The Best Decorating Advice Ever

I have heard a lot of decorating tips over the years. I love the kind of advice that saves you money, makes your home look pretty and is really easy to follow. Helpful and practical advice that normal everyday people can actually use!

A lot of people now realize that your home doesn’t have to be perfect, you can create a home you love and you don’t have to follow the rules. I agree, that is very true! But how do you achieve the look you want? It doesn’t always just happen! That is where having some great decorating advice and basic guidelines can really help get you started.

With the right know-how, you can avoid spending too much money, wasting too much time wondering what went wrong and spend more time loving living your home.

Here are just a few favorite pieces of advice that I think really work …

“Every room could use a touch of black.”
“Avoid hanging pictures too high, keep them at eye level (unless you are going to cover a large expanse of wall top to bottom).”
“Start with one inspiration piece (maybe a rug or a pillow) and build your room and color scheme around it.”
“Choose your paint color last to complement everything else in the room.”
“It doesn’t have to MATCH, it just has to “go”…”
“Add a touch of whimsy and the unexpected.”
“Pull the furniture out from all the walls.”
“Mix things up.”

What are the best tips and pieces of decorating advice YOU
have received and followed over the years?


Let’s share more advice in the comments! I’d love to have your wisdom and inspiration here all in one place!

For more ideas, check out Apartment Therapy’s post on their favorite decorating advice and all the great comments from readers! I was inspired and you will be too!

photo inspiration via Apartment Therapy from Metropolitan Home/Point Click Home

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Comments

  1. Spray paint is a girls best friend! :)
    The rest of my advice on decorating? I just copy it all from you girls.
    Now ask me about thrifting or parenting and I’ll take over your comments…hee hee

    Jen@Balancing Beauty and Bedlams inspiring blog post..Scrumptious Strawberry Pie

    • Melissa says:

      Ah yes, paint can cover a multitude of ugliness and tie a room of mismatched and random pieces you love together like none other! Paint is our best friend in decorating because it solves so many “issues” :-) Love your spray paint advice!~

  2. I get so much great inspiration from your blog – thank you! These are fabulous decorating tips!

    Blessings,
    Marie

  3. Keep rugs 12 -16 inches from the wall or else your rugs looks like a postage stamp in the room!

  4. I love your tips — they have all worked for me over the years.

    One last tip I’d add is Don’t force something. In my experience, it’s better to leave something un-done than to force it with something you *settled* with. When you’re aware of a ‘need’ in your home (but don’t force the solution), the solution will eventually come to you, and it will usually be the best, most-unique idea ever.

    kirwins inspiring blog post..My Green Project

    • Melissa says:

      Absolutely, I agree! Great advice!

    • To build on not “forcing” it: someone once told me, don’t bring anything into your home that you don’t absolutely love. My question is what do you do with decor items that people give you as gifts, that you don’t absolutely love? Hmmmm. Especially in a small house where they are hard to “hide”!

  5. These are great tips and I agree with them all! Hmm…some great decor advice I have received in the past is = decorate your accessories in odd numbers and paint your ceilings! Oh and go with your eye…it’s your home…you should love it.

    please sirs inspiring blog post..Nathalie Lete

  6. LOVE that built-in seating… I think I need to do that in my family room… it looks sooooo INVITING!!!

    Fifi Flowerss inspiring blog post..Shading and Silhouettes…

  7. Painting a wall of a room in a feature colour can be very effective and fun! You can use a colour that might have been too overpowering for a whole room, however works on one wall!

    RML – Being More Through Having Lesss inspiring blog post..Musings…

  8. Great advice! I would add go with your gut and do what you love-don’t decorate for someone else’s house. One thing I’ve done lately is involve my kids in the process-I love their fun and fresh perspective on color and accesories. And it makes them feel so much more at home knowing they’ve had some input on how things are.

    Ginas inspiring blog post..Adventure Saturday

  9. Fantastic advice. We are working on decorating right now {we just moved} and struggling a bit. I like that the items do not have to match just go.

    Beckys inspiring blog post..One Smart Cookie

  10. Sometimes if you are “stuck” in a room when accessorizing it, remove EVERYTHING. Add it to a staging area, as well as any other random pieces you aren’t using somewhere else……allow the room to “breathe” a little bit then slowly begin to add accessories back in to the room until you feel it’s just right. Don’t be afraid to switch things from room to room , and shop the house! Work with it until you get that “ahhh….” feeling that it all works well together. Sometimes it takes me a few days to get to that point…as it evolves.

    Suzanne
    Thanks for all the good tips.

    suzannes inspiring blog post..

  11. Great tips. I agree with each and every one of them – especially the “touch of whimsy” suggestion. I’ve found that a little whimsy makes a room feel much more inviting and “lived in”…it also helps you not to take the whole decorating thing too seriously. Although, I’m talking about SMALL doses here :-).

    AnNicole@OurSuburbanCottages inspiring blog post..Keeping it Real: A Decorating Dilemma

  12. If you love it, buy it. You can make it work if everything you have is something you love and brings you joy everytime you see it.
    *Tricia

    Tricias inspiring blog post..A Give-a-Way

  13. Make sure each room is functional. Show rooms + families with children= wasted space, and hassle, and a not very welcoming environment.
    LOVE all the tips!

  14. Wonderful posting!!! Thanks for making people like me, feel like they can decorate their home and it be beautiful! Without, spending an arm and a leg…LOL!

    When I say people like me…I mean, the kind with little or no budget and no decorating ability. LOL!

    Thanks!!!

    Susan @ pinkportugueseroses & Very Pretty Thingss inspiring blog post..Save money with reuseable swiffer covers

    • Melissa says:

      Most of us need to decorate our homes without spending an arm and a leg, and even if we COULD spend more, WHY? There are lots of great ways to make your home lovely without spending too much! It is fun to have everyone sharing their tips!

      Thanks for reading!

  15. great tips – another one from candace olsen is that every room should have one touch of sparkle – even a small one – a little ‘room jewelry’ – she always has some sparkle – chandys, silver accents, glass….something.

    sheris inspiring blog post..I really am easy to get along with.

  16. Best advice, and also the hardest to follow: Be Patient! The best interiors come together over time.

    A tough pill to swallow when you’re like me and want everything to be perfect RIGHT NOW! ;)

    Anne @ The City Sages inspiring blog post..Giveaway: Nate Berkus for HSN

  17. Mary Beth (Cats, Books, Life is Good) says:

    I’ve definitely got the touches of whimsy down. Now, I just have to work on the other stuff! I like when people say it should like a home, not a house, because mine stopped looking like a house a long time ago, but it definitely looks lived in.

    Mary Beth (Cats, Books, Life is Good)s inspiring blog post..DAMN GIRL! WHAT’D YOU DO TO YOUR HAIR??!!

  18. I love these tips and I always, ALWAYS do what is best for US! A few years ago we removed all the wallpaper in the house and painted colors we LOVED….rusts, browns, golds etc. All my friends thought I was crazy cause it wouldn’t be good for “resale”, and we were near retirement. Well, here we are several years later and NOT about to try to sell with this market so we ahve LOVED our colors all these years. I am so glad I didn’t listen to others!!!!!! LOVE your blog! Pinky

    • Melissa says:

      Yes, do what YOU love in YOUR home. Who cares what is “best” for resale. You can always change something later if you feel it is to your advantage. LIVE IN THE MOMENT! :-)

  19. This is wonderful! Great advice and so simply consolidated! Thank you so much!
    xo
    Melis

    Melissa de la Fuentes inspiring blog post..Cheap & Chic: a room on a budget

  20. I totally believe in the mixing it up theory. When all furniture/colours match perfectly, that’s when a house starts to look museum like. Abit of old, abit of new, abit of funk, arranged nicely looks far more interesting than ‘the perfect furniture pieces’ to me. It looks lived in. It’s interesting. And it looks like someone’s home.

    I also believe in using what you have. If you get something too fussy, you won’t want to use it. Museums are fun to look at but I wouldn’t want to live there.

    Donna

    Donna

    Donna at Funky Junk Interiorss inspiring blog post..Unique patio table

  21. Dariela says:

    Great tips! I’, such a bad decorator, I’m ashamed cause my mind works in 2D as a graphic designer, but I’m so afraid of 3d spaces. I appreciate your tips! I just found your blog too thru twitter! I’ll be a new subscriber!!

    Darielas inspiring blog post..We had a great time at “Blog out Loud” first event

  22. Great advice. We don’t decorate here as much as find spots to shove stuff, so we need all the advice we can get. :)

    Tara @ Feels like homes inspiring blog post..Creamy Spinach Doodles

  23. Always keep the same colour scheme (not the same colour necessarily but the same type of grouping) throughout your home so that from room to room everything flows

    Decorate with 3 colours in a room – not just two so that you can have the extra colour to work with for accents etc.

    It’s the little touches that matter the most… the things that you notice that you missed the last time you were over to visit.

    Decant it! Put your laundry soap in a pretty bowl with a teacup scoop. Get rid of the dish soap on the counter – use a pretty corked bottle instead.

    Don’t forget the closets – having little touches in the closets, some scented dryer sheets tucked between the bedding that is stored there etc makes your foray into the cupboard a little more special.

    Above all, make life lovely.

    Curvalisciouss inspiring blog post..Stella

  24. Great tips.

    Mine would be to go ahead and purchase that item you saw which you know will be perfect – ‘cos if you go back it might be gone :(

    PS This is why I went ahead and purchased my “life is good” words yesterday – hopefully it will “grow” on my dh!

    JanMary, N Irelands inspiring blog post..Lessons Learned – Life is Good

  25. BlueCastle says:

    I love this simplified list! Sometimes it seems there are so many rules, it can be overwhelming. But, yes, our homes need to be liveable, as well as pretty – something I’m learning well. :)

    BlueCastles inspiring blog post..From Cold Joe To Five Little Peppers – A Makeover Story

  26. Jennifer says:

    I love collecting things over time. Your house tells a story then. I can look at things and remember wehn we got them and where. I have been in houses where it was all decorated at one time and it looks like it. As one other poster said it had a museum quality. I like that woods are different or colors go together but don’t match perfectly. It reminds me that I am neither!! (ha!) Sure, you may live a bare spot for a while but when you find that perfect thing…you just love it!

  27. Absolutely! Oh, and there’s always paint too, if you hate the color of something. I hate walking into houses and the paintings are way up high on the wall. If you have to get a ladder to hang it, it’s likely too high unless you have an arrangement of things. And yes, pull that furniture away from the wall. Don’t be afraid of big furniture in small rooms. That’s all I got in me for now… Oh, and have I ever told you how user-friendly your website is? And the ease of commenting has me continually coming back!
    Brenda

  28. Melissa, we have just finished a lot of remodeling (see my most recent posts on the design blog above) and I think the best additional advise I could give would be to surround yourself with the things that you love and have fun with your designing. Find meaning and pleasure in how you put it all together. Enjoy!

    Bonnie Mattsons inspiring blog post..The Kitchen is Finished~At last!

  29. One little ‘shot’ of red – bowl of cherries, a few apples. Carpet first, main paint colour, secondary colour and accent colour. Fresh flowers or a live houseplant/succulent.

    Liberty Post Editors inspiring blog post..Cheeky Freaky Dolly for Beach Bungalow 8

  30. hey Melissa! I love this post. How true! I used to hang pictures way to high, used to have way too many colors in every room….and now my best friend is spray paint! I’ve learned so much from blogging and your site here is such an inspiration!
    blessings,
    Debbie

    Debbies inspiring blog post..Some Goose Berry Patch Bakin’ and a funny joke…

  31. best piece of advice came from a professor during graduate school while i was earning my masters in interior design. She said, “honey, EVERY good interior is peppered with a little bad taste.” I never understood what that meant until I actually started my career… take a chance on a piece of furniture, a wall color, a piece of art, or an accessorie… throw people off every now & then, shake things up, add the unexpected. not everyone is going to think what you’ve done is beautiful, but it only matters if you do.

  32. I love the tip about putting an accent piece in black..it really adds a touch of elegance..Always wonderful advice here!!
    Thanks so much for sharing..
    hope your having a great day!!
    XO
    ~

    Christines inspiring blog post..littlebits of …

  33. Hey Melissa, what are you doing asking us for advice – you’re the one with all the great ideas :)

    I think I am finally beginning to enjoy the efforts from my decorating now that I:

    ~am practical (for a family with two kids and two dogs)
    ~go with my heart and what makes me smile
    ~take inspiration from rooms that I see that make me feel good
    ~am patient and willing to wait for the right thing

    Emily@remodelingthislifes inspiring blog post..How We Vacation

  34. Choose your paint color LAST??????????? Since I own a paint company… that terrifies me. I usually suggest after fabrics….but before carpet, curtains, accessories. All the other advice I COMPLETELY agree with!

    The Magic Brushs inspiring blog post..Priceless

    • Melissa says:

      Ha, yes, we all have the freedom to do things in the order we choose! Thank you for sharing your opinion, I don’t own a paint store so I am not an expert there!

      However, for myself, I will stand by my advice. Perhaps it is just a matter of what we mean by “last”…Iet me explain for those who might be interested. In my world, rooms are never “done” but by LAST I mean consider what you already have before you choose your paint. This might be long but I’ll try to clarify.

      MOST of us do not have the luxury of buying everything new that all works together and can go with the paint we chose first. If we could choose our wall color and then go out and buy everything else to go with it, that would be great. But trying to make my existing stuff work with a pre-chosen wall color is more frustrating and usually less successful than trying to find a wall color to complement my stuff. I need to choose the wall color AFTER I consider what I already have and what I need to work with. Not the other way around.

      Getting to start completely from scratch would be fun, but just not realistic for most people (at least the people I work with!). Most of us already have a bunch of things we need to make work together and paint can tie it all together! Paint is very often the saving grace of a mismatched room of decor. Remember, I think a room just has to GO, not MATCH. Paint makes things GO! Much cheaper too to paint a room ourselves to go with what we have, than to go recover a sofa and buy new carpet to go with the paint we chose before we thought through what we had to work with.

      Case in point, the house I live in now. The builder chose the paint and it does NOT go with what I have AT ALL. In fact, it doesn’t even go with the carpet! He chose it first (of course, he had to chose since it was a new house) thinking it was a great neutral, but it has PINK undertones! My stuff (and the carpet) needs a creamy yellow base to tie it all together and make it look good. That is what I am going to do now, choose the paint color LAST so it really goes with what I have. It is an easier fix than buying new carpet, flooring or new furniture to go with the paint. Even if I LOVED the paint he chose, I wouldn’t be able to go buy all new things to make it look smashing together.

      Paint is something that can really tie an assortment of things together, whether we use it on a piece of furniture or the walls. That paint color decision can be first, absolutely, but it does make things more difficult for trying to use what you have. That is why I would say ideally choose your paint color once you consider everything you already have in the room. If you choose it first, you might not LOVE your room in the end. You’ll love the walls, hate your stuff in it. I just try to love my room as a whole, since my walls need to be the backdrop, not the main event. This is true with painted furniture too, I can change the color “last” to make it work with everything I end up having in a room. It just makes everything easier to be able to be flexible with the paint.

      And that is just my humble opinion. Carry on everyone, and offer you own advice! It is all good if it works for you!

  35. Great advice! My rule is also “It doesn’t have to match, it just has to “GO”…..” Also – don’t worry what everyone else thinks – do what YOU like! You have to live there, not them!

    The Old Post Roads inspiring blog post..$1 House

  36. Ppretty and simple, my kind of advice!
    Thank you Melissa.

  37. The best advise I ever got was actually a sales pitch! I was contemplating buying an oil painting that I just *loved* but wasn’t “my style.” The clever salesgirl said, “if you love it, you’ll always find a place for it.” That’s all the prompting I needed and I bought the darn thing. Well, that was over 15 years and 5 homes ago and you wanna know what? I’ve found the perfect spot for it in every single home and I’ve never stopped loving it. It’s still one of my favorite, most treasured pieces.

  38. I 100% agree with you Melissa about the timing of paint selection.

    Paint is a great camilion (sp?) colors in the room can some times bring out the warmer tones in the paint. AFTER, definately after.

    The saying I love to use is, “Stronger on the MIX and less of the MATCH!) mixing metals, wood species, textures all bring the richness of a room together.

    Put items in your home you LOVE…if you are ambivilant dont use it. Im a big fan of stripping your entire room quarterly of all the accessories. Put them in another room … then RE-accessorize. Just putting a great lamp on a different spot in your room can make you feel like you have a new purchase. Switch your wing backs w/ your couch for a different balance give a new perspective.

    I also am a fan of LESS is more. Dont put out every single one of the items you collect. All 20 of your Tea Pot collections get muddled. Rotate, revisit… groups of odd numbers of LESS will bring visitors interest as well as refresh your love for the things you collect by spotlighting them individually, rather than the GROUP.

    Ohhh and yes–I agree with you!! No furnishing up against the wall. (well, few if any)

    Thanks for all your inspirations. You are wonderful.

    Remember if it looks designed… you hired the WRONG designer.

    TTFN~~Claudia

    Claudia @ DipityRoads inspiring blog post..Cottage Bride and Rose

  39. I have no decorating advice to give. But, I love reading all the tips. My house really needs some help.

    SoBella Creationss inspiring blog post..Mini Craft Room Makeover Giveaway

  40. Thanks for that reminder. It’s hard to not want to do what I see (as I continue to unpack boxes five months after the move) instead of what I create from the inspiration God has provided.

    Juliannas inspiring blog post..Just Melt My Heart

  41. daily decorator says:

    Best advice…less is more! Edit out all the extras and keep it simple. It is the best way to achieve a clean, simple look!

    Tracy @
    daily decorator

    daily decorators inspiring blog post..Roll Call

  42. The Cottage Child says:

    I love your ideas. Thank you…..I posted earlier this week on our little company design philosophy. I think we’re long lost sisters.

    The Cottage Childs inspiring blog post..A Basic, but first a message from our sponsor….

  43. Great advice Melissa! One area I always pay attention to is texture. I try to make sure to have rough, smooth, dull and shiny surfaces to make a room interesting. Like Sheri above, I love how Candice Olsen always adds some sparkle!

    Kimm at Reinventeds inspiring blog post..Small Changes, Big Results

  44. Paint change can be inexpensive and go a long way to changing things up!

    Gwyns inspiring blog post..What is a "Sisterchick"?

  45. The best decorating advice I’ve ever had is Nester’s mantra: It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful. I was a Home Economics Major with a specialty in Interior Design. After I graduated I did nothing with my education because I was too afraid of failure because my Professor was the worst perfectionist. I never did anything good enough, so why try? Now that I know it DOESN’T have to be perfect, I’m not afraid to do stuff. My creative streak is slowly waking up from a long, long nap.

    Heathahlees inspiring blog post..Drop Cloth Bedskirt

  46. Oh my word… I hate to see photos and paintings hung way up high!!! Great advice there:-)

    My favorite advice came from a designer who told me not to be scared of chunky items. I guess all of my accesories were too skinny!!

    Amy @ Living Locurtos inspiring blog post..Printable Father’s Day Card and Coupons

  47. Love this blog more and more every day! My advice…lighting…it can make such a difference. Try to avoid the use of an overhead light (unless of course it is a chandelier – but even there I have dimmers). Use lamps, Light up the corners of your room…more flattering to everyone. And as far as paint colors go, shop your closet. Whatever you are comfortable wearing you will be comfortable living with on your walls. My closet has tons of khaki and red, so my house does too!

  48. cynthia says:

    Amen!
    i always thought this….if i like it, i’m going with it!

    and as far as matching…i really don’t like anything “matchy matchy”…pieces can definitely “go” without looking the same around a room!

    and of course, the “unexpected”…that can be so fun!

    great advice!

    cynthias inspiring blog post..our sunday

  49. The best advice I ever got was “buy art that you love. Art that moves you. Don’t buy a piece of art just because it ‘goes’.”

    I follow that rule in everything I buy, from pillows, to frames, to furniture to decor.

    Also, as you stated…it doesn’t have to match, it just has to “go.”

    kristen@nosmallthings inspiring blog post..Does the feeling ever really go away?

  50. We are garage sale-ers so nothing in my home matches but everything goes together in an ecclectic hodge-podge. Whenever I visit friends, I am there for them and their home’s atmosphere not the home itself.

    Dianes inspiring blog post..The Evidence for Why Diane Has "Earned" a Boat

  51. Great advice- may I add one more- Go with the flow- sometimes a little give and take with your design plan is a good thing- I find that if I let things happen instead of making it happen- I always like the end results better- {not sure if I made any since there- =)
    Thanks for your help
    Have a great day

    teresas inspiring blog post..

  52. Actually I think one of the worse pieces of advice that anyone can get when decorating is “hang your art at eye level”. I see that in magazines and it drives me crazy!

    I design and decorate people’s homes for a living and there is A RULE for hanging art. Melissa, you are correct that people hang their art way too high. (I swear people can get vertigo having to look up at art!)

    THE RULE is to hang art based on a ROOM’S FUNCTION. If you hang art at “eye level” what happens when you have a husband who is 6’7″ and a wife who is 5’1″ (which happens to be the situation for a client of mine). Whose eye level are we hanging the art for? And what happens when we have people over – they are all different sizes.

    So, FUNCTION RULES ;o) If the function of a room is where people sit (living room, dining room, sun room, game room, etc.) the rule is to hang the art at 54″ inches from floor TO CENTER of the ART.

    If the function of the room is primarily standing/walking (hallway, foyer, kitchen, bathroom) the rule is to hang your art 60″ from floor to center.

    Lastly, if you are hanging art above a table, sideboard, sofa, mantel, etc. the rule is to hang it so that the bottom is just 4-6″ from the surface of that item. This anchors the artwork to the larger piece of furniture so that it’s not out there just floating in space with no relationship to the item it’s hanging above.

    I give my clients these rules so that when they have DIY projects, they can make sure to get it right the first time. It’s amazing how hanging your art at the correct level transforms the way a room feels!

    Diana@TheDevineHome.coms inspiring blog post..Devine Designs On A Dime!

    • Melissa says:

      I agree! Yes, thanks for clarifying…I agree the “eye level” guide (which I am always careful to say “close” to eye level for this very reason) can be difficult to interpret unless you understand some of the nuances of what goes it to that phrase. You defined the nuances of it well.

      I am an “eye-baller” so I don’t like to get out a measuring tape and feel like there are too many variables in a room and even the type of art (is it bold or does it have fine details?) that make me choose different heights for hanging, so I just look and get a feel for what works. Your measurements will be of help to anyone who want a more exact guide, so thank you!

  53. Melissa,

    I just read the Magic Brush’s comment about paint and your response. I side WITH YOU on this one and not our paint store owner.

    You ABSOLUTELY CHOOSE PAINT LAST! There are approximately 16 MILLION colors to choose from when decorating our homes. Carpet, furniture, fabrics . . . ah, not so much selection of color. Color consults are my #1 call for help – people want color but are afraid of making a mistake. Like you, I can’t tell you how many “pink” beiges I have seen!

    Paint is the great unifying element that can pull all our hand me downs, ups and overs GO together!

    Another piece of bad advise I have heard is to have your painter select your wall colors. The professional painters I work with run into this all the time (and one of them is color blind!) Just because someone is a painter does not mean they are a COLOR expert.

    The best piece of decorating advise I can give people when it comes to color is to HAVE A PROFESSIONAL designer/decorator help you select the color. We work with it 24/7/365 and understand the nuance of color. The fee you will pay for a color expert to help you select your colors will save you time/money & headaches!

    Diana@TheDevineHomes inspiring blog post..Devine Designs On A Dime!

  54. If you LOVE something, find a place for it. You should always surround yourself with things that make you feel wonderful!

    Great advice, Melissa! I do hope that life is going great, dear one.

    Love,
    Debbie

    DebbieWs inspiring blog post..Out of the Mouths of Teenagers

  55. Adrienne says:

    “Hire a professional” … via my mother ;)

    Adrienne @ Susan Palmer Designss inspiring blog post..Before & After Photos … The “After” Pictures are Here!

  56. Great advice from all! The best decorating tip I could add would to not be so matchy, matchy! The best bargains are the ones you find at yardsales, consignment shops and antique/peddler malls. Window treatments and paint make the world of a difference in a room and it doesnt have to be expensive! Check out my blog!

    Holly Blockers inspiring blog post..Summer-time Honey Chicken Salad!!!

  57. love all your advice melissa…i just shared it on facebook, twitter and digg it…hugs, rebecca

    Cre8Tiva/Rebecca E. Parsonss inspiring blog post..along comes David Neagle’s newsletter…

  58. Melissa says:

    You guys are giving great, helpful and DETAILED advice! I love it! Thank you for contributing!

    Don’t stop now, surely you have more?

  59. I’m not a designer but a design consumer. The best, most authentic, and most charming art in our house is by our 3 children. Our designer sought it out, “Let’s look at your childrens’ art?” We searched old boxes, lockers, and under beds.

    Once you’ve paid for the children, their art projects are pretty much free.

    Terry Kearnss inspiring blog post..We do Atlanta’s Buckhead Gallery Walk, June 4, 2009

  60. Great post! My favorite piece of advice is “decorate with your heart, not with your brain”. When I try to “plan” out a room too much it feels overdone. If I just go with what makes my heart skip a beat I end up loving it oh-so-much more!
    ♥ Jen

    jens inspiring blog post..☼ Summer Reading ☼

  61. ToddandJen says:

    Our advice is to define the function of the room and let the design flow from it.

    When we lived in OH, we designed a comfortable, casual, yet elegant living room. It had a slate coffee table, a beautiful fireplace screen, and an amazing stone fireplace as a focal point. Since our basement wasn’t finished, this was the main hang out room. Every night, we’d settle in to watch TV or entertain friends.

    When we moved to KS with our 7 month old, we could no longer decorate our living room this way. Our armoire and another ottoman became toy and video storage, while our furniture was aligned in a more open arrangement to allow our son to run around without getting hurt.

    Still, clean everything up at bedtime and the adults could relax and enjoy TV, reading or board games. Form followed function.

    Melissa, your tips are awesome! Keep up the great work.

    ToddandJens inspiring blog post..Jun 6, Framed Wall Art: Refine Your Style

  62. I didn’t see this on the list, but in our house, we live by the mantra, “Less is more!” The walls and shelves don’t have to be packed full to look finished. Clean and simple can be refreshing and energizing!

  63. I’ve heard that “pull everything out from the walls” advice before: someday I shall employ it!

    desiree fawns inspiring blog post..happy sunday.

  64. What’s inspired me a lot lately is looking for ways to improve upon what you already have rather than going out to buy new OR finding something used to re-purpose in some way. It brings out your creativity and you appreciate your home even more because you’ve had a hand in creating it to some extent.

    Heidis inspiring blog post..Lighten Up

  65. I’ve noticed that a lot of people tend to decorate conservatively, “for resale” they say…putting neutral colors everywhere and using color only on easily changeables, like accessories. Who cares about the next folks? If you don’t love it, it’s not home! I have color EVERYwhere, on the walls, the furniture, the accessories, you name it. And it’s home.

    Kristis inspiring blog post..To Blog, or not to Blog?

  66. The best advice I’ve gotten was if you love the pieces in the room, you’ll love the room.

    Renees inspiring blog post..

  67. I had never heard of the paint color last – but it is brilliant!

    Besos!

    Susans inspiring blog post..T-2 plus 6?

  68. A room is never truly “done.” People change, tastes change, why wouldn’t our spaces?

    Gina @ The Shabby Chic Cottages inspiring blog post..Turn it around

  69. Great advice! This is how I decorate in my home and others. Another thing I always stand by, “Only buy what you love”! You should feel happy everytime you see it. So don’t settle, sometimes you have to wait patiently for the just right piece to come along!

    Hugs to you,
    ~Victoria~

  70. I have a question…my husband wants to wallpaper all 4 walls of a room with the same pattern wallpaper. I think it will be too busy or make the room feel closed in. Are there any rules of wallpapering like painting a room? Should you have matching patterns or painted walls in conjunction with a focal wall…is it ok to paper the whole room in the same pattern?

  71. I am moving into a rental, so I don’t want to spend a lot of money decorating. I have red-burgundy leather couches, and don’t know what colors to use or how to even decorate around it. What should I do?

  72. I recently stripped wallpaper from my mother’s bathroom which had very large 80′s yellow flowers on it. I am trying to find a scheme for the bathroom that will somehow go with a very yellow marble-esque double sink countertop and white cabinets. We need to know how to play down this countertop and make the place look a better for sale in the future. I would greatly appreciate any adive for what color to paint the walls and get for a shower curtain.

    Thanks!!!

  73. Moving into a new house, Cabinets are clove, a guess a medium warm brown. Walls are duron shell white, trim is a shiny white -white. I want to pick a textured carpet called Lily by Shaw company. I would like this to be a neutral pallet so I can add /change colors, accessories. All rooms have windows but not terribly bright.

    Please tell me if you have any thoughts on what I picked.

    And can you please suggest a linoleum for the bathrooms? One is Jack/Jill, the other a private bath /bedroom combination. I like updated classic, nothing too busy, bathroom floors aren’t large.

    Thanks for any advice!

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