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    23 Home Decorating Tips That May Actually Help You Upgrade Your Space

    Your friends are gonna think you paid Joanna Gaines to redecorate your space. Joke's on them.

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    We recently asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us about the absolute best life hacks they know. Here are the game-changing results.

    1. Experiment with paint and design something eye-catching on your wall.

    melissad4a019fee3 / Via

    "I made a geometric wall in my room with three alternating colors and it really makes the space pop and look fantastic. It took so long to do but it was so worth it." —lhammon

    "Paint. I mean if you really love a white wall, do you. But express your personality and paint your walls. And each room can be a different color or mood or expression of joy. And if it doesn't work you can just buy more paint." —andread14

    2. Use contact paper to give new life to shelves, counters, dressers, closets, etc.


    "CONTACT PAPER. I bought some marble contact paper on Amazon (during a drunk shopping spree at 3 a.m.) and had no idea what I was going to do with it when it arrived. Well, I was reorganizing my pantry, and putting things into proper containers (the OXO pop containers are amazing for dry goods) I thought I could spruce up my boring shelves with it. It was amazing how a little thing made my pantry look so much different. Now all the shelves in my closets have contact paper on them and it just gives my home one more personal touch I didn’t know I needed." —lbeth

    3. Scour auction houses and estate sales for unique pieces of furniture at a reasonable price that'll have your friends wondering if you secretly have a wealthy grandparent who left you all their cool, vintage belongings.

    Paramount Pictures

    "Find out if you have a good auction house nearby. You can find unique antique furniture and other household pieces from different places and time periods. The auctions I go to also always have artwork and area rugs. I have picked up a few great pieces of furniture for very little money, including a beautiful china cabinet in perfect condition. Some auctions also give you free wine, which is a plus." —missrs1

    "Start hitting estate sales in expensive neighborhoods. You can find anything from art to vintage furniture to decorative items and also get an idea of styles you like and how to put them together." —robertar4c4a6041d

    You can use this site or this site to locate an state sale near you or this one to locate a local auction house.

    4. Print posters from Walgreens, CVS, or Snapfish for looks that'll look customized but actually take very little effort to execute.

    kmischler / Via

    Get the posters (pictured above) from Walgreens for $10.99+ and check out similar listings at CVS Photo ($10.99+) and Snapfish ($15.99+).

    5. Or place art you already own into new frames to create a new vibe in your home. I'd suggest scouring stores like TJ Maxx, thrift shops, or even Amazon for stylish options.

    kmischler / Via

    "Put your own artwork in cheap or thrifted frames to make it fancy." —kmischler

    6. Save your hard-earned dollars for well-made, pricier furniture that'll last you (ideally) a lifetime. If you're in your forever home, go ahead and buy that cozy couch or bookcase you've been dreaming about.

    CB2, West Elm

    "If it’s a home you plan on living in for a while (five years or more) don’t buy cheap furniture. It’s better to save up for the pieces you want for your look. Also, don’t spend lots of money on trendy accessories, and decor things, because trends change and you might get bored or even embarrassed of it as it becomes dated." —gigimomster

    Not sure where to begin your splurge-worthy furniture search? The new Jennifer Fisher collection from CB2 is simply stunning (and worthy of its price tag). I also personally love home items from Anthropologie, West Elm, and Novogratz on Amazon.

    7. Use decorative tapestries or picture frames to hide weird things on your walls like the hole you accidentally made in the wrong place while trying to hang said decor or a oddly-placed fuse box.

    elilly1 / Via

    "Well-placed wall art can distract from weird things you have no control over, like some painted-over screws on the walls of your rental." —Elizabeth Lilly

    8. Display accent pieces in odd numbers to great an overall pleasing aesthetic. Place seven items on your dresser (like the below image), three knick-knacks on your end tables, etc.

    9. Create a gallery wall to help showcase your personality in your home. Don't stress about arranging it — we have a guide that'll walk you through it!

    A Pair & A Spare / Via, M Pettipoole / Via

    "My favorite part of my apartment is my gallery wall. It is a mixture of beloved pictures and art by myself and my friends. In the middle I have a letter board to anchor everything together. If you’re doing this, don’t skimp out and get some made-in-China Target wall art. Go to an art gallery or a craft fair and find something that speaks to you. If it doesn’t all match, that’s okay. It’ll feel less generic if it’s a bit mismatched." —rhiannons4e2d6f859

    "Gallery wall, gallery wall, gallery wall. This is my favorite thing I've done to decorate my place! Super easy to thrift some frames and prints you love, throw in a mirror here or there and pop some of your all-time favorite photos of postcards. It's the easiest (and honestly probably cheapest) solution to that blank wall you don't know what to do with." —katonicole

    I have a gallery wall in my apartment as well and it's always a subject of conversation. Guests love to stop and admire each image we've framed and compliment us on the arrangement — it really wasn't so hard!

    10. Take your time! You don't need to furnish every room all at once. Purchase the essentials (a bed and some seating) then take a breath and figure out *exactly* what you want your home decor to look like.


    "Don’t rush yourself. Your home does not have to be decorated and done immediately after moving. Fill it with pieces you love even if it means keeping your walls bare for several months or not having an end table for a while. Take time to get to know your home, let it speak to you, then slowly fill it with things you love." —michelij

    11. Let meaningful accent pieces be the highlights of your decor. You don't have to embrace every fad or turn your home into a Pinterest board — go ahead, display quirky coasters that look like a cactus throw pillow that looks like a llama.🎶Whyyyyy not, take a crazy chance!?🎶

    Urban Outfitters

    "I get neutral colored furniture and paint my walls white, that way all the colorful tchotchkes, souvenirs, and artworks I’ve accumulated over decades of traveling can be the highlights and accents of the room. I also got sheer curtains to let as much light in to keep the room feeling airy and bright. Don’t be afraid to mix styles, trends, and fads are not your friends and neither is Pinterest. Display things that matter to you, artwork that makes you smile, or art pieces that have a story. It’s your home, let it showcase you." —michelij

    Get the furry llama pillow from Urban Outfitters for $49.

    12. Select a painting or piece of artwork you really love and use it as inspiration to style the entire room.

    ToBeArtInspired / Etsy

    "Pick a painting or artwork that you love and use it to style the room. Pick a major color out of the painting and use tones of that for furniture, rugs, wall color, things that anchor the room. Pick minor colors out for accent pieces like blankets, pillows, vases, etc. You know the colors will go together because they do in the painting. Chances are you'll love them if you love the artwork. Make the tone and style of the artwork match the things you get for the room too. If it's romantic, minimalist, etc. It's a cheap and easy way to focus your style for that room." —beckyqz

    Get a digital download of the two prints from ToBeArtInspired on Etsy for $8.32.

    13. Shop in unexpected places until you find what you've been looking for! Don't settle for plain white bedding when you can have something playful that'll better suit your style — even if it comes from the kid section.

    potterybarnteen / Via

    "If you love bright colors and strange patterns and can’t find any bedding you like at 'adult' stores, check out the kid section. If you’re lucky enough to have enough room in your bedroom for a king size bed you may be out of luck, but if you have a full or queen, you’ll be able to find offerings that are much less bland. I’ve bought bedding from Pottery Barn Teen, Crate & Barrel Kids (formerly known as Land of Nod), Garnet Hill Kids, and the kids section of Target. I doubt I’ll ever stop keeping them as my go-to’s…unless there’s miraculously a complete overhaul of what seems to be the public perception of what 'grown-up' bedding should look like. That being said, if you have a mid-range/high budget, you may also want to check out Dusen Dusen’s (adult) offerings and/or take a quick gander at what Anthropologie currently has in stock (sometimes amidst the florals they have some quirkier options)." —Mallory McInnis

    Get the rainbow sky duvet cover from Pottery Barn Teen for $79+ (available in twin/twin XL and full/queen sizing).

    14. Go into decorating with a "less is more" mentality. Arrange your furniture and then fill in the gaps as you go, one step at a time.

    15. Add a patterned rug or curtains to make your house feel like a home and help you choose a color scheme for the room.

    riflepaperco / Via

    "A rug and curtains make all the difference to make a space feel more homey! You can find cheap options from Walmart or HomeGoods. Pro tip — you can use fabric shower curtains for regular curtains if you like a pattern better." —abbeyk92

    I personally have a Rifle Paper Co. rug and it has been one of my best decor investments to date. It helped me hone in on a color scheme for the room and I'm forever showered in compliments about it.

    Get the rug pictured above from Rifle Paper Co. for $100+ (available in five sizes).

    16. Use items like blankets, wooden accents, plants and throw pillows to include various textures in the space and make rooms more intriguing.

    JustKnotWood / Etsy

    "TEXTURE! Use a rustic blanket ladder as art, use pillows to break up the expanse of your couch or bed, use plants (fake or real, depending on the color of your thumb) in corners to soften them, use real wood elements. There are so many areas that people forget about that could use some other textures to bring warmth and interest to a room." —katiea20

    Get the rustic blanket ladder from JustKnotWood on Etsy for $97 (available in 14 colors).

    17. Try color-coordinating your bookcase to lit-erary introduce a rainbow into your home decor.

    Heather Braga / BuzzFeed

    This color-coordinated bookcase is honestly my pride and joy. It was really easy to do and has been simple to maintain. You'll need to empty your bookcase entirely (which is great because you can also choose what books to donate/ give to a friend). Then make piles according to the color and shade of the books' bindings. Once you've sorted by color, put them back into the shelves for a stunning, colorful wall!

    18. Instead of placing photos and post cards along your walls at random invest in a cork board so you can neatly organize your hot mess into one worthy of your Instagram feed.

    19. Sometimes the heart will want what it wants — so you should give into that urge. If you find yourself thinking about the same throw pillow each time you step into a store, it's probably time you just BUY it.

    hannahe4525d542f / Via

    "If you say no to a decor piece three separate times and it still speaks to your heart, that shiz is meant to go home with you. That’s how I ended up with my whimsical pillow (a $24 splurge) that doesn’t really match anything but matches everything because it makes me so dang happy." —hannahe4525d542f

    20. Use calendar pages and scrapbook paper to create unique wall art for an affordable price. Win-win!


    "Calendar pages and scrapbook paper make for cheap and attractive pieces of art. Find a calendar picture you love (black-and-white photography is always classy) or some funky-patterned scrapbook paper, pop it into a simple frame, and voila!" —teri831

    I'd suggest checking out this illustrated motivational Disney calendar from Brandelane for $14.25.

    21. Consider sounds and smells when creating the *vibe* of a room. Invest in scented candles with nicely designed jars and hide a Bluetooth speaker in a corner to play your favorite tunes to really amp up the overall feeling of a space.

    otherland / Via, ultimateears / Via

    "Visual stuff is nice, but don’t forget that there is more to making things feel homey than changing how things look. Take sounds and smells into account. A Bluetooth speaker and a candle or diffuser can go a long way toward changing how things feel." —fennip

    Get the candle from Otherland for $36 and the Bluetooth speaker from Best Buy for $79.99 (available in eight styles).

    22. Use a mirror to create the illusion that a room is much larger than it actually is. The best way to execute this hack is to hang the mirror on a wall next to the window — don't make the mistake of hanging it *across* from a window or you'll need to wear sunglasses indoors 24/7.


    "My son had a closet-sized dorm room. Best thing we did was to hang a mirror in the corner next to the window — it visually opened up the whole space. The window appears larger and more light enters the room." —alia80

    Get the mirror from Anthropologie for $298+ (available in two sizes and colors).

    23. And don't be afraid to become a plant parent! Adding some to your home will not only bring fresh aesthetic into the space, but'll also add some extra oxygen. Track down some special pots to really take things to the next level.

    Use these tips and this is what everyone will look like when they visit your fabulously decorated home:


    Submissions have been edited for length and clarity.

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