If you’re like me, you often flip through home décor magazines with slight envy and ask yourself “why can’t my room look that nice?” Over the years, I’ve picked up a few tricks to make my home look a lot more like the magazines – without having to spend much (or any) money. Here are a few tips that I have to share.
Mood is everything and there is no better way to create mood than with lighting. No one or thing looks good in bright, artificial light. Recessed lighting is a great option for rooms where adding ceiling fixtures or lamps would look cluttered. But remember, the best lighting is at eye level, not overhead, which causes shadows. And the best light is diffused light from a white or off-white lampshade.
Your lightbulb choice makes a difference. Try using a soft pink lightbulb to create the most flattering light. Use a 60W bulb for a dining room, and 60 to 100W for other spaces.
Dimmer switches can instantly change the mood and functionality of a room. A multipurpose living room can go from homework zone in the early evening to a place of relaxation in the late evening with the flick of a switch.
Consider moving your furniture away from the walls. By pulling your seating arrangement in (even just a few inches) you instantly warm up a space and create flow. Keep a minimum of 15” between a coffee table and sofa but don’t be afraid to add more space. We’ve been trained to believe that a coffee table should be placed within arm’s reach of a sofa but this isn’t always the best choice. A coffee table placed in the centre of a room can ground your entire space.
Wall Art Placement
When hanging artwork or frames above a sofa or table, choose a piece that is at least two-thirds the size of the sofa or table. If you don’t want your artwork to look like it’s floating towards the ceiling, keep a maximum 5-7” space between the bottom of your wall art and the top of your sofa. If you are hanging a piece of art on a wall without furniture underneath, the centre of the image should be at eye level (about 63”.) When creating a collage of artwork or frames, cluster your pieces close together (leaving a minimum 2” gap) to create the right look.
Lighting, furniture and wall art placement are three good areas to focus on to achieve the look of a magazine home but there are many more tricks to learn if you study those magazine pages hard enough.