Didn’t get your decor right the first time around? No problem — you can turn your styling errors into successes
If you’re scratching your head over why the decor in some of the spaces in your home leaves you feeling slightly underwhelmed, a remedy — or at least an improvement — may be just a few moves away. Whether it’s a bland room, a paint color you’re not quite sure about or throw pillows that refuse to sit right no matter how many times you arrange them, here are the tweaks that can help turn your questionable decorating decisions into resounding wins.
1. Your Dark Walls Need a Lift
What to do: Good lighting is essential to reveal the tonal complexities in deep, saturated darks. Multiple light sourcesallow you to control the ambiance and light direction. Combine uplights and downlights and don’t let the ceiling disappear into gloom. The bedside lights shown here, for example, make the most of a sophisticated blue-black wall.
Also, bear in mind that an over-furnished room will seem more cave-like than one that’s simply furnished. Clear out clutter and nonessential furniture.
Far from restricting a color palette, dark walls come to life when used with shades such as pale aqua and mint, silver-gray, teal, mustard, dusky pink and pumpkin yellow. And you can never go wrong with white.
2. Your Shelves Are Bursting at the Seams
What to do: I recommend organizing-expert Marie Kondo’s life-changing advice of honoring items, then letting them go. Another motto may be “Beautiful, interesting or out.” Empty your shelves and create “yes” and “no” piles. You don’t have to throw items away, but this is a good chance to do the Kondo. The shelves, seen here, make clever use of space in a way that enhances every object.
Rather than lining books up soldier-style, stack some to form bookends and mini shelves, choosing intriguing titles and spines that coordinate with your display.
What to do: Have the fabric professionally cleaned and treated. Be aware that no stain-proofing is infallible and that its effectiveness depends on the fabric. Modern formulas penetrate fibers and enable most liquid and other residues to be removed. DIY aerosol sprays are a short-term solution, but they only coat the surface and wear away after one cleaning.
If you want to leave sofas bare, vacuum often with a spotlessly clean brush attachment. In the event of a spill, blot carefully and never rub.
4. Your Vignettes Look Like Bargain Tables
What to do: Start with ananchorpiece and build from it. Asymmetry avoids a stiff, formal look. Contrast shapes and textures. Connectwith a theme, color or mood.
5. Your Family Room Doesn’t Feel Friendly
What to do: The problem may simply be in how the furniture is positioned. Seating should be arranged in a way that encourages social interaction. When deciding where to put sofas and armchairs, imagine how sitters will communicate with one another. Put seating close enough to encourage conversation rather than back against the walls, which can leave you with a no-mans land in the center of the room.
What to do: If art is a defining feature in your home, calling upon the services of a professional hanger is a good investment. A common mistake is hanging art too high. Consider the human scale and hang artwork with the center point at eye level in spaces where people stand, and lower where it’s viewed from a seated position.
7. Your White Kitchen Is Practical but Lacks Warmth
What to do: Kitchenware has moved beyond functional to become something worthy of display. Appliances come in a rainbow of colors and styles, and cookware is designed to be seen. Don’t hide all this beauty away in cupboards: Hang great-looking saucepans from wall hooks, leave a stack of pretty dishes out on display or set a bowl filled with fruits or veggies on the counter.
Bright artwork, wood accessories, potted plants, and mini herb gardens help relieve sterility and make a sleek kitchen feel more like home.
8. Your ‘Focal Points’ Are All Over the Place
What to do: A focal point could be an architectural feature, a view, a piece of art, a fireplace, a statement furniture piece, a mirror, a textural surface or a stunning rug, as seen here. It’s easier to start with a focus and plan the rest of the room’s decor around it. If you prefer to work with what you already have, decide what the focal feature will be and then arrange existing furniture to direct attention toward it.
Has decor ennui crept in? You could just be tired of the same old, same old. We all have favorite styles, but it’s easy to get stuck in a groove.
What to do: Shake things up. Reignite your passion and inject new energy and interest into your home by mixing up what you already have or adding some inexpensive new accessories. Change bedding and pillows and move houseplants, chairs, lamps, and rugs around. Reposition furniture for a fresh perspective — it’s cheap as well as fun. This bedroom shows how a few well-chosen accessories can make for a pretty and inviting space.