THE 65 BEST HOME DECORATING IDEAS OF ALL TIME

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CHOOSE A STATEMENT TABLE

If your table makes a statement on its own, whatever you place on top of it is just a bonus! Inside a PR maven’s New York City home, the coffee table and floor lamp are by West Elm. On top you’ll find an array stylish books, fresh flowers, and chic trinkets.

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TRY MORE THAN ONE TABLE

The sleek living room of a Manhattan apartment designed by Jamie Drake and Caleb Anderson of Drake/Anderson has two separate sitting areas and tables of various sizes throughout. The glass cocktail table by Fredrikson Stallard is filled with feathers, the round side table is by Holly Hunt Studio, the lamp on it is by Charles Paris and the custom rug is by Tai Ping.

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ACCENT WITH STOOLS

In the living room of a weekend home in Bridgehampton, New York, designed by Steven Gambrel, the cocktail table is by Dos Gallos and is topped with several vases and trays. The petite Thebes-style caned stools that accompany it are vintage.

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SWAP FOR A SIDE TABLE

This country house in southeastern Uruguay, which was built on the remains of an 1810 roadside general store, defies all design conventions. In the living room, they’ve even opted for a vintage side table from France instead of a coffee table. A single vase full of wildflowers draws the eye inside the stylishly stark room.

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STAGGER SMALL ROUND COFFEE TABLES

Don’t stop at one (or two) tiny coffee tables. Stagger three tables throughout your living room and choose a different accent for each — say, a book, a candle and a plant. This look worked well in Ellen Pompeo’s Hollywood Hills home.

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TOP AN OTTOMAN WITH A TRAY

Give your ottoman a makeover by styling a tray on top of it, creating the perfect place to display flowers, candles, and books, like in this Greenwich Village penthouse.

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DON’T FORGET FLOWERS

Adorn your glass coffee table with fresh flowers for instant styling. Add a few stacks of books and personal objects for an eclectic touch, like in this upstate New York home. Fin!

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ACCENT WITH A SINGLE DISH

If your coffee table is tiny in size, like the one in this São Paulo duplex, all it needs is one of your favorite artisan bowls or plates to elevate it — especially if the rest of the room boasts maximalist decor.

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DISPLAY YOUR COLLECTION

Stack books on your cocktail table as a foundation for your collection of eclectic knickknacks. In an apartment on New York City’s Sutton Place, trinkets and miniature sculptures give the living room a chic but eclectic vibe.

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OPT FOR TWO LONG TABLES

In the New York living room of hotelier Ian Schrager‘s apartment, two long tables divide the couches. The visual illusion itself is the decorative piece — simple and effective.

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ADD A POUF

In the living room of Kate and Rem Reynolds’s townhouse in
Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn, the wooden cocktail table is Danish and it is accompanied by a pouf. Extra seating and texture play? Yes, please.

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METICULOUSLY STACK SETS OF BOOKS

In the living room of antiques dealer John Pope’s Charleston, South Carolina apartment, the statement red cocktail table was found at auction. It is topped with meticulously stacked sets of books and a sprinkling of trinkets that ensure the colorful table is still visible.

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DUST OFF YOUR RETRO FINDS

In Ibiza, this living room is outfitted with a mirrored 1980s coffee table. The ceramic tiles reflect off the centerpiece creating a psychedelic effect.

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REPURPOSE OLD MATERIALS

The cocktail table in a Charleston, South Carolina sitting room was made out of a floor grate from the owner’s great-grandparents’ Missouri home.

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UTILIZE THE SPACE UNDERNEATH

The coffee table in interior designer William McClure’s former Birmingham, Alabama living room is not only a perch or books, candles and flowers, but a stash spot for throw pillows, which are placed underneath.

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DITCH YOUR TABLE LEGS

In the game room of a Los Angles home, the coffee table is made from a circa-1880 slate slab and is the perfect height for playing board games.

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DON’T GO OVERBOARD

In the living room of a Paris apartment designed by Jean-Louis Deniot, the black and white cocktail table by Hagit Pincovici is nod to the gray found throughout the rest of the room. To let the piece shine, tabletop accessories are limited to candlesticks and a decorative sculpture.

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STAY ON-THEME

If you’re a fan of nautical decor, bring it to your coffee table design. This wicker table fits in perfectly with the coastal decor of the space.

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CHOOSE A COLORFUL BASE

In the living area of interior designer Kimille Taylor’s Upper West Side apartment, the center table is topped with a sparse selection of books and flowers (of course), allowing for the dazzling yellow table to shine for itself.

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USE TRAYS TO ORGANIZE

It’s a no-brainer that trays are an excellent way to stylishly organize a tabletop. In a rustic barn in Amagansett, NY, a wicker tray breaks up the coffee table, and can also be used to serve food and drinks when needed.

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ACCESSORIZE WITH SCULPTURES

In an upstate New York house, the family room is anchored by a cocktail table by Etienne Allemeersch from Art-Design-Carta. The table is decorated with dramatic sculptures in hues similar to the rest of the room’s neutral decor.

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GO BIG ON FLOWERLESS ARRANGEMENTS

A low, natural coffee table adds charm to the living room of a Los Angles Farmhouse. As an alternative to flowers, the table is topped with a terracotta vase filled with lush greenery.

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PICK A TABLE WITH STATEMENT LEGS

In a Manhattan home library, the Mattia Bonetti coffee table is custom-made. The unique table legseasily make it the focal point of the room without competing against the classic coffee table accoutrements like a vase full or orchids.

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TRY A TWO-TIER TABLE

A two-tier coffee table offers even more room to show off your favorite accessories. Here, lacquered boxes and fresh flowersmatch the room’s warm orange-and-brown palette, enhancing the vibrancy of the stylish space.

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INVITE NATURE INDOORS

The best way to balance out sleek lines and contemporary furnitureis 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 Magelsays.

$1,575, Interlude Home Lestari Petrified Wood Side Tale, Houzz

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LAYER DECOR OVER THE YEARS

“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.

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

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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 Homepolishdesigner and owner of YES Associates. “But the reality of maintaining that is a little tricker. Mixing Scandinavian design with bohemian stylewarms it up and makes it feel more homey and attainable.”

$499, Arturo 8-Light Rectangular Chandelier, Ballard Designs

GET THE LOOK

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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 Munroerecommends drawing from your own personal style, especially the articles of clothing and patterns you’re attracted to.

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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.

$58, 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).

$4,319, 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 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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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.”

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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 pieceswith 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.”

$4,750, 18th Century French Louis XVI Giltwood Bergère or Wingback Chair, 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 Harrisonselected 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.”

$35, Star Map Print, Etsy

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ADD FAUX FUR

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.”

$249, Oversized Faux Fur Throw, Williams-Sonoma

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USE TECHNOLOGY TO YOUR ADVANTAGE

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.

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SHIP SMARTER

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.

$3,058, Chestnut And Sahara Billiard Table, Abt

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BUY TWO GREAT PIECES A YEAR

Rather than renovating your home all at once, Trip Haenischrecommends you buy two quality pieces you love every year. “Good things hold their value, and in ten years you will have a beautiful collection of twenty things,” Haenisch explains.

$3,874, French Récamier Style Daybed, 1stdibs

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DO YOUR HOMEWORK

…Especially before vintage shopping. Emily Eberhart of Viyet recommends researching how similar items of interest are priced or have sold.

$558, Kassim Accent Chair, Soho Mod

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INVEST WHERE IT MATTERS

If you’re on a budget, invest in the pieces that anchor a room. “It wouldn’t be a bedroom without a bed, it wouldn’t be a living room without a sofa, and it wouldn’t be a dining room without a dining table,” Thom Filicia advises.

$171, Faux Leather Black Crocodile Room Divider, Amazon

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USE FURNITURE TO SECTION OFF YOUR SPACE

Meredith Mahoney, Founder and Design Director of Birch Lane, divides open plan apartments into separate areas by letting the furniture do the work for her. Think: A large, L-shaped sectional, area rugs that define spaces and seating that can move easily from one “zone” to another if company comes over.

$4,399, Perry Modular Sectional, Birch Lane

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SHOP AROUND

Don’t take the easy way out and buy all of your furniture from one store. Roxy Sowlaty suggests you mix it up for a look that’s completely your own.

$286, Times Two Design Agate Thick Slab, Layla Grace

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SCALE TO YOUR SOFA

It’s so simple, you’ll kick yourself for not thinking of Emily Henderson‘s rule yourself: A large room should have large furniture, medium rooms should have medium-sized furniture and small rooms(you guessed it) should have more petite furniture. Scale the rest of the furniture to your sofa.

$639,Garcia Chesterfield Sofa, All Modern

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BRING OUTDOOR FABRIC IN

Grant K. Gibson suggests using outdoor fabric for indoor furniture to safeguard against stains and enhance durability, especially if you have kids or pets in the house.

$2,295, Skylar Pony Hair Zebra Bench, Williams-Sonoma

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BRING OUTDOOR FABRIC IN

Grant K. Gibson suggests using outdoor fabric for indoor furniture to safeguard against stains and enhance durability, especially if you have kids or pets in the house.

$2,295, Skylar Pony Hair Zebra Bench, Williams-Sonoma

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GO DARK IN DIM PLACES

Paint a room that doesn’t get a lot of natural light a saturated color. “Adding some pigment makes the space feel intentionally moody and romantic,” suggests Orlando Soria, west coast creative director of Homepolish.

$7, Blue Note, Benjamin Moore

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LET THE LIGHT BE YOUR GUIDE

When you’re painting a room, Joa Studholme of Farrow & Ball suggests you consider the direction of sunlight. Use bright colors in north-facing rooms, which tend to be darker, and create a warm glow in a west-facing room with pink or a red-based neutral. In south and east-facing rooms, opt for blue or white.

$288, Matte Velvet Curtain, Anthropologie

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ADD FRUIT

Fresh fruit isn’t just a great snack – it adds vibrant color to a room. James Tabb of Laurel & Wolf creates a centerpiece with fresh fruit to bring vibrant color to the kitchen.

$20, Metal Retangular Vase, Wholesale Floral

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THINK OUTSIDE OF THE BOX

Neal Beckstedt uses unexpected elements – like a fireplace or chaise lounge – to create a warm and inviting bathroom that feels like its own living space.

$4,800, Brown Leather Chaise Lounge, 1stdibs

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USE LADDERS AS STORAGE

Don’t be afraid to get creative with your storage space. Joy Moyler likes to use ladders to display towels, as in this bathroom designed by Rebecca Ascher and Joshua Davis.

$129, Sawyer White Leaning Bookcase, Crate & Barrel

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KICK UP CLASSICS

Karen Vidal kicks the classic look of a subway tile bathroom up a notch by pairing it with a bold, patterned cement tile floor.

$111, Agdal Blue, Grey and Black Handmade MoroccanTile, Overstock

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KEEP BEDROOM FABRICS SIMPLE

According to Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz, people should be the ones adding the pattern and texture to a bedroom – not the fabrics.

$600, 1200-Thread Count Cotton King White Down Comforter, Macy’s

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PAIR WOOD WITH WHITE

Jessie Black‘s formula for creating an elegant bedroom? Wood, white and natural light. Drenched in sunlight, the warmth and patina of wood juxtaposed with the the fresh crispness of white paint and decor is a show-stopper.

$398, Washed Wood Nightstand, Anthropologie

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YOUR CHAIRS DON’T HAVE TO MATCH

Select a large-scale lead chair at your dining table to up the drama. Emilie Munroe of Studio Munroe recommends picking a style that’s complimentary to the side chairs to really wow guests.

$238, Home Linde Velvet Dining Chair, Hayneedle

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CENTER YOUR FURNITURE ON A RUG

If you’re setting furniture – like a dining table – in the middle of the room, your rug should be big enough so that all the furniture, including chairs, fits comfortably on top, according to Janice Simonsen, design spokesperson for IKEA U.S. In large living rooms, however, it’s OK to have just the front legs on the rug.

$11,700, Contemporary Flat Weave, ABC Carpet & Home

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CREATE AN INVITING ENTRYWAY WITH MIRRORS

Your front hall is the first thing people see – so Dana Gibson suggests you make it inviting with a mirror and furnishings that foreshadow what’s to come in the rest of the house.

$1,079, Gold Chinoiserie Mirror, Ethan Allen

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BRING LIGHTING OUTSIDE

To create a cozy indoor atmosphere outside, Mary McDonald litters her yard with candles and lanterns. They up the romance factor, too.

$135, Juliska Berry & Thread Large Hurricane, Bloomingdale’s

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PAINT YOUR CLOSETS

Lisa Adams of LA Closet Design is one of Hollywood’s favorite closet designers. To make closets she creates even more luxe, she paints the metal trim or ceiling gold.

$16, Ultra Cover Metallic Gold General Purpose Paint, Home Depot

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FILL YOUR FIREPLACE

To make the most of a non-working fireplace, Sarah Gibson and Jacqueline Brown of Made For Tuesday suggest filling it with lots of pillar candles of varying sizes. For a more stylized look, add candle holders or bases, which add shape and height to the candle landscape.

$139, Richland Pillar Candles White Set of 30, Delivered Decor

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MAKE A ROOM LOOK BIGGER WITH WHITE FURNITURE

In a small space, Kevin Byrne selects white furniture, which makes any room look bigger than it is.

$683, Hercules Regal Series Contemporary Leather Loveseat With Frame, Houzz

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MAXIMIZE DAYLIGHT WITH MIRRORS

To maximize daylight – and to visually increase square footage – Jon Call of Mr Call Designs relies on large scale mirrors.

$250, Black Window Pane Andrea Mirror, World Market

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EDIT, EDIT, EDIT

J Randall Powers has a motto in his office: “If you look at it and you question it – put it away.”

$202, Bronze Coffee Cocktail Table With Tempered Glass,Houzz

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REMEMBER THE RULE OF THREES

Kazuko Hoshino of Studio William Hefner employs one of writing’s most famous rules in her design: Arranging decorative pieces like candles, vases, table plants or flowers in groups of threes.

$6, Unscented Pillar Candle, West Elm

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CHANGE YOUR COFFEE TABLE DECOR REGULARLY

When it comes to styling coffee tables, try Meredith Baer‘s formula: Start with something large in the middle, like a floral arrangement in an interesting pot, or a huge bowl filled with a collection. Then, build out from that with stacks of art books, candles, sculptures or pottery.

$50, Faux White Hydrangea Floral Arrangement, Pottery Barn

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COLOR COORDINATE

When creating a tablescape, Ron Wendt starts by choosing a linen. Then, he uses flowers or candles in a deeper or lighter hue to give the table a bold, completed look.

$105, “Symphony Gold” Dinner Plate, Bloomingdale’s

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MIX AND MATCH CHINA

Instead of buying a formal china set, Alex Papachristidis creates an eclectic look by mixing and matching dishes.

$67, Hibiscus Teacup & Saucer, Bloomingdale’s

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CHOOSE NEUTRAL UPHOLSTERY

When Lili Hart buys upholstery, she always selects a neutral shade, then uses pillows and throws to add color and pattern to the room. Change them out according to the seasons – just like you would with your clothes.

$10, Velvet Cushion Cover, H&M

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DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE CEILING

For an extra layer of style and unexpected dose of glam, Jeff Andrews suggests adding wallpaper to the ceiling.

$50, Luna Grey Wallpaper, Graham & Brown

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DON’T FOLLOW TRENDS

“If your neighbors are doing it, you probably shouldn’t,” says designer Summer Thornton. “You can use plenty of traditional pieces as the core, but always intentionally do something that throws it off just a bit!”

$1,099, Cerna Sofa, All Modern

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LAYER UP

For a layered look that combines fun and function, Jennifer Wagner Schmidt of JWS Interiors and ELEVATE Design Collective adds a chunky knit throw or a soft Moroccan wedding blanket to a sofa or chair.

$128, Aldalora Throw Blanket, Anthropologie

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DIM THE LIGHTS

One lighting rule Bunny Williams never breaks? Control overhead lights with dimmer switches.

$30, Dimmer and Wall Plate, Amazon

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ADD GREENERY

Bring the outside in. Ashley Redmond of Decorist uses plantsto add color, texture, and life to every room.

$300, Fiddle Leaf Fig, CB2

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HANG CURTAINS HIGH

To elongate visual ceiling height the way stilettos seem to add inches to a leg, Elaine Griffin hangs curtains as close to the ceiling line as she can get them.

$120, Barley Twist Drapery Rod,Neiman Marcus

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KEEP CURTAINS SIMPLE

Rather than buying draperies in patterns, designs or florals – which date a room very quickly – Randal Weeks of Aidan Gray Home buys two colors and changes them out seasonally.

$250, Radiance Silk Curtain, Neiman Marcus

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REMEMBER THAT NEWER ISN’T ALWAYS BETTER

Thomas Jayne chooses old carpets – which offer more interesting texture and a wider range of nuanced colors – over new ones.

$7,100, Vintage Kerman Rug, ABC Carpet & Home

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EXPAND A ROOM WITH RUGS

“The bigger the area rug, the bigger the room will feel.” – Cheryl Eisen

$1,281, 10’x12′ Custom Carpet Area Rug, Houzz

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START COLLECTING NOW

If Achille Salvagni has any say, the ideal collection references different eras and styles. “The best interiors are a reflection of where you have come from and a signifier where you want to go,” he says.

$389, Branch Gold Lamp, Stephanie Chen Home

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MASTER THE ART OF THE MIX

An antique, a piece of modern art, and an unexpected touch of whimsy pull any room together, according to Sarah Vaile of Sarah Whit Interior Design.

$82, Geometric 7 Gallery Wrapped Canvas, Houzz

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SPILL-PROOF YOUR SPACE

To kid-proof kitchens, Jen Goingsends upholstery fabrics to be treated with a vinyl-tex finish – it makes them completely wipeable and impervious to anything your kids can spill.

$2,400, Arteriors Calvin Counter Stool, Houzz

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MIX TEXTURES

To make metallic pieces shine, Natalie Kraiem mixes metals and mirrors with softer textures – like mohair, velvet, and wool – to up the contrast.

$1,999, Hendrick Textured Copper SlipTub, Signature Hardware

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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.

$130, Skyline Furniture Linen Talc Nail Button Storage Ottoman, Overstock

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FIND BALANCE

Don’t mistake eclectic style for “anything goes.” Joybird recommends putting a cap on the number of contrasting styles in each room to avoid a cluttered feeling.

$60, Birney Round Grey Rattan Basket, Crate & Barrel

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WARD OFF PAINT FUMES

“If you hate the odor associated with paint, add a drop or two of vanilla extract to each gallon of paint,” Kristen Chuber, marketing manager of Paintzen explains. “This will bring a much more pleasant aroma to the room you’re painting.”

$26, Pure Vanilla Extract, Boxed

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OPT FOR CARPET OVER WOOD

In a bedroom, opt for wall-to-wall carpet, which stops foot traffic from becoming a nuisance, Harry Heissmann of Albert Hadley Inc. advises. The only exception? Beach houses, where wood floors are fine.

$4,978, Icelandia Grey Hand Knotted Rug, Dash & Albert

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FORGET THE FORMAL GRID

For a looser, salon-style gallery wall that feels collected, designer Lauren Liess recommends starting at the center and moving outward. To keep the display from feeling haphazard, pick an overarching theme or color like the bedroom gallery wall Liess created here using pressed botanicals in a palette of black, white, and tan.

$39, Gallery Frame, West Elm

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