3 must-know designer styling tips for the home


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The HGTV junkies out there already know that the most exciting part of a major makeover is always that last hour when a room goes from painted, furnished and functional to full-on fabulous. It's the last few minutes when the stylist comes in and tweaks all those seemingly inconsequential accessories to truly polish off the room. How can you use these pros' practices in your home?

Start with personal pieces: Do you still want to feel at home in your home? Start your styling adventures with things you already own and feel connected to. Look through family heirlooms, photos, books and dishware you love but don't often use.

Add variety: The key to a beautiful vignette — that's what designers call the carefully styled nightstand scenes, mantle-top collections or moments of bookshelf beauty — is variety of size, color, texture and shape. Place objects three-dimensionally, layering them into the space from back to front and stacking them on top of each other. Add items in odd numbers, and consider working with a collection of the same thing (like artwork, photos, books, bottles and vases) if you're unsure what to use.

Making minimal work: There's absolutely nothing wrong with choosing to go minimalist in your accessories. Stylist Emily Henderson points out that if you want to go with a single piece of art over your mantle, for example, scale is very, very important (i.e., go big!). Make sure that if you don't have many accessories in your decor that they are all appropriately sized for the space. This will make sure that your space looks simple and finished, not empty.