Play by the rules


Some people are born with a great eye for decorating, and some, well, aren’t. Even if you don't have a natural knack for interior design, mastering a few basic techniques can go a long way. Below are some tips often offered by area pros. 


Odd numbers rule

Create visual interest by arranging objects in odd numbers, which are more appealing than even-numbered pairings. Try to also group objects in varying heights, shapes and textures. Each object in the grouping should be unique, but they should all share a visual or thematic element.  The goal is to make sure everything isn't uniform and, by extension, boring.

Every room has a focal point

homedeco4A room's focal point is its stand-out feature — the element your eyes are naturally drawn to when you enter the space. An obvious focal point could be a large window with a water view or a fireplace. If your room doesn't have a built-in focal point, try creating one with these tips:

  • Paint one wall a different color, then accessorize with artwork or shelves.
  • Decide the room’s purpose, then create a focal point around that. For example, for a reading room, make a comfy couch and adjacent reading lamp the focal point.
  • Use a large piece of furniture to draw attention, or a big piece of artwork or a mirror.



homedeco3Whatever your room’s focal element, decorate around it. Try using its main color in elements throughout the room, or frame it visually to make it the center of attention. If your focal point is a window with a view, arrange your furniture around it. If it's a large mirror or an interesting piece of artwork, place two smaller framed pieces of art on either side.

Measure twice, move once

When it comes to hanging curtains or arranging furniture, most of us just eyeball it. But these measurements for decorating make a room look better:

  • Keep at least 15 inches between coffee tables and sofas.  
  • Hang art with its center at eye level, roughly 56 to 60 inches from the floor. If you're hanging multiple pieces of art, keep the center point of the whole arrangement at this level.

homedeco5When hanging art above your sofa, make sure it's no more than two-thirds of the width of the sofa. Make sure to leave headroom between the art and the sofa.

The distance between your television and seating area will depend on the TV’s size. Multiply the diagonal size of your TV by two. That's about how many inches it should be from your sofa or chairs.

homedeco6These tips and suggestions can help you get started, but don’t be afraid to try your own ideas. After all, it’s your home.