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    Jul 10, 2018

    The Ultimate Guide To Decorating Your Entire Home

    Do you follow the rule of three?

    Ellie Sunakawa / BuzzFeed

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    1. Remember there are NO hard and fast rules: your home is where you live, and you want it to be *your* happy place.

    HGTV Canada / giphy.com

    I say, right before I start listing decorating rules. But really: keep what helps and makes sense to you, and don't worry about the rest. After all, the whole goal is for you to be happy and relaxed in your home!

    2. To make a room feel cohesive, choose a single item that you really love, and base the rest of the ~design~ around that.

    shareasale.com

    All of this room's colors are pulled from the main piece of artwork in the back — and while you don't have to be quite so matchy-matchy, you get the point.

    You can shop the entire room on Wayfair — or get the artwork for $269.99 (at that larger size), the 8x10 rug for $213.99, a similar sofa for $739.99, and the lamp/table combo for $114.99, all from Wayfair.

    3. Or slowly collect art, objects, and furniture that you love instead of planning out every last little detail.

    shannonclaireinteriors.com

    Your life isn't a design show, so your home doesn't have to look cut out of a catalog, either. Get tips on collecting art for a gallery wall on Shannon Claire Interiors.

    4. Whether you're choosing fabrics for your living room or styling accessories on your home office shelves, follow the 1-3-5 Rule.

    schoolofdecorating.com

    That is, keep everything in groupings of one, three, or five objects. Above, the tray unites all the little objects into a single visual element, and the stack of books + accessory also work as a single piece. So, you have three main items on this table that then, within themselves (mostly) follow the rule of threes.

    Read more on The School of Decorating.

    5. And this works with the textures (think upholstery, pillows, and rugs), too — you generally want to go for the same color scheme, in groups of one, three, or five textures/patterns.

    cb2.com

    You can see this in practice in the CB2 image above; between the leather, two pillows, and two rugs, there are five distinct textures. Get the faux-zebra rug on CB2 for $699.

    6. When you start hanging art, keep the center / focal point of the art right at eye level — that's usually about 57 inches from the floor.

    stylebyemilyhenderson.com

    That way, you can enjoy and more fully engage with the art, instead of craning your neck up to look at it! Read more on Style by Emily Henderson.

    7. Speaking of art, it's one easy way to create a ~focal point~ for a room: the spot that immediately draws your eye when you step into a room.

    ballarddesigns.com

    Here, the art sitting above the fireplace is the focal point (and looks to be the inspiration for the room) — it's the first thing you look at, and helps carry the room. Read more on Ballad Designs. The light blue wide-winged chairs start at $849, from Ballad Designs.

    8. And you don't have to spend an arm and a leg on a beautiful piece of art that you love — there are plenty of places online to find something that feels right for you.

    awin1.com

    Etsy's a classic spot to shop, of course, and so are Society6 and Minted — here are 13 other places to buy affordable art online.

    Get this set of two watercolor prints from VictoriAtelier on Etsy for $26.95-$339.95 (depending on the size, and whether you want canvas rolls or paper prints).

    9. Of course, oversized art's not the only way — some rooms have a natural focal point, like a fireplace with a mantel, where you can mix and match smaller pieces to your heart's content.

    10. Custom photo prints are, for obvious reasons, an easy way to skip generic artwork in favor of something much more personal.

    instagram.com

    Framebridge will print and custom frame any photo you send from your phone or Instagram starting at $39 (for a 5x5 Instagram). They'll also frame other posters and prints, tho you have to send those in first, starting at $59.

    11. When you're hanging mirrors, always consider what you want to see in the mirror as you walk by it, and whether you want it to reflect light from a window.

    kismet-house.com

    In the living room at Kismet House, the mirror's strategically placed to a) look good, b) reflect light from a window back into the space, and c) reflect other nice things (like the piece of art) depending on where you're standing in the room.

    12. Always hang your curtains wide + high: it'll make a small window look twice as big.

    stylebyemilyhenderson.com

    You also want your curtains long enough that they reach the ground, for that full visual impact.

    Read more about curtain styling on Style by Emily Henderson.

    13. Although curtains may not be the ideal treatment for every single window — there are dozens of types out there, and something different may work for every room.

    hgexpo.com

    Both Wayfair and Hayneedle have fairly large selections of curtains, tie-backs, valances, and blinds. Other treatments, like shutters, rollers, and Roman shades usually have to be custom-made somewhere like The Shade Store or American Blinds.

    From HGExpo.

    14. Put a test patch of your paint color options on every wall of the room you plan to paint, and be sure to consider the colors at several different times of day.

    younghouselove.com

    Lighting and shadows can change everything about the way a paint color looks in a space — look at the difference in these three grey tones during the day, with natural light, versus at night, with just artificial light. From Young House Love.

    15. And when you're choosing your ~color scheme~, think about complimentary and analogous colors on the color wheel.

    blog.homedepot.com

    So you might pick two complementary colors like maroon and olive — they're across from each other on the color wheel. Then you could choose an analogous color, like plum, which is right next to maroon. And you'll have a lovely jewel-toned space!

    Learn more about color on the Home Depot Blog.

    16. To make it easy to mix and match your colors over time, make your biggest investment pieces neutral, and swap out colorful accessories.

    instagram.com

    Here, Pottery Barn styled their Hawthorne sofa (starting at $709) with peach, sand, and grey-tone pillows for a beachy theme. And if you're doing some serious sofa shopping, check out the best places to buy a couch online.

    17. Look for small ways to update the furniture and accessories you already have: for example, you could add contact paper to a table, or change out the knobs in a dresser.

    poppytalk.com

    Check out this "marble" contact-paper transformation on Poppytalk.

    Get a similar roll of paper on Amazon for $7.88.

    18. The right size rug can help anchor any space, depending on how big your space is and the furniture you choose.

    anrdoezrs.net

    From World Market, which has a large selection of area rugs for $149.99+ (if you consider anything smaller than a 5'x7' an accent or runner, and anything bigger than that an area rug).

    19. Different styles of gallery walls lend themselves to different artwork and different decorating styles — pick the one that appeals to you, or works with your space.

    20. And if you do decide to go for a gallery wall, cut out templates from newspaper sheets or other big paper so you can plan it precisely.

    21. Remember function comes first — you want your kitchen to be organized and practical for cooking, as well as easy enough to clean.

    modishandmain.com

    Function before form's a good rule to follow in every room of your home, of course, but I think it's most essential in the kitchen. You'll also want to make sure almost everything out on your kitchen counters can be easily cleaned if, say, spaghetti sauce somehow splatters everywhere one night.

    For more, check out The Ultimate Guide to Organizing Your Kitchen, and get the how-to for the chalkboard measuring cabinet on Modish and Main.

    22. Updating your hardware's the simplest and cheapest way to completely transform your kitchen's look — even if you just spraypaint what you already have.

    theeffortlesschic.com

    In this before and after from The Effortless Chic, they also added a backsplash, but the painted hardware pulls everything together.

    Get copper spraypaint on Amazon for $8.55 (42 colors). Unfortunately there aren't many even semi-affordable coppery cup pulls out there, but you can get a pack of 12 round cabinet pulls for $36.75 (that's about $3 each), also on Amazon.

    23. If you're going to do a major upgrade, like completely replacing your flooring, countertops, or backsplash, take several sample options home — it'll help you visualize exactly how each option will look.

    clarkscondensed.com

    Then once you make a decision, you can check several different stores and websites to make sure you get the best price. From Clarks Condensed.

    24. And consider the durability of tiles as well as the aesthetic — there are certain tiles that'll hold up just fine as a backsplash, but never in a high-traffic kitchen.

    tilewarehouse.co.nz

    The Porcelain Enamel Institute rates many specific tiles on this scale of one to five, so you know what works, where! From Tile Warehouse.

    25. When you can't replace your appliances — or can only replace one of 'em — cover them in removable contact paper to make them instantly look modern.

    julieblanner.com

    All you need is the stainless contact paper — which you can get for $11.43 per roll on Amazon, or a heat-resistant version that'll stand up to your dishwasher's drying cycle for $29.03 per roll — and some patience. Julie Blanner has the how-to.

    Oh, and if you're a renter, here are a bunch of affordable decor hacks that you can actually do.

    26. And if replacing your countertops remains a distant dream, you can always give them a temporary update with a DIY paint kit.

    amazon.com

    If you go this route, many Amazon reviewers with the most realistic results say they consulted blogs like this one for tips.

    Get it on Amazon for $79.95.

    27. However you choose to decorate, make your bedroom your ideal relaxing retreat — it'll help you sleep better night after night.

    Sophie Timothy / apartmenttherapy.com

    That includes removing anything that you find even a little stressful, like all the clutter that's accumulated on your dresser.

    See more of this room on Apartment Therapy.

    28. Hang blackout curtains that, well, block out all the light so you get deeper, more restful sleep.

    amazon.com

    Especially if you have streetlights or other lights outside your window, or if you find the sun wakes you up much earlier than you'd like. Just make sure to open the curtains every morning — a big dose of sunlight will help you wake up! (If you have trouble waking up in the mornings, though, consider sticking to sheers that'll let the light in, so you don't have to actually get up to get that energizing dose of sunshine.)

    Get set of two 52"x96" blackout curtain panels on Amazon for $30.99 (nine colors).

    29. Have at least one or two lamps with warm-tone bulbs to help with the relaxing vibe, and to help you fall asleep faster.

    click.linksynergy.com

    And live by lamplight in the evenings: dimmer, lower-wattage lights help signal your body that it's almost time for bed, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Plus it's just extra cozy.

    Get this ceramic bedside lamp on Urban Outfitters for $98.

    30. If your floors aren't carpeted already, put a rug right next to your bed so you have somewhere soft to step first thing every morning.

    mypoppet.com.au, Wayfair

    This rug's a DIY out of old t-shirts, from My Poppet. But you can get a similar rug on Wayfair for $53.99+ (many sizes available in either oval or rectangular).

    31. Or opt for a bigger area rug that goes underneath your bed — but make sure to choose the right size.

    anrdoezrs.net

    And to place it so it's actually right underneath your feet when you get out of bed in the mornings! From World Market.

    32. Hate wars over the covers? Use two twin-size comforters instead of a single queen-size one to eliminate midnight tug-of-war once and for all.

    cocolapinedesign.com

    It's the way the Swedes do things, apparently, and it reportedly really helps couples sleep better at night! From Coco Lapine Design and Cup of Jo.

    Get two twin-size, down-alternative comforters from Amazon for $23.99 each.

    33. For most bathrooms, the focal point's easy: just pick a shower curtain that you truly love, and base any other decor you have in the room around that.

    click.linksynergy.com

    It's as simple as picking coordinating bath mats!

    Get this curtain from Urban Outfitters for $39.

    34. Then just look for functional storage solutions that work with your space and aesthetic.

    Wayfair, Anthropologie

    There aren't any hard and fast rules here! Do you need more space for towels? Add hooks. Have the floor space, but wish you had more counter or cabinet space? Go for a cart. Want a little bit more storage space, but don't want it to take up precious square footage? Shelves it is.

    Get this three-tier cart on Wayfair for $45.99 (three colors), the antique-look hooks from Anthropologie for $16 (two colors) or browse more bathroom storage ideas.

    35. And if you have even a little bit of natural light, the bathroom's one of the easiest places to keep plants alive.

    apairandasparediy.com

    And if you have brighter light in your bathroom, the ones okay with low light will still thrive!

    From A Pair and A Spare DIY.

    For more tips, tricks, and advice, turn to a book written by a designer whose spaces you admire!

    amazon.com, amazon.com, amazon.com

    Emily Henderson, whose spaces and blog are among my personal favorites, wrote Styled: Secrets for Arranging Rooms, from Tabletops to Bookshelves, which you can get on Amazon for $22.95 (or $8.99 on Kindle).

    Erin Gates, whose blog I've also admired, wrote Elements of Style: Designing a Home and a Life, which you can get on Amazon for $20.30 (or $16.99 on Kindle).

    And Joanna Gaines, who really needs no introduction (she's the designer from HGTV's Fixer Upper who helped make farmhouse style a Thing), has a forthcoming book, Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave, available for pre-order on Amazon for $24 (or $19.99 on Kindle). It's out on November 6th.

    Enjoy making a home you love as much as this corgi likes this bed!

    Looking for the perfect gift for any occasion? Check out all of BuzzFeed’s gift guides!

    Allison Krausman / BuzzFeed

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