Decorating Tips for the DIYer
Are you thinking of giving your home a fresh look? Discover the proven ways to play up its strengths and hide its flaws! Here are 12 tips from professional home stagers for your next DIY endeavor.
Begin with the Front Door
Your front door should set the right tone. Why not paint it a fun hue? Red is not only bound to attract attention. This color represents good fortune in many cultures!
Orange and yellow, which are strongly associated with warmth and joy, are also popular. Consider adding a hanging lantern, too! These items were mass-produced in the first half of the 20th century, but they are not that difficult to find.
They look as if they were created by blacksmiths. You may find one at a yard sale or in your own attic. Put the lantern back into service to make the front door look even more welcoming.
Choose Light and Neutral Colors for Walls
The color flow is important on the first floor. Soft colors like gray or beige are preferable. This is not a place for dramatic transitions. Neutral walls, as well as matching floors have another important advantage — they provide more freedom for accessorizing. Finally, if you use similar or the same soft shades in two adjacent rooms, the space will feel bigger.
Coordinate Sofa and Chairs
The worst mistake is pushing all furniture against the walls. Instead of making the space feel larger, it has the opposite effect. When designing your living room layout, arrange furniture pieces in a grouping that will invite conversations.
This area could have a U-shape (sofa and two chairs at each end of the coffee table) or H-shape (both chairs opposite to the sofa and a coffee table in the middle).
Let the Sun Shine
Get rid of heavy drapes in the kitchen. Keep your window dressings elegant and functional. For example, full-length panels with sheers are a great choice.
Simple shears are timeless and can work with traditional or modern looks. For rooms that get a lot of sunlight, choose lighter colors that don’t fade. In terms of panel fabrics, silk blends, cotton and linen are best as they hang well.
If sunlight is an annoying distraction, install swinging wood shutters. Interior shutters will add historical and architectural detail and help you keep the heat and chilly winds out.
They are typically installed on a frame inside the window opening or on the outside of the casing.
Add Crown Molding
Crown molding will add value and charm to your home. There is just one problem — cutting it can be a nightmare. To get the corners right, choose molding made of light polystyrene foam covered with hard plaster. It is easy to cut with a handsaw. You can turn a simple room into an elegant space in one weekend!
Hang at Least One Mirror in Every Room
Do not position mirrors opposite your windows. Otherwise, they will bounce the light back instead of bouncing it around the room. Properly positioned mirrors will visually enlarge the space and make it look brighter and warmer.
Add Eco-friendly Insulation
Play a sustainable layer of insulation under the floor to make it warmer. Cork is a great material for this purpose. It is comfortable to walk on and much easier to install compared to traditional wood panels.
You can find floating-floor systems that snap together without nails or glue. Cork may be placed over concrete, plywood, or existing flooring.
The middle of a picture must be positioned at eye level. If some people in your household are shorter than others, calculate the average height.
Consider scale as well. Place one oversized piece on a big wall or group smaller items together like a gallery. The optimal distance between frames is 2-4 inches.
Balance Your Lighting Sources
All lighting sources are divided into ambient (general illumination), task (e.g., in a reading nook) and accent (e.g., decorative lighting for artwork). Every square foot of your living room requires 3 watts (42 lumens) or more. To make the space feel bigger, place a torchiere or a canister up light in the corner.
Anchor Rugs Under Furniture Feet
A rug that is smaller than 8-by-10-foot cannot properly accommodate a seating area. Choose 9-by-12-foot of bigger for your furniture grouping (sofa and chairs). When placing the rug in your living room, choose one of these options:
- All legs of the grouped pieces are on the rug (most preferable)
- Only the front two legs of all grouped pieces are on the rug.
Use Visual Tricks to Raise the Ceiling
If a room feels claustrophobic, paint its ceiling white. Position the curtains around 3 inches above the window casing to make the room look taller.
You should still be able to use standard panels measuring between 84 and 96 inches. If this length is insufficient or you want to raise the curtains higher, order custom drapes.
Another visual trick is using vertical stripes. This pattern is guaranteed to make your walls seem taller. You can also achieve the same effect by leaning a big mirror against a wall.
Revamp Old Finishes
Renovate kitchen cabinets using some white paint and new hardware. Give them a flawless new finish! Even an old 1970s countertop can be revamped using counter-coating products that imitate stone.
Do you have any vintage fixtures like a brass chandelier from the 1980s? Give it a new look with a coat of spray paint! Satin-nickel or hammered-bronze is ideal.