DIY Home Decor Tips
By Sadira Sittampalam
Any homeowner knows that no house is perfect, there is always going to be an extra piece of furniture you don’t know what to do with or some odd colour schemes that you can’t really change without affecting the functionality of the room. That is why I have come up with a list of DIY home decor tips that will make sure that all the rooms of your house still have a sense of style.
Paint wall colours neutral
For the greatest decorating flexibility, neutral or light colours are your best bet. If you do something like an accent wall or a fun bright colour, decorating the rest of the room will be much harder and quite a bit more costly. Neutral colours will allow you to easily switch up your accessories.
Moreover, if you happen to have two small rooms next to each other, painting them the same neutral colour helps them feel larger. Meanwhile, if you are looking for a variation in colours throughout your house, but still don’t want too much work accessorising the rooms to fit these colours, you should simply look at a neutral colour paint strip and move up or down a shade or two for some subtle yet classy colour variation from room to room.
Let the sun shine in
The sun is one of the most underrated decor tools ever. There is so much that simple natural light can do to elevate the look of every room. If you have any thick outdated curtains, you should consider swapping them out for a lighter material that will block out any undesirable light but will still allow for a nice stream of sunshine. If a room gets a lot of sun, opt for light colours that won’t fade.
Decorated front door
If you want your house to make a great first impression, the best way to do this is by painting the front door a fun glossy hue. Red for example is a lucky colour in many cultures. However, in recent times, two other colours have begun to gain traction; orange and yellow. Both colours are associated with joy and warmth and give a great first impression to any guests that come over.
Mirrors in every room
Mirrors can make a space feel brighter because they bounce the light around the room; however, placing a mirror in the wrong spot is almost as bad as not having a mirror in the room at all. You should place mirrors on walls that are perpendicular to windows, and not directly across them.
Hanging a mirror directly opposite a window can actually bounce the light right back out the window. This also ensures that all guests will have a place to check themselves out.
Artwork that is appropriate to your wall size
One of the most ridiculous-looking decorations is hanging a small art piece a little too high on a large wall. The middle of the picture should be at eye level.
Moreover, scale is something that matters a lot. For a very large wall, go big with one oversized piece, or group smaller pieces gallery style. For a gallery style arrangement, don’t space the pictures too far apart: 2-4 inches usually does the trick.
Layer your lighting
Every room should have three kinds of lighting to have the room at a functionally bright level. You should have ambient light, which provides overall brightness and often comes from ceiling fixtures. You should also then have task lights which are found over important areas of your house like above a kitchen counter or a reading nook. Finally, you should have accent lights, which is the more decorative component to lighting, which highlights things like artwork.
To make a certain room look bigger, you can also invest in uplights. You can place this in a corner to cast a glow on the ceiling which will effectively make the room seem much larger.
Make your living room invite conversation
The most important room in your entire house when it comes to decor has to be your living room. It is where most of your guests will stay when they come over, so you have to make sure it is the best looking room in the house.
Part of this is how you arrange the furniture to ensure that you are inviting conversation. The couches and seating areas should be placed together, in a nice U shape or an H shape, so that people can easily converse. One common mistake to avoid is pushing all the furniture against the walls. Most people do this as they think it will make their room look bigger, but in reality, floating furniture away from the walls makes the room feel a lot larger.
Rugs under furniture feet
In a living room, all four legs of the sofa and chairs in a furniture grouping should fit on the rug. Therefore, the rug effectively defines the seating area. While it doesn’t have to fit all the furniture on it, the front two legs of the sofa and chairs should ideally rest on it. Thus, always invest in a large rug, smaller sized rugs will always make things look out of scale.
The longer you live in a house, the less you see the mess that has accumulated over time. Sometimes you need a pair of fresh eyes. Either you can hire someone (such as an organiser) to tackle bookshelves and closets.
Or you can ask a friend to come over and help you throw out things you don’t need using the Marie Kondo method for decluttering and organising. You should aim to get rid of what is on your shelves by around 50 per cent as there is no way you actually need all the stuff you hold onto.
Raise the ceiling
While physically raising the ceiling is something that is probably not very practical, you can use all sorts of visual tricks to make the ceiling appear a lot taller. If your curtains are on the low side, paint them white to make the room feel less claustrophobic. You should also hang your curtains higher than the windows, which tricks your eyes into thinking the room is taller than it actually is.
If you can’t raise the curtains, you can even just opt to get curtains with vertical stripes, as these lines visually elongate your walls. Finally, simply leaning a large mirror against a wall can also make a room look bigger.
Give old finishes a quick refresher
There are probably a lot of things around your house that don’t look as prim and proper as they could be. Rather than replacing the whole thing, you can just upgrade the small details on them so they look better.
You can reinvent them with spray paint and inexpensive refinishing kits. Even outdated kitchen cabinets benefit from a few coats of white paint and new hardware.