Is it fair to keep decorating secrets? I don’t think, so I am sharing them with you. There are so many little ideas that are big on charm and easy on the wallet. I use them all the time in my home and sometimes I get a shot of inspiration and immediately redecorate because it’s such a good idea. I like to use what I have in my home already and purchase a few extras to complete my space. Use these easy decorating secrets to create a space that defines you and reflects your good taste.
• Groupings. This is one of my favorites. Use a table, a mantel, a sideboard or a wall to create a grouping of like items. I have seen groupings that include alphabet letters on various substrates, vintage toys, glass bottles, dishes, miniature globes, vintage clocks and postage stamps. It really doesn’t matter what it is but if you like it then display it. Watch how your collection draws other people to it. I collect white vases, stacks of serving dishes, funny political gag gifts and retro cocktail glasses.
• If you live in a small space then everything counts; no place for items that don’t get used. I decorate and display items that that are imbued with a dual sense of purpose, such as serving dishes and retro platters; lovely and functional. A decorative bowl I made in college holds keys, cat toys (I know-weird) and sunglasses.
• My pet peeve: art that is hung too high…unless you are seven feet and for all those seven foot readers – I apologize. For the rest of us please hang the art at eye level. I want to walk up to the art and truly look at it. So…in your hallway, your living room, dining room and going up the stairs–hang art at eye level.
• Create a grouping of wall art and use a common denominator for each piece; this common denominator can be subject, color or frame style. When designing a grouping work it out on the floor first so that you can visualize how it will look on the wall; be sure to have the center image hung at eye level and the balance equally above and below. By designing it on the floor first, you avoid putting extra holes in the wall.
• Another way to group is to use a grid. Choose nine frames all the exact size. I prefer square because it simply fits so well. Place each piece the exact same width apart. I think it makes a grand statement if they are placed one to two inches apart. Remember – same frame for a common look.
• Use fabric for texture. Hang an Indian or Asian blanket on the wall that is saturated in bold earthy hues like saffron and pumpkin. Spice tones warm up a space and become a natural focal point. Additionally fabric folded over a sofa or a chair is an instant accent and serves a second function as a blanket for chilly evenings. Fringed heavily textured fabric can liven up a plain table by adding depth and style.
• Black and white. There I said it. Black and white is shockingly versatile in such a simple form. Use black as a backdrop behind a shelving unit that is painted in high gloss white. Display useful items in white on the shelves for contrast and simple styling. White dishes, cups, vases and books covered in white are a few items you could feature. Black and white lampshades with toile accents add Victorian charm. Wallpaper one wall in black and white stripes; upholster a side chair in black and white fabric; use black and white carpet squares from Flor to add instant appeal. Display a group of black and white photographs or a collection of white gloss vases.
• And finally – choose pieces with meaning. Allow your home to reflect your personality and of the people you share your home with. From photographs to travel souvenirs or odd yet compelling groupings or collections – allow these pieces to tell a story. From jars full of sea glass, bowls of fortunes from Chinese restaurants or stacks of cookbooks and plastic birds– unexpected pleasures with esoteric placement.