From adding dark, drama-inducing lampshades to creating ceilings with style, design experts reveal their best home-decorating tips and offer up insider tricks-of-the-trade.
1. Trim Doesn't Have to Match the Wall: Painting your baseboards or molding a contrasting color makes the wall pop. Try a dark gray or Spanish brown, as designer Jeffrey Bilhuber did in this living room. Best of all, scuffs won't show.
Related: Beautiful Designer Living Rooms
2. Stripes Create Movement: To give energy to an otherwise staid room, try painting stripes. To get it right, first go with a white base. Choose the second color by selecting a shade off from a color already in the design, as in this bathroom designed by Stephen Shubel.
Related: 5 Paint Color Trends
3. Black Shades Add Drama: It might seem stark, but dark shades bring drama to an otherwise dull space. "They create lovely pools of light - along with a little punctuation - in a room. Line the shades in gold paper to add a little sparkle," says designer Libby Cameron.
4. Pillows Don't Have to Match the Sofa: It's not about matching, but about layering. Try out different textures, colors, and patterns, as Melissa Warner did in her West Hollywood living room.
Related: 20 Decorating Secrets!
5. Mirrors Double Natural Light: You know that mirrors can make a room look larger, but the trick to getting it right is making the space seem brighter. Placing a mirror opposite a window opens up a room and seems to increase the sunlight that filters in.
Related: Paint Your Home in High Gloss
6. Ceilings Make a Statement When Painted: "Don't dismiss your ceiling with a coat or two of white paint. The least you can do is tint it with a dollop or two of your wall color. Or paper it with pattern," says designer Lee Melahn.
7. You Don't Have to Hide the Television: You don't have to hide the television. You can try programming it with video art, or hanging it off center and balancing it with other paintings.
Related: Timeless Design Rules
8. Dark Colors Can Make a Room Feel Larger: It's true that white walls can make a space feel larger, but dark colors can make a space feel larger and more luxurious, too, like this library painted Benjamin Moore's Dark Taupe.
Related: Classic Library Design IdeasPhotos: 1. William Abranowicz, 2. Jeremy Samuelson, 3. Brett Mulcahy/iStock, 4. Victoria Pearson, 5. Martha Stewart Furniture with Bernhard, 8. Ngoc Minh Ngo.
PLUS: SEE MORE EXPERT CLUTTER TIPS
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