry of her 1920s Chicago penthouse with brass inlays. With the help of a local hardware maker, she even designed her own hinges and drawer pulls. “I would never go into a store and just buy something,” she says. “It’s all about the process and the hunt.”

$127, Bar Stool, All Modern

Get The Look

16 of 79

Don’t Underestimate The Power Of High-Low Design

17 of 79

Layer Decor Over The Years

19 of 79

Combine Your Favorite Design Styles

“A lot of people love the idea of really simple, modern living—it’s appealing, it’s nice and it seems serene,” says Erika Yeaman, a Homepolish designer and owner of YES Associates. “But the reality of maintaining that is a little tricker. Mixing Scandinavian design with bohemian style warms it up and makes it feel more homey and attainable.”

$480, Arturo 8-Light Rectangular Chandelier, Ballard Designs

Get The Look

20 of 79

Play With Texture

It’s easy to gravitate toward the usual suspects like wood and leather when trying to craft a textured living space, but branch outside of your comfort zone. Emilie Munroe of Studio Munroe recommends drawing from your own personal style, especially the articles of clothing and patterns you’re attracted to.

$1,109, Matégot Bar Cart, TRNK

Get The Look

21 of 79

Create A “Bouquet” Of Colors

Want to make a variety of bright colors cohesive? Think about how you would arrange a flower bouquet, as Sasha Bikoff did in this SoHo apartment. “The same can apply to a space, but you need to find a connection,” she says. “Here, that connection is the fabric on the dining room chairs, which showcases colors also found throughout the room.”

$695, Mid Century Dining Chair, Mod Shop

Get The Look

22 of 79

Installing Shiplap? Go Horizontal (Usually)

If Chip and Joanna Gaines have convinced you that your abode needs shiplap, you’re usually best off installing the boards horizontally rather than vertically. “It can really expand a space, making it feel larger than vertical boards can,” says Jason Arnold. “Horizontal boards also feel more contemporary.” Vertical boards, however, can be ideal for rooms with high ceilings.

$72, Shiplap Interior Siding, Home Depot

Get The Look

23 of 79

Don’t Sacrifice Comfort

Sure, your eyes may want the most modern, chic couch in the showroom. But your back may not. “In my experience, it’s really better to test out seating and take the time to look at the dimensions,” says Sharon Blaustein. If you’re tall, for instance, you might want to opt for a depth of between 40 to 42 inches for a sofa (rather than the standard depth of 36 inches).

$3,599, Aidan 2-Piece Sectional Sofa, Crate & Barrel

Get The Look

24 of 79

Always Shop For A Rug In Person

This is not the time for e-shopping, people. “It’s just so hard to tell on a computer screen what the color really looks like,” Arnold says. “You might think it looks red, but in reality, it’s watermelon pink.” Not to mention the texture of the rug may be totally different than what you were expecting.

$225, Safavieh Adirondack Round Area Rug, Bed, Bath & Beyond

Get The Look

25 of 79

Let A Locale Inspire Your Space

It’s exactly what Jenny Cipoletti, founder of fashion, beauty and travel blog Margo & Me, did in her decidedly Parisian office (which is actually in West Hollywood). “Just like when you walk into a cafe in Paris, and you see all the details and the golds, silvers and light blush tones, all of these elements in this space really sing to me,” says Cipoletti. This lets you travel to your favorite destination without stepping outside.

$169, Round Tufted Linen Ottoman, Wayfair

Get The Look

26 of 79

Never Settle On One “Look”

Allow your space to continuously change—as your life does. “Remember that your home should always be evolving, just as you are,” says Kelly Framel, creative director, stylist and founder of online magazine The Glamourai. “I am constantly picking up new treasures on my travels. Your nest should always be a place of comfort and inspiration, and it’s a constant work in progress.”

$100, Yellow Droplet Table Lamp, Lamps Plus

Get The Look

27 of 79

Use Curtains As A Backdrop For Art

Instead of hanging a painting on a bare wall, accent it with a rich, velvet curtain background. “Curtains just create a great, calming energy in which you feel very shrouded and comforted, making for a luxurious and restful environment,” says Framel. “And being able to put a really great pop of artwork in front of that textural colored backdrop has a lot of impact.”

$409, Inverted Pleat Drapes, The Shade Store

Get The Look

28 of 79

Upholster Antique Furniture With Modern Fabric

Make what’s old new again by invigorating antique pieces with colorful fabric from the 21st century. Take, for example, the two 18th-century French bergère chairs here, upholstered in a hot pink Maharam fabric. “Maharam is a very modern, contemporary fabric company, with velvets that are really bright in color,” says Bikoff. “That color was such a pop of freshness and youthfulness on these old chairs.”

$6,950, Pair of French Louis XVI Style 1870s Wingback Bergères Chairs with Upholstery, 1stdibs

Get The Look

29 of 79

Choose One Piece Of Artwork To Anchor The Room

In Josh Groban’s “The Great Comet” dressing room, interior designer Mike Harrison selected this constellation artwork as a clear focal point for the room. “I loved this piece for its dimensions and colors, but also as a tip of the hat to the ‘Comet’ influences that I know were of importance to Josh,” says Harrison. “I was searching for artwork that would tie together all of Josh’s design sensibilities.”

$18+, Star Map Print, Etsy

Get The Look

30 of 79

kitchen rugs


image

Douglas Friedman

While the process of decorating your home is thrilling, it also comes with its fair share of challenges. Your goal should be to showcase your design aesthetic in a tasteful way, but it’s a given that you’ll be faced with everything from an interior that lacks natural light to a layout that’s much smaller than you’d like. So it’s no surprise that these common dilemmas might turn you off from decorating altogether. But instead of viewing them as stumbling blocks, use them as inspiration to design the home of your dreams.

Regardless of the type of space you’re decorating, there’s nothing more important than paying attention to details—and expressing your creativity. Taking the time to understand the basic principles of decorating, from choosing the right furniture to finding the perfect color palette, will get you one step closer to crafting the home you’ve always wanted.

Here, we share decorating pointers from our archives and useful tips from top interior decorators to help you make sense of what good design really means. If you’re ready to master the art of decorating and up for putting your imagination to the test, click through for some of the best tips in the business.

Go Bold in Small Spaces

Graphic prints can have a major impact in small spaces such as a powder room. Here, an Ellie Cashman floral wallpaper is the star of a powder room a New Orleans manse designed by Sara Ruffin Costello.

$600, Expedition Accent Wall Mirror, Perigold
Get the Look

1 of 79

Experiment with Patterns

Layering patterns in a range of styles and scales is an easy way to add visual interest to a room. Here, Refinery29 Global Editor-in-Chief Christene Barberich pairs black and white pillows with green chevron bedding in her Brooklyn Heights bedroom.

$46, Integral Pillow, Anthropologie
Get the Look

2 of 79

Use Color in Hallways

If you tend to be more reserved when it comes to color choices, step outside of your comfort zone by choosing a bold hue, like purple, for a hallway. It’s unexpected and can be a chic backdrop for showcasing an art collection like this design by David Hicks.

$38, Vigorous Violet, Sherwin-Williams
Get the Look

3 of 79

Display Collectibles on a Table

Every room can benefit from accessories that have a history. Rather than showcasing your collectibles on a shelf, set them out on a table, as seen in this Italian apartment. Just be sure your collection is highly curated to maintain a sense of balance in your display.

$1,695, Brooke Club Chair, One Kings Lane
Get the Look

4 of 79

Group Antiques By Color

There’s a fine line between kitschy and curated. Rebecca Robertson unifies vintage and new pieces by grouping them by color.

$173, Skyline Furniture Linen Talc Nail Button Storage Ottoman, Overstock

Get The Look

5 of 79

Mix Your Time Periods

“You mix things up with old and new,” suggests textiles and interior designer Kathryn M. Ireland, as she did in the living room of her Santa Monica home; a room where the furnishings include 17th-century French chairs, an 18th-century Mexican console, and a cocktail table from her furniture line.

$690, Fredson Coffee Table, Wayfair

Get The Look

6 of 79

Try Floor-to-Ceiling Shelving

Floor-to-ceiling shelving never fails to add character to a room. In his Los Angeles home, acclaimed chef Ludovic “Ludo” Lefebvre opted for this shelving style for his collection of more than 1,000 cookbooks.

$749, Woven Leather Lounge Chair, Wisteria
Get the Look

7 of 79

Look at the Bigger Picture

Looking at your home from a holistic perspective—seeing how each room works in balance against the others—can help craft a welcome variety in your spaces, like this emerald and charcoal dining room that adds a touch of formality to an otherwise contemporary Los Angeles home.

$2,462, Saiba Dining Chair, Design Within Reach

Get The Look

8 of 79

Embrace the Fear of Commitment

To avoid being locked into a single style, lighting designer Lindsey Adelman switches up the fixtures in her Park Slope home on a regular basis. “It’s part of my creative process,” she explains, “I love to see things in context, in real life—to live with them.”

$560, Sphere + Stem Chandelier, West Elm

Get The Look

9 of 79

Use Your Walls as a Canvas

Rather than art, a high-impact wallpaper can give a subdued room some wow-factor. The 19th century wallcovering from this luxe Milan apartment was purchased at auction in France and adapted to the room. “We created the missing parts, the plinth and the ceiling frame, to depict an Italian capriccio, a fantastical and bucolic landscape with architectural features,” Laura Sartori Rimini of Studio Peregalli says.

$122, Amazonia Wall Mural, Perigold

Get The Look

10 of 79

Anchor Your Room With a Classic

“Bringing a touch of the Old World into the mix creates a home that will never feel dated,” designer Alex Papachristidis explains of the art-studded Manhattan apartment he designed for a family friend. For example, the silver leaf–and–rock crystal chandelier from Liz O’Brien that he hung in the otherwise modern dining room.

$3,660, Rococo Iron & Crystal Chandelier, Restoration Hardware

Get The Look

11 of 79

Create Moody Contrast with Color

Instead of meshing a color scheme with a sense of place, designer Irakli Zaria used rich gold and turquoise as an antidote to gloomy London days in this chic pied-a-terre. “In a place where there are such cloudy skies, it makes no sense to have a gray interior,” he said.

$6,500, Color Reform Rug, ABC Carpet & Home

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Add Playfulness with Repurposed Items

Art director Vivia Horn’s zen upstate New York home makes use of an unexpected gift to give her traditional kitchen a dose of fun. This breakfast table made of a refurbished hibachi—a present from the late wrestler and Benihana restaurateur Rocky Aoki.

$1,178, Bertoia Counter Stool, Design Within Reach

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Use Fabrics Beyond Soft Furnishings

Looking beyond the traditional with wallcoverings can create a truly standout design presence. “I do think I might have scared [architect Ken Linsteadt] a little bit when I announced I was planning to install two levels of green floral fabric on the walls of the grand salon,” says Ken Fulk of his Sonoma Valley lakeside retreat, yet the fabric gives the high walls a richness that wallpaper alone might not have achieved.

$399, Windsor Pendant Light, Crate & Barrel

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Balance New and Old

When renovating a building that already has plenty of character, like this 1920s Spanish Colonial home in Los Angeles, it’s all about striking the balance between what you add and what you leave. “We wanted to make it feel more holistic while still honoring its heritage,” designer Steven Johanknecht says of the decision to keep the original hand-carved ceiling beams and wrought-iron chandeliers while removing mismatched materials from previous renovations.

$959, Laughlin Accent Chair, Horchow

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Mix Metals for Added Warmth

To soften the modern edge of stainless steel, decorator Alisa Bloom put a traditional spin on the kitchen cabinetry of her 1920s Chicago penthouse with brass inlays. With the help of a local hardware maker, she even designed her own hinges and drawer pulls. “I would never go into a store and just buy something,” she says. “It’s all about the process and the hunt.”

$127, Bar Stool, All Modern

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Don’t Underestimate The Power Of High-Low Design

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Layer Decor Over The Years

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Combine Your Favorite Design Styles

“A lot of people love the idea of really simple, modern living—it’s appealing, it’s nice and it seems serene,” says Erika Yeaman, a Homepolish designer and owner of YES Associates. “But the reality of maintaining that is a little tricker. Mixing Scandinavian design with bohemian style warms it up and makes it feel more homey and attainable.”

$480, Arturo 8-Light Rectangular Chandelier, Ballard Designs

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Play With Texture

It’s easy to gravitate toward the usual suspects like wood and leather when trying to craft a textured living space, but branch outside of your comfort zone. Emilie Munroe of Studio Munroe recommends drawing from your own personal style, especially the articles of clothing and patterns you’re attracted to.

$1,109, Matégot Bar Cart, TRNK

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Create A “Bouquet” Of Colors

Want to make a variety of bright colors cohesive? Think about how you would arrange a flower bouquet, as Sasha Bikoff did in this SoHo apartment. “The same can apply to a space, but you need to find a connection,” she says. “Here, that connection is the fabric on the dining room chairs, which showcases colors also found throughout the room.”

$695, Mid Century Dining Chair, Mod Shop

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Installing Shiplap? Go Horizontal (Usually)

If Chip and Joanna Gaines have convinced you that your abode needs shiplap, you’re usually best off installing the boards horizontally rather than vertically. “It can really expand a space, making it feel larger than vertical boards can,” says Jason Arnold. “Horizontal boards also feel more contemporary.” Vertical boards, however, can be ideal for rooms with high ceilings.

$72, Shiplap Interior Siding, Home Depot

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Don’t Sacrifice Comfort

Sure, your eyes may want the most modern, chic couch in the showroom. But your back may not. “In my experience, it’s really better to test out seating and take the time to look at the dimensions,” says Sharon Blaustein. If you’re tall, for instance, you might want to opt for a depth of between 40 to 42 inches for a sofa (rather than the standard depth of 36 inches).

$3,599, Aidan 2-Piece Sectional Sofa, Crate & Barrel

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Always Shop For A Rug In Person

This is not the time for e-shopping, people. “It’s just so hard to tell on a computer screen what the color really looks like,” Arnold says. “You might think it looks red, but in reality, it’s watermelon pink.” Not to mention the texture of the rug may be totally different than what you were expecting.

$225, Safavieh Adirondack Round Area Rug, Bed, Bath & Beyond

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Let A Locale Inspire Your Space

It’s exactly what Jenny Cipoletti, founder of fashion, beauty and travel blog Margo & Me, did in her decidedly Parisian office (which is actually in West Hollywood). “Just like when you walk into a cafe in Paris, and you see all the details and the golds, silvers and light blush tones, all of these elements in this space really sing to me,” says Cipoletti. This lets you travel to your favorite destination without stepping outside.

$169, Round Tufted Linen Ottoman, Wayfair

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Never Settle On One “Look”

Allow your space to continuously change—as your life does. “Remember that your home should always be evolving, just as you are,” says Kelly Framel, creative director, stylist and founder of online magazine The Glamourai. “I am constantly picking up new treasures on my travels. Your nest should always be a place of comfort and inspiration, and it’s a constant work in progress.”

$100, Yellow Droplet Table Lamp, Lamps Plus

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Use Curtains As A Backdrop For Art

Instead of hanging a painting on a bare wall, accent it with a rich, velvet curtain background. “Curtains just create a great, calming energy in which you feel very shrouded and comforted, making for a luxurious and restful environment,” says Framel. “And being able to put a really great pop of artwork in front of that textural colored backdrop has a lot of impact.”

$409, Inverted Pleat Drapes, The Shade Store

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Upholster Antique Furniture With Modern Fabric

Make what’s old new again by invigorating antique pieces with colorful fabric from the 21st century. Take, for example, the two 18th-century French bergère chairs here, upholstered in a hot pink Maharam fabric. “Maharam is a very modern, contemporary fabric company, with velvets that are really bright in color,” says Bikoff. “That color was such a pop of freshness and youthfulness on these old chairs.”

$6,950, Pair of French Louis XVI Style 1870s Wingback Bergères Chairs with Upholstery, 1stdibs

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Choose One Piece Of Artwork To Anchor The Room

In Josh Groban’s “The Great Comet” dressing room, interior designer Mike Harrison selected this constellation artwork as a clear focal point for the room. “I loved this piece for its dimensions and colors, but also as a tip of the hat to the ‘Comet’ influences that I know were of importance to Josh,” says Harrison. “I was searching for artwork that would tie together all of Josh’s design sensibilities.”

$18+, Star Map Print, Etsy

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