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50 Best Home Decorating Ideas How To Design A Room Decor

50 Best Home Decorating Ideas How To Design A Room Decor 50 Best Home Decorating Ideas How To Design A Room Decor

Small living spaces don’t have to feel cramped. “See how these living room chairs have smallish arms,” says designer Elizabeth Pyne. “Most of their square footage is given to the seat, so you can curl up in them. They feel luxurious and roomy even though they’re not big.”

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.

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.”

Short pieces, like this tufted couch, keep an open floor plan cozy. Use area rugs to define individual “rooms” within the space. 

$1,688, Interlude Home Lestari Petrified Wood Side Tale, Houzz

This Connecticut farmhouse nails country style. Underused neutrals rust and charcoal echo throughout with woodsy elements like oak, cedar, stone and leather.

The key to subtle color lays at your feet. A patterned carpet plays up the neutral furniture in a New Jersey home, while a similarly-hued pillow adds another punch to the armchair.

Cleaning up clutter can be a good thing, but there’s one thing hosts should never stow away. “Show, don’t tell, what you’re serving with a well-appointed bar,” says Bunny Williams. “Guests feel more at home when they can help themselves.”

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.

Makeover a room by rethinking the pieces you already have. Use up leftover wall paint on the frame of an old chair or refresh curtains and pillows by sewing fancy trim along the edge.

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.”

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).

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.”

Avoid future boredom with calm colors using texture and pattern. In a dreamy beach house, muted prints in the same palette keep a neutral room from looking bland.

Most people opt for a frosted glass or an opaque curtain for extra privacy, but there’s something to be said for transparency. Glass shower doors, like in this guest bathroom by designer Amy Meier, add instant square footage. To complete the illusion, run the floor tiles straight into the stall. “It makes the room feel larger,” adds designer Alla Akimova. “If I had changed materials, it would have interrupted the space.”

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.

Give beige a break. Dramatic hues can drench a large living room, like this inky wallpaper. The deep blue provides a surprisingly neutral backdrop. 

One pair of pillows always looks skimpy, says Melissa Warner, a California-based designer. Use two pairs, in contrasting patterns, colors, and textures. De Bastiani agrees: “I don’t do dinky accents…small pillows look like something that came with the furniture.”

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Whether you’re decorating your first home or your fifth, great design is in the details. We’ve consulted top designers and scoured our archives to find the best ideas for every room in the house.

Metallic finishes already add plenty of sparkle, but the sheen will make a bigger impact in a variety of colors. “I don’t know why people don’t mix gold with silver more often — they look so smart together,” says designer John De Bastiani. “The key is to use a lot of both; you can’t be shy with one or the other.”

“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.

Shop a similar look: orange pillows ($18 for two, amazon.com), tan pillows ($40 for two, amazon.com)

Inject personality into your living space with energetic hues and quirky secondhand finds, like this colorful apartment’s coral sofa and gilded accent pieces.

Allowing unique items to dictate some design decisions can lead to unexpectedly beautiful results. On the hallways leading into this Art Deco Chicago apartment, dramatic doors and paneling were inspired by a special stack of uncommon lumber. “There was a guy out in Oregon who had a barn full of exotic wood and everything was marked ‘NFS,’ as in Not For Sale,” architect Phillip Liederbach recalls with a laugh. “It gave us a responsibility to elevate it. We obsessed over it.”

The antique wooden beams are a welcome contrast to the modern furniture in an airy farmhouse.

“I’m really into saturated color with white to balance it out so it doesn’t feel over-whelming,” says Joanna Gaines, the star of HGTV’s Fixer Upper and mastermind behind Magnolia Home by Joanna Gaines Paint in partnership with Kilz. Having trouble picking out a bold color? Gaines recommends green, because it’s found in nature and timeless.

“Decorative finishes, like glazes, will warm houses next year,” says Doug Wilson, a designer on the upcoming Trading Spaces reboot. Here, a charcoal gray trim breaks up the white, but doesn’t stray too far for conservative tastes.

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.

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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.

A temporary space can look beautiful, even with a small budget. “We are so used to having painters sand for ages to produce mirror-smooth walls, but I wasn’t about to spend the money to do that in a rental,” says designer Max Sinsteden of his bright green entryway. “It turns out the irregular surface just sparkles all the more.”

If the size of the space mandates where the furniture goes, think about the pieces strategically. For example, if a bed has to go against a window wall, choose a headboard that still lets sunlight in, like this Florida bedroom by Todd Romano.

“Window trim is an often-overlooked opportunity to make a statement,” says designer Meg Braff. Jeffrey Bilhuber agrees. “I often end up painting them green, to blend in with the landscape,” the eclectic decorator says. “Or sometimes I paint them pitch black, so the muntins practically disappear in the evening.”

This breezy Florida living room (with happy-hued pillows) is as pretty as it is practical. The sofa is upholstered in water-resistant fabric to create a put-your-feet-up attitude.

Measuring just 250 square feet, a tiny guesthouse copies a staple of Scandinavian style. Bright white shiplap creates the illusion of added space.

Don’t postpone a makeover because of naturally messy kids. “Put your money into a comfortable, well-made sofa that you’ll have forever,” advises Krista Ewart, a designer based in California. “You don’t have to deny yourself that expensive designer fabric you love — just put it on something small, like a pillow.”

Dining room benches might not be conventional, but they sure are cozy. “You automatically feel more friendly when you’re sharing a seat,” points out designer Thom Filicia. “It could quickly become corporate if you were looking at a room full of chairs.” Vicente Wolf, also a designer, agrees on mixing it up: “You wouldn’t have eight identical chairs in your living area.”

Eye-catching tile can make a statement in the kitchen as well as in the bathroom. Cover as much of the wall as the budget allows, recommends designer Angie Hranowsky. Matthew Quinn, also a designer, agrees: “It feels more like a French bistro this way,” he says of this blue-gray backdrop.

Mirrored panels like the ones lining this alcove can be elegant — but don’t just slap them up, designer Jan Showers warns. Large sheets of mirror will look commercial, so try a sectioned pattern in the traditional French style instead.

Our home design director Sarah Richardson elevated this cozy gray-and-cream bungalow with surprising touches of orange.

An open floor plan like in this Connecticut cottage creates one large space for entertaining. Two columns (garage-sale finds from years ago) stand at the corners of the kitchen, anchoring the room.

Steal a space-faking secret from this tiny Brooklyn apartment. Choose a few full-size furniture pieces instead of cramming in lots of smaller ones. The living room will feel larger, and you’ll have a sofa you actually like to sit on.

Yep, white furniture can work in a house with kids. Just choose durable fabrics (a leather couch) and surfaces (the plastic rocker, the lacquer table) that wipe clean easily.

The best way to balance out sleek lines and contemporary furniture is by adding a few unique natural elements, from drift wood to greenery. “I don’t like to look around a house and not see touches from the outdoors,” interior designer Tamara Magel says.

This ultra-modern room uses color sparingly for a sleek look.

It’s counterintuitive, but the trick to pattern is to use more. “It’s all about symmetry,” reveals Meg Braff. She uses prints in pairs, so that there is the same textile on one side of the room as on the other. “It’s comforting to the eye — you don’t have to ‘work’ to take it in,” she adds.

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

Look to the opposite end of the color spectrum to tie everything together. A moody blue grounds a windowed living room by Sarah Richardson without overwhelming it.

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.

The quickest way to let light in starts at the source. Replace heavy fabric curtains with gauzy ones, making sure the panels go all the way to the floor. To accentuate a tall ceiling, mount the drapes about a foot above windows and doors.

A neutral palette doesn’t always mean playing it safe. Layer textures and mix in flea market finds to keep things interesting like this glam home and avoid a flat appearance.

When hanging mirrors, think carefully about what they’ll will reflect, advises Showers. You want to pick up a great scene, like a pretty chandelier.

Shop a similar look: green bedding ($96, amazon.com), sheer curtains ($11, amazon.com)

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.”

For the perfect color family, mix one batch of paint 50% lighter than the base and another 150% darker. “That’s a fail­safe method for striping a wall,” says Mary Douglas Drysdale, who designed this bold blue kitchen. “It’s also a very architectural way of using color.”

HGTV host Emily Henderson uses a “hero color” throughout every room to pull it all together. In her Los Angeles home, blue with gray and olive accents creates a casual, layered look.

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.

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Need space, stat? Swap boring shelving for more decorative options, then load up on fabric boxes or baskets to hide an overflow of knick knacks.

Setting up a booze station on your bar cart is a no brainer — but using it as an end table (especially when space is limited) to display blooms, art and coffee table books is just genius.

For a head-to-toe makeover, the first step is creating a palette. “I come up with a basic color scheme for the whole house, and then I take that from room to room,” reveals Gary McBournie, a designer based in Boston. “It plays itself out in different ways in different rooms.”

Just because your designer of choice lives in another city doesn’t mean you can’t work together. Services like Homepolish and Decorist, among others, make it easy to find decorators across the country, while Allison Harlow of Curio Design Studio uses Skype to work with clients virtually.

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.

Achieve the drama of a major art piece inexpensively by displaying a tight grid of small frames.

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.”

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.”

Shop a similar look: pink pillows ($16, [link href=”https://www.amazon.com/CaliTime-Cushion-Covers-Vintage-Mandala/dp/B016ISK926/” target=”_blank” 0=”data-tracking-id=”recirc-text-link”” link_updater_label=”external”]amazon.com), green pillow ($13, amazon.com)

“I love to see the layers of time and renovations,” says California-based interior designer Patrick Printy. “To me, it deepens the effect.” Achieving a sense of harmony that feels organic is key.

“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.

You don’t need to go bright in order to create visual impact in a room. “[My wife] wanted to dial it back into her aesthetic, away from the color,” says David Kaihoi of the 400-square foot New York studio he renovated for his family. “I agreed, but suggested we do that with texture and pattern.”

If you truly love something, you’ll want to put it on display. “Use and enjoy your antiques and unique finds, especially in a utilitarian room like the bathroom,” advises designer Bunny Williams.

You know those people who seem to have great taste without even trying? You’re about to be one of them. Here, top designers share the best insider tips and tricks in the business.

Exposed brick and a thrifted coffee table work together to create a country vibe in this rustic room. Consider your living space as a place for your collections, too, like this homeowner’s vintage fans.

Start with an all-white canvas and swap in seasonal accents all year-round. This summery living room uses cool blues, jute accessories and nautical accents for a beachy vibe.

Change up tired decor with this quick DIY. Add old wood planks to a coffee table as a bonus shelf. And skip painting — the weathered finish has more character.

Kitchens with floor-to-ceiling cabinets can look dark, but here’s how to fool the eye: Designer Caitlin Moran will paint the ceiling a slightly paler version of the walls, so the room seems brighter even with just a few windows.

“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.”

Faux fur has quickly become a luxurious way to add a bit of depth and variety to a space. “When we use faux fur, we’re looking for some really luscious texture in the room,” says Erin Gates. “If you look at a space and everything is neat, tidy and clean, you want something that’s sumptuous and cozy. It’ll really elevate the space.”

Don’t forget to punctuate color with natural texture. Sarah Richardson used wicker baskets, a wood-frame mirror and an antique pine dresser to warm up this rustic cabin.

Shop a similar look: wooden bar stools ($125 for two, amazon.com)

When Lee Cavanaugh and Sarah DePalo of Cullman & Kravis make their yearly trip to the Paris flea, they send finds home in a group container to keep costs down.

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.”

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“Create strong verticals and avoid the horizontal,” recommends designer Todd Romano. “I adore large mirrors because they add scale to a room. I also kept the furniture low-slung, so the rooms seem taller.”

$5,400, John Stuart Clingman for Widdicomb Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs, 1stdibs

Kate Reynolds, co-owner of Studio Four NYC, believes in pairing big-ticket items with budget finds. “I think a room balances out better when you have different levels of price and craftsmanship,” she says. “It helps you notice the statement piece more.”

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.

A Dallas home feels bohemian and well-traveled thanks to wood floors and gray walls. The neutral base helps a bold kilim-covered sofa and mix-and-match throw pillows shine.

Shop a similar look: dark paint ($20, amazon.com), light paint ($45, amazon.com)

Shop a similar look: gold lamp ($60, amazon.com), silver vase ($20, amazon.com)

You might think of straw as an outdoor textile, but it’ll look just as good indoors. “Straw, jute, rush — natural materials and neutral tones are they always chic,” says Braff. “They’re the white T-shirt of interior design.”

Save square footage without sacrificing seating by using dining chairs in the living room. A rattan-and-cane perch takes up less real estate than a traditional recliner.

Too many chair and table legs can make a room “nervous,” advises Warner. A skirted piece or two will make the space more grounded, and provide additional storage like in this office designed by Miles Redd.

Instead of fighting against rusticity, embracing the natural character of a home can create a natural richness in the space.”My father found artisans to decorate the bathroom in red limestone, a typical Rajasthani material,” Siddharth Kasliwal, heir to India’s famed Munnu the Gem Palace, explained of the former-cowshed-turned-home he inherited from his father. “All the other elements—the brass sink and hardware, the mirror— are vintage or antique.”

$3,295, Rococo Iron & Crystal Chandelier, Restoration Hardware

“I don’t think it will last too long, but the look of velvet is a big trend,” says TV personality and designer on the new season of Trading Spaces, Sabrina Soto. She embraced this material by buying a deep blue velvet couch for her formal living room, but if you want a safer choice, go with a soft gray.

Whether it’s a complete overhaul or a quick change, spice up the family’s favorite room with these pro tips.

Taking the plunge on a strong hue can be intimidating, but the best way is to dive in head first. “One of the most successful strategies is to paint a strong color on everything, from the baseboard and crown molding to the walls,” says Garrow Kedigian, a designer based in New York. “It works well because it’s not contrasted against a different trim color.”

Your style may be posh, your furniture can still be cozy. Plush sofas and armchairs rule the roost in Ellen Pompeo’s L.A. home. “It’s fancy in a cool way, not in an ‘I can’t sit there’ way,” she says.

Neutral decor can be interesting — just include a variety of materials. “I used a range — from fine-gauge and open-weave linen, to raw silk and taffeta, to cotton velvet and distressed velvet,” says California-based designer Ohara Davies-Gaetano. “Not only that, there’s also the contrast of matte sheens that absorb the light, and lustrous sheens that reflect it.”

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.

$375, Arturo 8-Light Rectangular Chandelier, Ballard Designs

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Matching can be so overrated — and expensive. Look online (and in thrift shops) for beautiful sets of antique china and silver flatware, recommends Williams. You’ll save money and the place settings will feel more special to guests than brand-new ones.

“For classic side panels, you really have to go all the way to the floor,” designer Scot Meacham Wood says. “If you’re looking at ready-made drapes, make sure that they touch the floor, even if you have to buy the next size up and have them hemmed.”

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

This Toronto home achieves balanced decor without being too matchy-matchy. The furniture and accent pieces are diverse, but the symmetrical design grounds the look.

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