Are you sure you want to remove this item from your Recipe Box?
Please enter a valid email address...
The emails have been sent
Please consider subscribing to PureWow
We know, we know: You’re going for minimalist. But without any color, your sleek, modern space can quickly turn boring and sterile.
Look, you don’t have to paint the whole house magenta. But pops of color here and there (a throw pillow! an accent table! an artfully hued floating fireplace!) will give a room personality and liveliness.
Hey, guess what? Jennifer Convertibles totally wants to sell you a Price Is Right-style matching living-room set. Guess what else? You should just step away from the Price Is Right-style matching living-room set.
Texture, size, historical era: Go for an eclectic mix that shows off your unique style. As long as the proportions are right and there are some unifying aesthetics, it’s totally fine to have mismatched furniture.
Photo credit: Donna Griffith
You know that icky fluorescent glow you get in an American Apparel dressing room? That’s what your houseguests feel every time they come over.
Play around with table and floor lamps, as well as overhead lights on dimmers. Lighting sources at different heights and levels of brightness will yield a warm, flattering glow.
Is there something inherently embarrassing about the back of your sofa? Arranging furniture flush against the wall creates an overly formal vibe (not to mention an awkward, empty space in the middle of the room).
Bring your sofa and chairs away from the walls to create intimate areas where folks can comfortably talk. It’ll give the space a cozy, lived-in feel.
You should never balance a glass of Malbec on a couch cushion. Never.
Why, oh, why are so many people inclined to hang their art mere centimeters from the ceiling? (The Kleenex also isn’t helping things in this case.)
Art should be hung so the center of the piece hits at eye level, about 60 inches off the floor. (See our cheat sheet for other optimal hanging heights.)
We get it: Rugs are expensive, so it can be tempting to go with a smaller size. But as far as proportion goes, a rug defines an area, and it looks weird when it’s small and floating out in the middle of nowhere.
As a general rule, a living-room rug should touch the front legs of every piece of nearby furniture--but it’s OK if it’s bigger!
Photo credit: Domino
Yes, an antique writing desk would make you look so bookish and cool. But be honest with yourself. Are you ever going to use an antique writing desk? (Or a retro church pew? Or a giant farmhouse table if you haven’t entertained since the Clinton administration?) Don’t decorate for the person you want to be--decorate for the person you are.
Maybe you watch a lot of Netflix. There’s no shame in making the (sleekly hung) TV the focal point of your living room. Maybe your 4-year-old has 9,000 Tonka trucks. Totally fine to build toy chests into your decor. If you make design choices that suit your lifestyle, we promise you won’t be disappointed.
At this point in our lives, we’ve been to enough house parties/bridal showers/brises to know what we do and don’t like in other people’s living rooms.
And while most of our friends generally have good taste, there are a few design mistakes we see folks making again and again.
Check out our list of the eight most egregious blunders (cough-cough, harsh overhead lighting)--and what you can do to fix them.
Enter your registered email below!