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Use decorators' tips for home design without losing your own style

August 13, 2014

hardwood floorsIf you can't afford your own interior decorator and don't know how to get the finished look you find in magazine home design layouts, don't despair. For the most important elements of a room, like hickory flooring from Anderson's Eagle Lodge collection, choose classic furniture. Then finish the room with these tips from decorating stylists to make your dwelling look like it came off the pages of a magazine.

Invent a theme
If you've always wanted a living room to have the angular look of craftsman style decor, but you want your bedroom to have soft textures to burrow into when you're reading or sleeping, don't stifle your imagination. Houzz recommended that you have the room design of your dreams as long as you're styling them to reflect who you are.

Keep it real
Even if you envy the look of magazine layouts, don't let your house become one. Once you decide on your favorite style of furnishings, focus on the big ticket items like sofas, dining tables and chairs as well as shelving units.

Shelves, for instance, may seem utilitarian, but they can have style, too. They can have a paired-down look with no embellishments or be encased in carved wooden panels. However, be practical and consider what will be stored on your shelves to make sure they're up to the weight display needs of your belongings.

Stylist Olga Naiman told Oprah magazine she's a fan of using trays to keep things organized, but also as an opportunity to create attractive gatherings of necessities and things that just belong together. Just beware of being too organized or you risk having a home that looks perfectly arranged and uninteresting.

Skip symmetry
HGTV stylist Emily Henderson advised would-be decorators to skip the piles of same-size toss pillows and choose an assortment that she finds foolproof – one 20-by 20-inch, one 16-by 16-inch, and one 12-by-16-inch. Because of their size, there's no chance they'll get lost in your room design, whether you use them on a living room couch or a bed.

The variation in pillow sizes also speaks to another decorator's favorite ploy - skip symmetry. It's too formal for most rooms in the average household and conveys a look that says everything's in its place. Instead, choose a selection of picture frames that may have one feature in common - all silver - but differ in size and design.