The 50 Best Decorating Tips of All Time

Sorting socks, reading Infinite Jest, decorating our homes: Some things, simply put, are never finished. In the hopes of helping you decorate savvily for all the rest of your live long days, we went ahead and rounded up the 50 greatest design tips and tricks in our arsenal.

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Photo: Alyssa Rosenheck, Design: Chelsea Robinson Interiors

1. Mount curtains high above your windows
The closer to the ceiling, the grander the room will feel.

2. Hang art pieces right at eye level
Aka 57 inches off the ground.

3. Station pretty baskets around the house
Three cheers for strategically placed clutter catchalls.

(Image: Courtesy of Alyssa Rosenheck/Design: Chelsea Robinson Interiors)

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Image: Inspired Interiors; Photography: Dustin Halleck Photography

4. Style decorative objects in odd numbered groupings. 
Use the “rule of three,” people.

5. Layer your light sources
Task, ambient and accent: Layers = warmth.

6. Always, always make your bed
Nothing says “I don’t care about my home” quite like a duvet cover crumpled on the floor.

(Image: Courtesy of Inspired Interiors/Photography: Dustin Halleck Photography)

hingham home tour dining after 1
Design: Helen Bergin; Image: Joyelle West for Homepolish

7. Use rugs to separate zones
Voilà: Insta-dining room in your open-concept kitchen.

8. Think of produce as decor
Fruits and veggies in a bowl make a gorgeous centerpiece in a pinch.

9. Decant your dish and hand soap
The presentation is just light-years better looking.

(Image: Courtesy of Homepolish/Design: Helen Bergin/Photography: Joyelle West)

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Photo: Alyssa Rosenheck, Design: Jason Arnold Interiors

10. Clean your windows regularly
Trust: It makes a world of difference.

11. Edit your countertop decor by 90% 
It's the one trick to a pretty kitchen. 

12. Make big statements in tiny rooms
Powder/laundry rooms + brazen wallpapers are always a good idea.

(Image: Courtesy of Alyssa Rosenheck/Design: Jason Arnold Interiors)

designer photogenic trick 5
Image: Tharon Anderson Design; Photography: Lesley Unruh

13. Pendants should hover roughly 3 feet above surfaces
That goes for islands, bars and dining tables. 

14. Use real bowls for your dog bowls 
So much prettier. 

15. Never place your bed in direct alignment with your door 
Big feng shui faux pas (it blasts you with "energy").  

(Image: Courtesy of Tharon Anderson Design; Photography: Lesley Unruh)

faux home tour 3
Design: Kevin Clark; Photography: Daniel Wang for Homepolish

16. Fresh flowers, always
And fresh water too (no murky green business, thanks).  

17. Add real rugs to utilitarian rooms
Like the kitchen and bathroom—for tons for warmth and character.  

18. Test-drive paint samples before committing
You never know what that navy really looks like until you see it in the light at every time of day. 

(Image: Courtesy of Homepolish/Design: Kevin Clark/Photography: Daniel Wang)

gallery wall character 718
Image: Cecy J Interiors; Photography: Sean Dagen

19. Mix mediums in a gallery wall
Matchy-matchy is a major no-no. 

20. Use cord covers to tidy your wires 
We swear by these guys for our TV's and sound systems. 

21. Always buy extra photo frames 
So you can add more down the road. 

(Image: Courtesy of Cecy J Interiors/Photography: Sean Dagen)

color block bookshelves1
Design: Jae Joo; Photography: Julia Robbs for Homepolish

22. Colorblock your bookshelves
Perfectionista and proud.

23. Karate chop your pillows
Easy luxe vibes (and stress relief, trust).

24. Place furniture 2 inches from your walls 
That’s right: "Float" your furnishings to make the room feel breezier.  

(Image: Courtesy of Homepolish/Design: Jae Joo/Photography: Julia Robbs)

cecyj photogenic
Image: Cecy J Interiors; Photography: Sean Dagen

25. When in doubt, undecorate
Less is so much more when it comes to tchotchkes.

26. Switch up coffee table decor often
It’s the easiest way to make the living room feel fresh again.

27. Never splurge on trends
Treat yourself to inexpensive decor pieces to stay fresh and modern. 

28. Only buy what you love
Even if that means deliberating over a bed frame for two years. 

(Image: Courtesy of Cecy J Interiors/Photography: Sean Dagen)

greenbedroom paint
Design: Tali Roth, Photography: Claire Esparros

29. Fill forlorn corners with plants
They can literally improve your mood.

30. No TV in the bedroom
And if you must, hide it.

31. Remember that everything looks better in a tray
Booze supplies, perfume bottles, you name it. 

32. Use the 2:2:1 throw pillow rule
Symmetry makes for the ultimate couch hack.

(Image: Courtesy of Homepolish/Design: Tali Roth/Photography: Claire Esparros)

use an oversize ottoman as your coffee table adding seating
Design: Amber Interiors

33. Consider furniture that does double duty
Like garden stools that double as side tables or ottomans that double as coffee tables. 

34. Lean your art
Super chic...and no holes to patch up later.

35. Use table skirting to disguise clutter
Or transform your furnishings on the super cheaps.

36. Use outdoor fabrics indoors
They stand up better to kids and pets. 

(Image: Courtesy of Amber Interiors/Photography: Tessa Neustadt

slide stools or cushions underneath a coffee table adding seating
Design: Justin DiPietro; Photography: Claire Esparros for Homepolish

37. Use your coffee table clearance 
Psst: There’s room underneath for extra seating.

38. Add a 'hero' piece to your living room 
A huge painting, sculpture or mirror lends major design cred.

39. When in doubt, paint it white
Walls, dressers, scuffed baseboards.

(Image: Courtesy of Homepolish/Design: Justin DiPietro; Photography: Claire Esparros)

mirror trick big room 728
Photography: Alyssa Rosenheck; Design: Amanda Barnes

40. Hang mirrors across from windows
They bounce the light around make rooms feel so much brighter.

41. A rug should never 'float' in a room
Always have furniture legs placed on top to ground it. 

42. Add moldings to fake ceiling height
...and make your house look fancier. 

(Image: Courtesy of Alyssa Rosenheck/Design: Amanda Barnes)

springdecor 4
Design: Talia Laconi; Photography: Tessa Neustadt

43. Leave an element (or two) undone 
Always leave something mussed to make a space look warm and lived in.

44. Place a rug between a wood table and a wood floor
To serve as a buffer.

45. Make sure your bed has two entry points 
The key to an elegant bedroom—and happy marriage. 

46. Add one black object to every room 
Every space looks better with a little contrast. 

(Image: Courtesy of Homepolish/Design: Talia Laconi; Photography: Tessa Neustadt)

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Image: Courtesy of Alyssa Rosenheck/Design: Amanda Barnes Interiors

47. Use matte finish paint to brighten a room
It allows for the most even light dispersion.

48. Add at least one antique to every room
New looks best when mixed with old. 

49. Invest in professionally framing your art 
Note: The mat should always be 1.5 times as wide as your frame. 

50. If something doesn’t 'bring you joy,' toss it
Thanks for that one, Marie Kondo

(Image: Courtesy of Alyssa Rosenheck/Design: Amanda Barnes Interiors)


Home Editor

From 2014-2019 Grace Beuley Hunt held the role of Home Editor covering interior design, styling, trends and more.