Jillian Harris, Monika Hibbs + more home decor experts share their ultimate design secrets
There are an endless number of options when it comes to decorating your home. Whether you’re a seasoned expert or just starting out, it never hurts to get some help from the pros. We’ve compiled a lengthy list of home decor and design hacks from some amazing designers that is sure to come in handy...
Expert tips from Jillian Harris
1. Air your dirty laundry
Invest in a cute laundry hamper. It'll make doing laundry that much more enjoyable.
2. Make storage stylish
Baskets can double as storage and cute decor pieces to keep your rooms looking neat and organized.
3. Blooms for every room
Make the most of your flower arrangements by splitting them up into multiple bud vases and placing them around your home.
4. Display interesting items
Store your bathroom supplies like cotton balls, Q-tips, loofas and bath salts in glass containers for a clean and simple look.
5. Show off your pretty pantry
You can also store food like pasta, nuts, candy, etc. in glass jars in your pantry or kitchen.
6. Lean in
You don't always have to hang mirrors, lean them up on dressers and against walls for an elegant look.
7. Style those shelves
Fill open shelves with books, little decor pieces, family photos and folded blankets for quick access on chilly mornings or movie nights.
8. If you like it, frame it
I get asked all the time where our framed "Wild At Heart" image is from and truth is, it's a framed tea towel! Don't be afraid to step outside the box and get creative with your wall art.
9. Have fun with a gallery wall
Gallery walls can be a mix of prints, frames, and other wall decor. Pro tip: Tape out your gallery wall on the floor and play with your arrangement prior to transferring everything to the wall!
10. Decorate with decals
Give wall murals and decals a try in replace of wallpaper. These spots are in Leo's room and they're peel and stick so they are super easy to apply and remove.
Expert tips from Erin Sousa
11. Keep it neutral
I love keeping the palette simple in our home, and that starts with the walls. Our paint colour isn't quite white, as that can feel a little stark. I love Behr Swiss Coffee or Benjamin Moore's Decorators White.
12. Size up your rug
There's nothing worse than an area rug that isn't quite big enough. Always size up when choosing your rug as it can really add a more luxe feel to a room.
13. Freshen up with flowers
Our home is never without fresh flowers. Even if it's just a simple flower arrangement on the ottoman, it always brings life to a space.
14. Layer details
Creating little vignettes of layered details always warms up a room. A tray filled with magazines, candles, flowers and little decorative touches is a lovely addition to surfaces in the home.
15. Light it up
A mixture of floor lamps and table lamps are cozy in the evening, and they create a certain softness. The right lighting can make or break the atmosphere!
16. Get comfy on the couch
While I'd love to splurge on Restoration Hardware's Cloud Couch (pictured), I just can't imagine spilling on it. Since we spend a lot of time on the couch during our downtime, I always choose something comfy yet affordable, because accidents happen.
17. Create a sanctuary
Our bedroom is our sanctuary, and our bed is where I've really invested. A statement tufted bed, plenty of down pillows, duvet and luxe sheets are all worth the spend for us, since it's our favourite place in the world to hang out.
18. Stay organized
I'm a huge fan of constantly decluttering our home to keep it feeling organized. While storage is important, condo life doesn't support that so I'm always purging, and storing extra items in cabinets, keeping counters as tidy as possible.
19. Burn bright
Burn those candles! They add such a cozy feeling to your space, and I always look forward to lighting a candle in the evening after I shut my laptop.
20. Play with texture
Adding texture to a home is the easiest way to cozy it up. My main decorating colour is white, so it's important that I add layers of texture and different fabrics, like pillow covers, throws, poufs, velvet and the like to warm it up.
Expert tips from Andrea Rodman
21. Make a great first impression
A front entrance is a great place to make a statement. The key for this space is function and practicality, but that doesn’t mean it can’t also be stylish! Opt for useful pieces like an umbrella stand and bench. An entranceway is also a great spot for unique artwork or paintings.
22. Hide ceiling drops
A great way to hide and complement ceiling drops is to paint the ceiling and walls the same colour. This will help blend in any architectural elements that may come across as a bit busy, creating a soft cohesiveness.
23. Bring in colour to a neutral space
When creating a decorating palette for a project, I love to bring in a bit of colour here and there. Take a few neutral colours and add in a bolder colour to create a unique, layered look. The colour dresses up the space while the naturals keep the space timeless.
24. Paint it white
White is a great way to neutralize a space, especially when it comes to selling your home or condo. Colours can be very personal, and white is a great way to keep a space both neutral and airy. Not to mention it can even make your space feel bigger!
25. Use the magic of mirrors
Mirrors are a great way to brighten up a space. They move light around a room and can make a space feel larger. If you have a room that feels dark and you’re not sure what to do with it, try placing a large mirror across from a window or a group of smaller mirrors and see how the space transforms.
26. Less is more
Sometimes keeping it simple is the best way to make a statement. 'Less is more' is always a great concept in spaces that have beautiful architectural elements. Keeping the decor more minimal allows the architecture of the space become the emphasis.
Experts tips from Aleem Kassam and Phyllis Lui, Kalu Interiors
27. Keep furniture neutral
Julie Row PhotographyChoose neutral pieces for your largest furniture items. Think of your space as a canvas, ready for splashes of colour. This will allow you to make quick and cost-effective updates to any space simply by changing out items like pillows, throw blankets, artwork and accessories.
28. Invest in important furniture
Invest in key pieces of furniture that have the largest presence and use in a space. In a living or family room, the sofa is the starring role. The largest furniture pieces in a room are commonly the most important, and can act as a focal point for a space.
29. Use light to create the wow factor
Cat Segovia Photography Your light fixtures are a great source to go bigger and provide a wow factor, while giving your space the perception of larger proportions and space.
30. Tip the scales
Don’t be afraid to go big! It's all about perception. A collection of small items and furniture pieces can make a room feel smaller and busier, whereas a select group of larger items can give a space great impact while making it feel bigger than it is.
31. Layering is key
Julie Row Photography Just like a well-curated look or outfit, layering is key. Use artwork, pillows, accessories and plants to not only tie a space together but also to create depth and soften corners.
32. Be a risk taker
Don't forget to also take risks. Accessories can always be changed, so play with textures and patterns in areas such as your rug or throw pillows. These are the items you should be using to make a statement.
33. Plan ahead
Julie Row Photography Have a plan and ensure you have a colour scheme in mind before you choose items for your space. If you keep a neutral base as we suggest, it's time to add a pop of colour. No matter which colour you have in mind (it could even be a metallic), don’t be afraid to incorporate it throughout the space, in the art, the binding of a book and the accessories.
34. Rest and repeat
Julie Row PhotographyAlways remember: it's important to "rest and repeat." Don't group items too closely together. Provide some breathing space and repeat again. This helps give a space consistency and balance.
35. Create a focal point
Julie Row Photography Each room should contain at least one main focal point, like a fireplace in a living room, a large piece of art above a bed or a leaning mirror in a dining room. Consider how you enter a space and where you want the focus to be. In some instances, your focal point may be architectural, such as a unique window or structural detail. If so, don't overwhelm the space and add a feature where one isn't needed.
36. Hang it up
Julie Row Photography Get your artwork off the floor and put it up. Make sure to always hang it at the right height: eye level with a mid-point of approximately 60 inches above floor level (this will depend on your ceiling height).
37. Measure before you buy
Julie Row Photography A common mistake is choosing the incorrect size for an area rug. Be sure to measure before making your purchase. When taking measurements, ensure that your furniture either touches or sits on top of the rug so it anchors the space.
38. Make it shine
Cat Segovia Photography What's the point of having a beautiful space if you can't see it? Proper lighting is one of the most important elements of any space. Distributing light evenly throughout a room is easy on the eyes while a central fixture helps bring the drama.
39. Add light dimmers
Julie Row Photography As much as we strive for well-illuminated spaces, adding light dimmers helps you adjust the level of light depending on the mood, occasion or time of day.
40. Get personal
Don't forget: it's your home. As much as we all love perfectly curated, staged spaces on a glossy magazine spread, let's not lose the personality! Don’t be afraid to decorate your space with things that reflect you, from topic-worthy books that interest you, personal photos in frames, artifacts from your travels or just a hobby or theme you enjoy.
Expert tips from Monika Hibbs
41. Incorporate textural elements
In a more neutral space, add elements of texture and metals, such as shiplap walls or special hardware in the kitchen to make a space pop.
42. Go for the classics
Some of my favourite trends are whites, blues, greys, neutrals and soft wood details. You can never go wrong adding these to a space. These colours are sure to stand the test of time and can be used anywhere.
43. Invest in window treatments
Adding in window treatments such as Roman blinds and drapes is a great way to add character and coziness.
44. Don't be afraid of bold wallpaper
Tracy Ayton Wallpaper is a great way to make a statement, whether it be through a gorgeous classic selection or even a removable material. Extra tip: use wallpaper on a single side of the wall to create a focal point.
45. Seek out unique light fixtures
Get creative with lighting fixtures to give your space a unique, personal touch. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. The bolder the fixture, the better!
46. Make seasonal changes
Switching out decor items seasonally such as pillows, throws or even coffee table decor elements, will give room fresh uplift without breaking the bank.
47. Use rugs to create focal points
Rugs ground a room and tie everything together, creating the perfect finishing touch. I typically pick out my rug and build design elements around it. Opt for a classic Persian rug, or one with a natural texture for a more coastal look.
48. Keep it clean
Don’t underestimate the power of decluttering. Eliminating clutter will help make the items you love in your home stand out more.
49. Splurge on seasonal florals
Fresh flowers are a timeless, classic trend that add warmth and brightness to a room. Flowers are also the perfect seasonal decor item—grom poinsettias during the holidays to tulips in the spring.
50. Make a bold statement with decorative tiles
Mosaic and cement tiles are a perfect place to start and come in many great designs. Alternatively, go for a more monochromatic look with marble tiles.