I love to flip through magazines for decorating and home improvement ideas – that’s one of the reasons I love Better Homes and Gardens so much. Also, because they have some great garden ideas, which I always struggle with. But that’s a post for another day.
My mom gave me a subscription to Better Homes and Gardens as a gift, and it’s been great! In the March issue, they had an article on 30 easy, high-impact decorating ideas, and I saved it to use some as inspiration. Here are the ones I particularly liked:
- Layering: “Layers keep a room from being one-note. Prop framed pictures or mirrors against a wall, overlapping them slightly. Top a stack of books with a fun little something. Drape a throw over a chair arm. Now, you have depth.” - I’m a big fan of this idea, which is something I’ve used on my fireplace mantle before. I might try it out in some other rooms as well!
- Organize books by color: “Calm chaotic shelves by organizing books by color. Leave some upright, and stack others, placing decorative objects between them. Painting the inside of a cabinet a fun color or covering it with wallpaper or wrapping paper is another simple lift.” – This is a great idea. I’ve always left some books upright and stacked others, but I’ve never thought to organize them by color. I saw another great idea recently – to wrap books with the same color wrapping or wall paper. I might try this in my office or living room. As for painting the inside of a cabinet – I did staple fabric to the back of my bookshelves, and it gives it a lot of visual interest.
- Baskets: “On open shelving or an armoire, matching storage bins, baskets or boxes make a room look more pulled together and less cluttered. Toss in DVDs, phone books, and more. Stick with solid-color neutral containers for flexibility in moving them to other spots when your needs change.” - if you’ve been to my house, you know I LOVE baskets. I use them for everything, and I’ve found that they do make open shelving look much neater and more elegant.
- Fireplace in the off-season: “Don’t let the fireplace be a black hole in the off-season. Fill it with a pillar or three-wick candles, a woven basket filled with silk flowers, or a plant in a colorful pot.” – I’ve never thought to try this! I have a working fireplace, so I always thought the candle thing was more suited to false fireplaces. But it’s a great idea to keep your fireplace as the center of attention, even when you don’t have a roaring fire in it.
- Curtains: “Hang curtains near the ceiling rather than just above the window trim. It gives the illusion of height – great for a small room or low ceiling.” – I’ve done this in all the rooms I’ve hung curtains in, so I can attest to the illusion of height. Even though I have standard ceilings, it adds drama to the room.
- Bedding: “Swap out the coverlet, pillows, or throw on your bed. Any – or all – are easy enough to change and will make it seem like you have a new room every season.” – This is something I definitely do, at least for the throw. I have the warm grey blanket I crocheted on my bed now, but that will be too heavy come spring and summer. So I’ll swap it out with a different blanket. I might even think of changing out the pillows!
- Paint: “Paint the rear wall of an upstairs landing a color that you only discover upon ascending the stairs. Surprise!” – I don’t think this would work well in my house, but I love this idea. I plan to hang on to it for future homes!
- Stair baskets: “A decorative basket at the bottom of the stairs is so much easier on the eye than the stacks of stuff that tend to accumulate there. Drop things in it, then disperse items in one swoop when you’re already make a trip upstairs.” – As you might remember, I’m already waiting on mine to arrive
- Pattern: “Every room needs pattern, but pattern can be scary. Conquer the catch-22 with a graphic pillow cover. Just slip it over an existing pillow when you want a change-up. It’s amazing how much oomph one little fabric square delivers.” – This is another fabulous idea. I plan to try this when my new chair arrives for the office – more on this later!
What are your favorite decorating tips?