15 of the Best Decorating Tips (à la Me)

I kind of love decorating. While most girls are dying to go clothing shopping, nothing gets me quite as excited as walking into Bed, Bath & Beyond (or equivalent) and choosing home goods.

Just the idea of it has me salivating.

I grew up with a mother with flawless taste (and she’s reading this, so thanks Mom for passing down those genes) and when it comes to decorating I definitely know a thing or two. Mostly from my mother telling me when my decor/outfit went from fun to fiasco. And if it weren’t for the fact that interior decorating is the flakiest business ever, it would be my true calling. Decorating is something I absolutely adore, and am continually happy I can do with my own home. Whether it’s completely redoing my bedroom (and I currently have two) or spending half an hour on the throw pillows in HomeGoods for my couch, decorating is something that is continually on my mind. From my many different styles (a pink/blue/purple/green bedroom in middle school, a Tiffany blue/chai Frappuccino bedroom in high school, a yellow/grey stripe dorm room, to a plum/grey stripe/Tiffany blue/dark wood apartment) they’ve all been ready for a spread in House Beautiful. And because of that I thought today I would share with you my 15 best tips for decorating that I’ve learned over my many renovations.

Who’s got their Pinterest/renovation notebook ready?

Morgan’s 15 Best Decorating Tips After Four Renovations: Your Handy Guide

1. Choose a base colour and go off of it

While putting together colours together to create an awesome colour palette, it can be a bit overwhelming. Choose a colour that works well as a base and choose the rest of your colours to go around that. For my most recent bedroom renovation I chose a light stone grey and have built around it with plum, violet, and robin eggs blue. It works because my base is a neutral, which I highly recommend.

2. Mix and match

Don’t be afraid to take risks! Choose patterns (in the same colour family) that mash. Buy matching pillows and a clashing throw for the couch. Having that mix of things that go together and things that don’t give your room personality, and keep it from looking like your grandmother’s red rose floral home.

3. Make it quirky

Find little accents and decorations that keep your space personal. Whether it’s one of those wooden drawing figures or a vintage typewriter, keep it personal and fun.

4. A different coloured item can make all the difference

One of my favourite things about my living room is the bright yellow throw pillows. They make sure a contrast in my mostly neutral living room. They come to the front of focus and give the room dimension, something important for good design. If you have a room that’s mostly one colour (such as brown) think about having a piece or two in a completely contrasting colour.

5. Stock up on neutral decorations

When I go into a home goods store there’s one thing I always look at – home decorations. I like to find ones that would go with several different decors (natural wood, white, silver, gold, glass, etc.) and keep those for when I decide to redecorate. Having an array of options that go with any design you choose means that you don’t have to go shopping every time you want to switch it up – you can just go look in the hall closet!

6. Use your wardrobe to help on colour scheme

If you wouldn’t wear that colour combination, you shouldn’t put it in your house.

7. Don’t center everything

As people we like to center everything, just like titles on your yearly reports. But that gets boring when everything is centered. Play around with your decor and put things at an angle, a little over to one side, or in a completely new spot! A key to great design is swerving from the expected without completely falling off the board.

8. White/creme trim is the best

I’m not even going to explain this.

9. Become familiar with designers – then copy them

I love myself some HGTV, and without it I don’t think I would have gotten as into design as I am. One part I love about watching HGTV is discovering the styles of the different designers. And once you find one you love – I’m obsessed with Genevieve Gorder – you can start seeing how they design things and steal from them. Genevieve has inspired many of my designs.

10. Rearrange often

Sometimes the best way to find the best design is to rearrange everything until it feels perfect. My living room? When I moved in it seemed like putting the couch against the wall was the best choice. But then I decided to move my couch, coffee table and TV stand and suddenly BAM! the living room was 1000% better.

11. Utilize negative space

In one of my journalism classes we had to design a handbook cover for our client. My professor explained how important negative space is in your design. This applies to interior design too. Use that negative space to make the used space POP.

12. Become familiar with colour/emotion correlations

13. Take photos

Take a photo of the room when you finish decorating. Look at it a few hours later. If the photo of your room looks like you want it to, you’ve accomplished great decoration. Pat yourself on the back!

14. Don’t ask – feel

If you ask your friends if that vase looks good, chances are they are just going to tell you they like it because no wants to be that friend. Instead, when your friends walk in gauge their body language. Chances are, if they like something they’ll show it, and if they hate it they’ll avoid eye contact. This is also  good way to telling if the relaxing/cozy feeling you’re going for is working. But if you ask you’re just going to make it worse.

15. Let one piece influence everything

It’s totally okay to focus an entire room’s design on one object. For my bedroom in high school I wanted everything to go with the colour of my bedroom furniture. And thank god my favourite colours went with that. Choose something – even as simple as a painting or wallpaper – and let everything go around it. I promise it will work.

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Happy decorating! What are your favourite decorating tips?

Today is also the last day to get my book Affairs for it’s Vacation Book Sale price at $0.99! Get it now!

Stay classy, Internet,

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