How to decorate

How to decorate

How to decorate

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You may well have a general decorating style chosen for your entire home, but within the overall style, each room has its own purpose and style. How the room is used, and by whom, should be considered as you arrange each room and choose materials, accessories, and accents.

Consider the needs of each individual room, and research related articles pertaining to those spaces. Home decor should reflect your personal taste and interests, but it must also address the particular function of those rooms.

Living Rooms and Family Rooms

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Living rooms can fill many functions, from a formal “parlor” used to greet guests to a space where the whole family gathers for study, entertainment, socializing, and play. In modern homes, the living room is often a “great room” that is contiguous with the kitchen and dining area.

One of the first considerations is choosing a focal point for the living room and especially where you want to create conversation areas. Your selection and arrangement of living room furniture should keep this element in mind. Only then can you move to the details of planning lighting, then choosing area rugs, art and accessories.


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You spend a third of your life in the bedroom, so you should carefully consider strategies for making it a restful place. Start with choosing the bed and the other bedroom furniture. While you may be able to save money in other areas, buying a good-quality mattress and pillows is always a sound investment.

Your choice of color is also critical in a bedroom—choose a lighter hue if you are a morning person, or a darker color if you are a later riser. The bedroom lighting is important for setting the right mood, as well as for allowing you to read and get dressed in the space.

If you don’t have a large primary suite, look for practical ideas for decorating small bedrooms. And guest bedrooms have their own unique needs for decorating.

Children’s Rooms

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For decorating kids’ rooms, it’s still common practice to use themes traditionally assigned to boys and girls, although today’s parents are increasingly sensitive to making kids’ bedrooms more gender-neutral.

A nursery for an infant has its own decorating needs, especially where young families where budget may be a consideration.


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Do you want to turn your master bath into an elegant spa? Then research general design ideas for bathrooms, including how to make the room feel soft and sophisticated, and how to choose the cabinets, tile, sinks, mirrors, lighting, and accessories. In small bathrooms, the challenge is decorating it to make it feel and look larger.

If your new bathroom involves a full remodeling project, look for tips on working with contractors. Other key decisions will be choosing colors and selecting the right vanity and sink for your bathroom.


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The kitchen can be an expensive room to remodel, so you’ll want to carefully plan your project. If a complete remodel is not affordable or practical, there are any number of budget kitchen makeovers you can consider—including a deep cleaning, freshening the paint, adding light fixtures, replacing cabinet hardware, adding new accessories, and replacing the sink and faucet.

Finally, simple decorating choices all on their own can make a kitchen look brand new. And of course, these decorating choices are part of any budget kitchen makeover or major remodeling project.

Dining Rooms

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The dining room table is the centerpiece of the room, so its choice and placement are critical to any decorating project. Choosing the right furnishings can be especially important for a small dining room. Other important elements to consider are the chairs and the chandelier—both of which help define your style and set the tone for meals.

Finally, give careful consideration to the curtains and drapes and to your tableware.


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Chuckcollier / Getty Images

A foyer should be an inviting space that sets the tone for the rest of your dwelling, but there are also many practical things to be considered as you design and decorate your foyer. Flooring, storage, and fixtures are all important considerations in designing a foyer.

Home Offices

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You will have different needs if you will be seeing clients in your home office and using the space for professional reasons. But even if it is just a place for you to conduct family business, there are specific tips for planning and decorating a home office. Where budget is a consideration, seek out money-saving options.

This article was co-authored by Priscilla Bettencourt. Priscilla Bettencourt is an Home Stager, Interior Designer, and the Founder of Halcyon Home Staging + Design, a home staging business based in San Francisco, California. Halcyon specializes in expansive staging services geared to maximize a property’s resale value and transform any home into an inviting environment for potential buyers. Halcyon has received the “Best of Houzz Service” Award in 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.

There are 13 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

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Decorating a room is a fun way to express your creativity, but it can get stressful and overwhelming, too! Taking it one step at a time, from choosing a style to decorating your walls and placing furniture, will keep you on track to finish without breaking the bank. The room of your dreams is just a few steps away!

How to decorate

How to decorate

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How to decorate

How to decorate

Wall Colors and Styles

White or off-white: to make your room large and bright.

An accent wall: for a pop of color that’s not too overwhelming, or to showcase a piece of art or furniture.

Wallpaper instead of paint: for an interesting pattern.

Bright shades instead of bland colors: for a bold look, using shades like melon orange, rich scarlet, or vibrant blue.

How to decorate

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What arms do you want? Rounder arms make the sofa more traditional. Go with straight arms for a more modern look.

Sectional or stand-alone? Sectionals work great in casual places like a TV room. Stand-alone couches are perfect for a more stylish, elegant look.

What kind of fabric? To disguise stains, especially if you have kids or pets, go with cotton velvet in a dark color. Leather is great for a more elegant, put-together look.

How to decorate

How to decorate

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How to decorate

Priscilla Bettencourt
Home Stager & Interior Designer Expert Interview. 10 July 2020. Plants can bring life and energy to your room, and you can set them up in unique ways to maximize your space. Try hanging small planters or mounting a few leafy greens on your wall. You can also set small pots on a windowsill or on tables that get a bit of sunlight. [14] X Research source

  • Good household plants include succulents, spider plants, common ivy, peace lily, and philodendron.
  • You can also set a bouquet of flowers on a table for a pop of color. Arrange several of the same kind of flowers loosely in a cylindrical vase.
  • Use fake plants if you can’t put yours in an area of sunlight or don’t want to handle the upkeep.

Kelly Garrity — correspondent

November 18, 2021 1:03 pm

Holiday prep can be taxing, even when it doesn’t coincide with supply chain chaos and a global pandemic. Add hosting your in-laws, and “merry and bright” may seem like a pipe dream. Getting your home decked out for the season doesn’t have to be stressful, however. In fact, keeping your decor simple may be the way to go, according to Newton-based interior designer Vani Sayeed .

“When it’s overwhelming and you’re thinking ‘What should I do? What goes where?’ pick a color, pick a theme, and stick with it,” Sayeed said. “Obviously red and green are most common, but if you want to do something different, you could do three kinds of golds — a yellow gold, silver, and a platinum or rose gold.”

When you don’t know where to start, pick a color scheme and stick with it, interior designer Vani Sayeed said. Here, Sayeed went with a gold, brown, and blue color scheme for the ornaments in this evergreen bough. —Jared Kuzia

Holiday decorating doesn’t have to happen in a single night, Joanne Suarez, owner of Soiréez Events & Interiors , pointed out. “Don’t feel like you have to cram everything in at once,” Suarez said. “It’s a process, and if you have a good plan in place, you know what your budget is, and you know what the needs are, that you would be effective and successful.”

Sayeed also makes sure to give herself time to relax between holidays before getting wrapped up in decorating. “When I’m traveling, or I have family over Thanksgiving, I like to give myself a little break and then start around the second week of December,” she said.

Sayeed counsels simplicity when it comes to holiday decor, as exhibited in this room she designed. —Jared Kuzia

Though starting to decorate post-Thanksgiving is a good rule of thumb, people may want to start planning earlier this year, Boston-based interior designer Trevor Fulmer said.

“Typically I would say after Thanksgiving is a good time to start, but this year with supply chain issues and delays, I think you should make sure you get things started early, because if you need specific items you may not be able to get them,” Fulmer said. Fulmer, however, typically starts a bit earlier to get the most out of the season — and has already begun playing Christmas tunes around his own home.

“I would say a general rule of thumb is after Thanksgiving, but I usually break that rule and do it the weekend before Thanksgiving, because let’s face it, you put a lot of work and thought and energy into decorating your home, so it’s nice to enjoy it for a bit longer,” he said.

Suarez makes sure to start decorating at least 15 days before the holiday, she said, but “pre-decorating planning” — assessing your pace, style, and budget — should start earlier.

“A two-week timeline allows you to mentally ground yourself in the holiday spirit and cultural traditions,” she said. “It’s important to take at least two weeks to kind of assess not only your needs, but what other people’s needs are if they’re going to be coming to your home for festivities.”

To keep things simple (and inexpensive) Fulmer and Sayeed both recommended going natural. Sayeed loves to bring in flowers, white and red amaryllis lilies, for example, to add vitality to the home.

“Everything is so dead by then, and it brings so much life to any space,” Sayeed said. “It’s so beautiful and it brings a touch of light happiness into your space.”

Adding flowers, like these centerpieces Sayeed used, can add a vitality to your holiday decor. —Jared Kuzia

Fulmer will bring in branches and wrap them in white lights, he said, or hang evergreen boughs or branches around the home to add a fresh feel to what can be a dreary season weather-wise in New England.

“I get some beautiful fresh greenery, and I drape it all around the mirror, and I fill up that greenery with lights and ornaments and cinnamon sticks, and it just becomes one of the focal points in my home,” Fulmer said.

Barbara Elza Hirsch, interior designer and principal at Elza B. Design , is also an advocate for adding a hint of nature to your holiday decor.

“I think really as much as possible if you can introduce some of the outdoors indoors, it always makes things feel really welcoming,” Hirsch said. “For Thanksgiving, you may want to grab some branches from outside, or some dried flowers, and create a bouquet.”

Here, Sayeed added pots of white poinsettias and an evergreen bough for a clean, festive look. —Jared Kuzia

The biggest mistake people make when it comes to holiday decorating is overdoing it, Hirsch said.

“You don’t want to go too corny. I think common mistakes people make is they go too stereotypical, so little signs that say Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukkah everywhere . It’s kind of like when people have a beach house, and they have little stars everywhere and crab pillows, and it can feel overdone,” she said.

Instead, she recommended trying to think outside the box, adding a new twist to classic styles or decorations.

“Don’t necessarily go with just red and green,” she said. “You could do navy, green, gold, and different shades of red.”

Reds and greens are classic, but you may want to try something outside the box, Hirsch suggested, as she did with these table decorations. —Jared Kuzia

And after over a year of pandemic-induced separations, adding family traditions to your decor might be the perfect touch, Fulmer said.

“I think a lot of families are going to be together again for the first time after a year, a year and a half of separation, so I think it’s going to be really nice to be together,” Fulmer said. “So I think this year, it’s super important to introduce this idea of family and traditions, and use the accents and decor and holiday pieces that really bring back memories and really focus on family.”

Fulmer added hydrangeas to the tree in this Newton home for a fresh take on classic decor. —Jared Kuzia

Whatever the case, your home should always be a reflection of you.

“I think your personality should shine through when you’re decorating, and you should have fun doing it really. [You] should be about creating some magical memories,” Hirsch said.

Fulmer echoed the sentiment. “The holiday season is about tradition and the people that are with you and the memories you create with them,” he said. “So the main thing is really just making sure that what your home is, is truly a reflection of you throughout the holidays.”

How to decorate

Read the following tips to have the best-dressed desk in your home office!

Do you find yourself sitting at a desk full of clutter with stacks of paper and piles of books, or pencils, pens, and little desk accessories thrown about? While you’re busy at work, you shouldn’t have to worry about digging through your disorganized desk to find that one sticky note with the phone number you need or where you last put your planner.

Because your desk is your second home, it’s important to fill it with things you actually want to be looking at. We’ve pulled together some of our favorite home offices and desks to bring you some tips on how to spruce up your space into the chicest desk ever. Get some home decorating inspiration and a little help on your organization with these 12 tips on how to decorate your desk!

1. Mix & Match Your Favorite Colors

Whether it’s soft neutrals, black and gold, or pretty pinks, the color scheme of your decor can define your home office’s style. Try mixing and matching your favorite colors to represent your personality while creating a bright and colorful desk space.

How to decorate

Photo courtesy of Ryan Ray via Gal Meets Glam

2. Put Up A Mirror

Your desk at home is different than your desk at work – you can take an unconventional approach to your decor. Add a large mirror as a decoration, for your desk to double as a workspace and vanity table.

How to decorate

3. Let In Natural Light

Keep your working days bright and happy by lighting your space with natural light. Decorating with white drapes and arranging your desk near a window is an easy way to boost your mood. Not to mention, white on white decor is simplistically beautiful.

How to decorate

4. Layer Your Decor

If you’re decorating a smaller desk, layer your decor and office accessories to save space while keeping it stylish.

How to decorate

Photo courtesy of Heather Telford via Pink Peonies

5. Add A Bit Of Greenery

Decorating with plants or greenery is not only trendy, but plants in your office space have proven to reduce stress and sickness, and increase productivity and creativity. It’s a win-win!

How to decorate

6. A Cup For Everything

Give a place for every pen and pencil to live by decorating with cups, jars, or bins for a chic and organized look.

How to decorate

7. The Right Accessories

A chic desk would not be complete without gold accessories to glam it up! Get these little luxuries, here.

How to decorate

8. Desk Organizer

A desk organizer will keep all of your papers, cards, paperclips (and washi tape of course!) all in one stylish storage piece.

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9. Pick The Perfect Planner

For those of you who would be lost in this world without your planner, you know that choosing the right one that suits your needs can be tough. Stick with a stylish day planner for your desk that will make you look and feel fabulous like this Design Love Planner.

How to decorate

Photo courtesy of The Design Love Co. via Monika Hibbs

10. Burn Your Favorite Scents

Stay inspired and productive in your work space by setting a few candles on your desk for an extra pop of pretty.

How to decorate

11. Incorporate Your Quirky Trinkets

Spice up your desk with fun decor that you love (like these DIY animal memo holders) to keep your work station professional and entertaining.

How to decorate

12. Create A Vision Board

Pull your whole desk together by creating a centerpiece for your creativity. A vision board can de-clutter your desk while displaying your dreams, ideas, and inspirations.

How to decorate

Photo courtesy of Stoffer Photography for The Everygirl via Live Creating Yourself

What is your favorite decoration in your home office or on your desk? Let us know in the comments below!

More ideas to decor your desk with illustrations and cards to spruce up your desk.

Top Image Credit: Stoffer Photography for The Everygirl via Live Creating Yourself

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Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year, with the period leading to the big day packed with family, friends and festivity.

And another absolute highlight of the holiday season is having your home beautifully decorated—with a Christmas tree traditionally the centerpiece of it all.

However, achieving the perfect fir is arguably easier said than done.

Fortunately, there are many experts on hand to help guide us through the dos and don’ts for decorating your Christmas tree.

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Interior designer Vanessa Arbuthnott believes the secret to achieving the best results is to “keep it simple.

She told Newsweek: “No tinsel and plastic—[with] wooden, fabric, metal and paper decorations. Try and use the same ones each year and make them last. Children love to see the familiar, let them help you even if they are get put on one branch!

“Lights are a must, and LEDs are far better than traditional twinkling incandescent lights, because they use up to 80 percent less energy.”

How to decorate

Interior designer John Derian of Blitzer & Company, is a fan of tradition, telling Newsweek: “I love the 19th century, so my holiday décor is very classic. I love to have fun when decorating the tree, there are no rules.

“Add things you love and that make you happy. Pickle and mushroom ornaments are my favorite.”

Planning Is Key

And Bailey Carson, Home Care Expert at interior design site Angi, believes you should always ensure you have a clear plan before you get started hanging Christmas lights.

She told Newsweek: “[W]hat lights do you want, how many you want and where you want them. These aren’t decisions you want to make when you’re already halfway up the ladder.

“If you’re planning on hanging the lights yourself, you also need to think about where things you will plug them in and what those outlets can handle.”

When planning your Christmas lights, she suggests laying out the strands of lighting on the ground beneath the area you want to hang them.

How to decorate

She added: “This will allow you to see ahead of time exactly how much of your home each strand will cover, so you can be certain once you start attaching your lights that everything will look the way you’re imagining.

“Once your plan is in place, test each strand of lights before you attach them. Waiting until they’re attached before plugging them in for the first time could cause a lot more work if anything needs replacing!

“When you’re ready to get started, gather everything you need – this includes your lights, clips for attaching them to your home, extra bulbs and a timer so you don’t have to leave your lights on all day or remember to manually turn them on or off every night.”

Use Ribbons

Home Decor enthusiast Angie W suggests folding meters of thick ribbon in between a tree’s branches makes for a stylish decoration.

She said in her TikTok tutorial: “First I like adding the ribbons”, adding this technique avoids having to cut the ribbons.

Seasonal home decor stylist Macy Blackwell offers a tip on TikTok for creating a “classic curl” for ribbons.

She takes an 18-inch section of the patterned fabric and wraps it around her wrist. Next, the ribbon is pulled apart and the resulting curled ribbon can then be nestled amongst the tree’s branches.

Hire A Professional If You Are Unsure

How to decorate

Angi’s home care designer Carson also suggests it is best to hire an expert for those unconfident climbing a ladder or if the whole idea of decorating is considered stressful.

Carson said: “Christmas light installers have years of experience, they can design a light arrangement unique to your home, and most include installation, takedown and storage at the end of the season.

“Some will even handle the purchasing for you so you can be confident your home will look great this season. A pro will also assess your electrical system to make sure your Christmas lights match the capabilities of your home, so you can rest assured that your Christmas light installation will be quick, safe, and stress-free.”

The tips coincide with the results of a poll by the Angi HomeAdvisor team, who surveyed more than 1,000 people to get an updated take on the age-old question: when should we actually be putting up and taking down our holiday decorations?

  • Christmas decorations should be displayed no more than 24 days before (December 1) and taken down no more than nine days after (January 3).
  • 61 percent of people think decorating too early for the holidays has a positive impact, only 8 percent say it has a negative impact.
  • Only 14.8 percent of people say leaving decorations up too long after holidays has a negative impact, 46 percent say it has no impact, and 39.2 percent say it actually has a positive impact.

A spokesperson told Newsweek: “The debate about holiday decorations is ongoing, but after the craziness of the past couple of years, it seems like people are lightening up on the strictness of holiday decoration rules.”