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    20 Smart And Practical Home Decor Tips Our Readers Actually Swear By

    Do you follow the 1-3-5 rule?

    Hannah Wong / BuzzFeed

    We asked the BuzzFeed Community to share the smartest decorating tip they'd ever heard — and here are some of their best answers!

    Note: Some responses have been lightly edited for length or clarity.

    1. Base your ~design~ or concept for a room around a single piece you love.

    Find one piece (usually a pillow or rug for me) and use it to design the rest of the room. It will make sure the color scheme is on point, you have a basic style inspiration, and you have something that pulls the room together by default.


    2. Or instead of completely planning out what a room will look like, take your time collecting things you love.

    Don't plan for a particular look. Collect things you like and want and your personal style and "look" will naturally come through.


    Don't try to have "it all." Add things as you go but stop it with themes in general. Your house should be your nest.

    —Cathy Lemay, Facebook

    Get tips for building a gallery wall of collected art on Shannon Claire Interiors.

    3. Add something black to every room to help it feel more anchored.

    From an ancient decorating show called Lynette Jennings Homeworks... always have a little something black to anchor a room. A small vase, a picture frame, doesn't matter what. I have no idea why it works, but it does.


    Always have at least one black item in a room, like a lamp or picture frame. I've used a lot of cool watery tones and thought my mom was crazy when she told me this, but it's made a big difference.


    Get this lamp at Target for $49.99.

    4. When you're placing your accessories, follow the "1-3-5 Rule."

    @thriftylemon /, @no.15_interiors /

    Where I worked we learned to decorate with the 1-3-5 Rule: that is how you should group things together when you're styling something, especially accessories.


    5. Same goes for your fabric prints and patterns — keep the number of patterns in the same room to an odd number.

    When decorating with different fabric patterns always stick to odds! One pattern, three, five, etc. You can mix stripes with plaid and polka dots but don't clash color schemes and keep it odd. It's an old designer tip I learned early on. (Now go look at every Pottery Barn or West Elm catalogue and see what I mean.)


    You can see the concept at work in the way they styled this Pottery Barn chair ($999): the rug, the chair, and three pillows equal 5 different fabric patterns.

    6. Print out your favorite photos and hang 'em on the wall as true art pieces.

    Print and frame your own photos. There are so many services that allow you to edit/crop and deliver right to your home now. If you prefer neutrals, filter your shots in black and white, rather than leaving them in colour. Don't let your memories just sit in a folder on your hard drive or cell phone.


    Framebridge has custom framing and printing starting at $35 — check them out here.

    7. Make sure the center of any art you hang is about 57'' from the floor.

    Many people hang wall art too high. Bring it down so the center or focal point is at about eye level.


    Read more about hanging art on Style By Emily Henderson.

    8. Plan out your gallery walls in advance with the help of templates.

    If you are doing an art or photo wall, trace out the frames you are using onto paper (I use old wrapping paper), and use those to create a design for your wall. That way you only need to nail once.


    Learn more about the process on 320 Sycamore.

    9. If you're in an older house and all your wall art looks crooked, it's probably not — but in order to ~look straight~, it will need to be a little off-kilter.

    @house2home_07 /

    I couldn't figure out why, even after putting a level on a long painting, it still looked crooked. A family friend told me that some older houses get a little lop sided when they settle and said to measure from the ceiling to the top of the painting to give the illusion that it is straight, even if it may actually be slightly at an angle. It appeared perfectly straight after that and I was happy to apply this technique later.


    10. Use complimentary and contrasting colors to choose a good color scheme for a single room.

    Home Depot /

    Learn the color wheel. Consider complimentary and contrasting colors and shades when choosing your accessories. For example, my living room is decorated in maroon, plum, and olive green. Maroon and plum are complimentary colors, and olive green is a nice contrast against the maroon. Looks great and there are loads of online color wheels to help you figure out your look!


    Want to learn more about color? Check out this infographic from The Home Depot Blog.

    11. To add to color or texture to the walls in a small space, stick to an accent wall so the room doesn't feel closed in.

    @retrospektiv_net /

    If you want to paint a small room/space, only paint one or two "accent walls" to make it feel more open.


    12. When you're paint shopping, compare the paint color you're about to buy to white.

    @laurens_happybalance /

    Always compare the paint color to white. This saved me from a horrible teal color and now I have a soothing sea foam.


    13. Make sure to test any colors on more than just one area of your wall...and to look at the swatches at various times of day.

    @new_home_diaries /

    Test wall color in multiple areas with multiple lighting options to get a true read on a how a color will look at all times of day. I'm a bold color person, but even different colors of navy look different in different lighting.


    14. When you actually get to painting a room, skip washing your brushes and rollers each night.

    Put paint brushes and rollers in the fridge in a bag overnight when you have to do a second coat.


    Read more about this trick on Ugly Duckling House.

    15. When you first move in to a new space, give it time before replacing any furniture or doing much decorating.

    @abccarpetandhome /

    Live in your space for awhile before you start to do anything. Get a feel for the rhythm of the house, which rooms you spend the most time in, the lightning during various times of day. This helps avoid making hasty decorating choices.


    16. Hate your current furniture? Try refreshing it so it fits with your current style.

    My mom always taught me to never throw something out because it is no longer in style. You can always redo things to reflect your taste with some paint or stain. It has saved me tons of money in my new house, like when I transformed two '70s stools into stools with a modern farmhouse aesthetic. —bethl40bc1a876

    17. Those changes can be simple, like changing out the knobs on a dresser or adding contact paper to literally any flat surface.

    Changing existing knobs to decorative knobs on furniture is an inexpensive way to bring new life to the item. Also, adding contact paper to IKEA and other cheap self-assembly furniture is an inexpensive way to create a unique piece that looks a million bucks.


    Get a tutorial for covering surfaces with marble contact paper on Poppytalk, and get a large roll on Amazon for $13.77.

    18. Choose neutral tones for your biggest furniture items, and use accessories to add (and switch out) color.

    Keep your large, more expensive furniture items in neutral colors: grey, black, brown, white, etc.

    Add color and switch out color palettes easily with smaller, cheaper items like pillows, throws, plants, etc.


    This grey Pottery Barn sofa ($809-$2,299) is styled with with colorful pillows and a textured throw.

    19. If you can afford it, shop for antique or vintage furniture to get something high quality.

    @furnishgreen /

    Instead of buying cheap furniture, invest in antiques in a style you like. Better made, your house won't look just like everyone else, and the pieces have a story.


    To find vintage furniture that's more affordable, check out your local flea markets and Instagram sellers (if you find one, Instagram will suggest others like them). Etsy has a section for vintage furniture, but prices will vary. If you're willing to splurge a little more, Midcentury Møbler has high quality vintage (midcentury-only) pieces.

    20. Choose a rug that's actually big enough for your room and furniture to help anchor any space.

    Big rugs! There are diagrams that depict the specifics, but basically your rugs should be big enough that your furniture has to go partially on it. Accent rugs are nice for college dorm rooms and all, but big rugs always make a room feel more balanced and sophisticated.


    An area rug grounds a space.


    Read more about buying the right rug for your space (and see the rest of this excellent infographic) on Discover by World Market.

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