Easy Habits To Make a Home More Stylish

By Shannon Quinn
Easy Habits To Make a Home More Stylish

Have you ever wondered why some people are just so amazingly stylish? You walk into their homes, and everything looks just as beautiful as something you’d see in a magazine. And this person didn’t hire a designer. They didn’t go to school for design, either. Somehow, they just are stylish. For some people, they are intuitively good at design. But it’s definitely a skill that can be learned and honed over time. Here at Home Addict, we’re giving you some of the best tips on how to cultivate great style in your own home.

Rentals can still look stylish. Photo Credit: Followtheflow/Shutterstock

50. Update What You Can, Even if It’s a Rental

When people rent an apartment, they’re afraid to do too much decorating and renovations, because they want their security deposit back. Because of this, nearly every apartment looks relatively the same. The truth is that as long as you don’t damage the apartment, it should actually be fine to give it a bigger makeover. Before you get started, ask yourself if the changes you plan to make are an improvement on the space, or a detriment. As long as it improves the value of the house or the apartment rather than lowering it, you should be fine. Obviously, don’t knock down walls or do anything dramatic. When a property doesn’t belong to you, most changes can only be cosmetic like painting, wallpaper, etc. You should never assume that it’s okay to change something structural if you want your security deposit back.

Rentals can look beautiful, too. Credit: Shutterstock

I’ve actually experienced this first hand. A few years ago, I worked in an office of an apartment community. There was one tenant who took the time to install new light fixtures, light switches, knobs on the kitchen cabinets, paint, and more. When she moved out, we were trying to rent the apartment to someone else. It was surprising to see how dramatically different her apartment was to nearly every other tenant, since I had seen the inside of a few dozen apartments. I asked my boss if she got in trouble for doing so many customizations, or lost her security deposit. The answer was no- she kept her security deposit. And they can actually charge more rent for that space now, because the former tenant took the time to improve it. So your makeover could actually help your landlord! When in doubt, ask your landlord for permission.

Focus your efforts on high traffic areas in your home. Photo Credit: JR-stock /Shutterstock

49. Focus On The Areas Where You Spend The Most Time

A lot of people make the mistake of buying a fixer upper and wanting to do renovations immediately. This is probably because they see this on TV, and think that it’s a normal, logical thing to do. However, most people don’t have a huge budget to throw into renovations right away. Instead of doing makeovers immediately, live in the house for a few months first. As you go throughout your daily life, you will quickly realize which rooms you spend the most time in. When it’s time to gothrough with the renovations, start with the “heart of the home”. You’re going to get the most enjoyment out of that space immediately. This positive experience will also help motivate you to keep moving forward with the other rooms in the house.

A lot of people spend most of their time in the living room. So make it cozy. Credit: Shutterstock

In the beginning, you want to completely avoid renovating the rooms that are barely touched. For example, a lot of people almost never spend any time in their formal dining room. It’s usually set up for special occasions like Thanksgiving and Christmas, and left untouched the rest of the year. Most people prefer to cook and eat in their kitchen, because it’s a lot more casual. So, in this scenario, would it make sense to pay for a dining room makeover in the first year of owning the house? Of course not. You’d do the kitchen first, and then maybe get to the dining room a few years down the line. Just by reading this, you might already know exactly which rooms in your house fall into those categories of priority and secondary projects.

You don’t have to wait for holidays to do something special. Photo Credit: Julia Mikhaylova/Shutterstock

48. Make Every Day a Special Event

Some people live with the mindset of “It’s just me living here. It’s not a big deal”. Cleaning gets pushed off, and makeovers are put low on the list of priorities. But the moment they’re about to host a party or have friends over, they suddenly clean the house and re-evaluate everything. These are the moments when people question if they need to change something before guests arrive. A great style tip is to always stay in this mindset as often as possible. Instead of waiting for that party to happen, treat every day like a special event. Your home is worthy of being beautiful, even if the only people enjoying it are yourself and your immediate family. 

You can light candles and have a table setting even if it’s not the holiday season. Credit: Shutterstock

Once you start to think with the mindset of making every day special, everything changes. You’ll start to find that you clean more often, and that you begin designing your space more naturally. If you’re reading this during lockdown, you can’t have people over anyway. But this is something you can also do for yourself. Think of lockdown as an opportunity to do all of the makeovers you’ve always wanted. The best example I’ve ever seen of this is on a YouTube channel called The Chateau Diaries run by Stephanie Jarvis. She treats herself incredibly well by always eating her food on porcelain china, and wanting to surround herself with beauty. This uplifts your soul, even if it’s just for you. Every day deserves to be filled with beauty.

Trust your intuition with everything in life. Photo Credit: Zolotarevs/Shutterstock

47. Trust Your Intuition 

As a rule of thumb, always trust your intuition with everything in life, including the way you decorate your apartment. There’s a good chance that you’re going to get a lot of advice from family, friends, and even people on TV. But at the end of the day, you’re the only one living in that house. Choose what works for you, not anyone else. Your subconscious has a great way of trying to communicate to you what you actually want deep down. So if you’re looking at your options at the store or shopping online, go with your gut. 

Get in touch with your inner knowing. Credit: Shutterstock

Unfortunately, going with your gut might mean that you want things for your house that are really expensive! Luckily, there are almost always cheaper dupes to the style you want. For example, I wanted a Sputnik chandelier in my bedroom, but they cost around $400. When I tried to tell my family about it, everyone told me that it was over-the-top and a complete waste of money. Logically, I knew it was too expensive, too. But I kept going with my search, because I just knew in my gut that I needed something like it. Eventually, I found a starburst chandelier for only $80, and it actually works much better with the space. And now that it’s installed, my family instantly understood why I wanted it so badly, and they finally agree that it made a huge difference in how the space looks and feels.

Sometimes, less is more. Photo Credit: Followtheflow/Shutterstock

46. Less is More

When in doubt, go for a minimalist lifestyle. For most people, clutter is one of the major roadblocks stopping them from having a stylish home. Or, they try to do a makeover, and they simply put way too much stuff in the room. In most cases, you can’t start designing a room until you have a blank canvas, and begin to build upon it with a lot of thought and effort. Too many objects in a room can be suffocating. Remember to let your pieces shine, and give them room to make a statement all on their own. In the words of Coco Chanel, “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.” 

This Japandi room is minimalistic and amazing. Credit: Shutterstock

Unfortunately, millions of Americans suffer from hoarding disorder. In fact, here on Home Addict, we’ve already written the 40 Signs Someone is On The Road to Becoming a Hoarder. With that being said, not everyone is willing to live a minimalist lifestyle. Maybe you love your collectibles, because they make you happy. There’s nothing wrong with being a maximalist. However, even maximalists can figure out a way to display their belongings in a stylish way. As long as you can incorporate your belongings into your everyday life without interfering with your lifestyle in a negative way, it’s not hoarding. Some of the best examples I’ve ever seen in maximalist style are the Architectural Digest tours of the homes of Dita von Teese and Danny Elfman.

Switching knobs is an easy way to make a space more glamorous. Photo Credit: Supermop/Shutterstock

45. No Detail Is Too Small to Overlook

Sometimes, people skip fixing or improving a small detail in their home because they’re working on the assumption that no one will notice. This could be a crack in the wall, cheap door knobs, dull light bulbs, and so much more. Even if that’s true that no one or notice, all of these small details seriously add up. People will walk into a room and feel a sense of unease or dislike, even if they can’t put their finger on the reasons why. It happens constantly during real estate house tours when people are looking to buy a new house. They might say “no” to a home simply because it feels cheaply done. Even if it’s subconscious, people can still feel the love and care that was taken into decorating a space. 

Small details add up. Enjoy the little things. Credit: Shutterstock

The benefit of knowing that small details matter is that it works out perfectly for people on a small budget. If you can’t afford to give your house a huge makeover, make small changes where it counts. For example, my parents recently painted their baseboards and steps white. Before, I would have said it wasn’t necessary, because everything still looked clean and white from far away. But the fresh coat of paint made everything pop, and made the house look newer and well taken care of.

Always do a lot of research before decorating a room. Photo Credit: Jacob Lund/Shutterstock

44. Do Tons of Research

A lot of people make the mistake of finding something cute at Home Goods or Target, and buying a bunch of stuff. But then they get home, and they’re not even sure where to put these things. Sound familiar? Before you get started redecorating your home, you should do research before spending any money. Figure out exactly what you’re looking for, and give yourself a budget. Create a real-life mood board by printing out photos and using fabric samples. Or, you can simply do a digital Pinterest board or use Photoshop to gather your ideas in one place.

Decide on the colors, fabrics, and layout before spending money. Credit: Shutterstock

The more you research and visualize what your home should look like, the easier it will be to find the objects you desire. Suddenly, you’ll zero on in those great sales at Home Goods or At Home. It’s so much better to go into a store with a game plan. Without one, you’ll end up wandering around lost. You may leave empty-handed, or worse- buying lots of things you don’t need. When it comes to doing larger renovations, also do research to see how much that project will cost. You will be able to budget how many projects you can afford each year, and schedule them whenever possible.

Your home should tell a story. Photo Credit: Followtheflow/Shutterstock

43. Have A Space that Tells A Story

When you’re styling a space, you want it to tell a story. A home should reflect who you are as a person. When an interior designer is creating a space for a client, they always keep that person in mind as a character in their head. They ask themselves, “Who is this person (or family)? What do they need in life? How can I represent them in this home?” If you’re doing this on your own, make sure the space reflects yourself, as well as your family. 

You can almost imagine the type of person who would live in this home. Credit: Shutterstock

For example, my space is painted in a light cream color, and I only have cream, white, and rattan furniture. The windows are large, too, so there is a ton of light when you first come in the room. Even though all of my basics are neutral, all of my artwork and accessories are bright colors, or have a beachy or bohemian inspiration. I have been told by multiple people that my space feels like a breath of fresh air when you walk in. It feels clean, happy, friendly, and artistic. Even though that’s my vibe, I know plenty of people who want the exact opposite effect in a room. Some people want their space to be dark, moody, and sultry. So their space would tell a totally different story when you walk into their home. Ask yourself what story you want your space to tell.

Your clothing style usually parallels your interior design style. Photo Credit: Eugenio Marongiu/Shutterstock

42. Use Fashion as Inspiration

In a lot of ways, fashion and interior design are parallel to one another. Colors that are popular during certain years, as well as popular vibes and aesthetics on the runway usually end up being represented somewhere in home decor. Just like telling a story with your space, you can sometimes express your style by using your clothing as a representation of your decor choices.

This woman’s fashion sense matches her interior design. Credit: Shutterstock

For example, if you wear a lot of black, chances are that you might want black furniture, too. Or, you might love to wear bright colors. So of course you want things to be colorful and happy. Some people suggest taking your favorite piece of clothing and just draping it over a couch or chair in the space you plan to makeover. Ask yourself if it’s possible to incorporate that design into the space.

Trends come and go. Do you want to participate? Photo Credit: SabineBPhotography/Shutterstock

41. Be Aware of Trends

When you’re trying to keep up stylish habits in interior design, it’s important to be aware of trends. Nearly every year, there is a new trend in decor that becomes popular online. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you should follow the trends to a tee. After all, by definition, trends come and go. It can be fun to decorate your home with new things, and it often shows that you’re up-to-date with what’s going on in the world.

This dining room could be described as “farmhouse”, but it’s more modern and stylish. Credit: Shutterstock

The more trendy you get with your interior design, the more likely it is that you’ll need to change your decor 2 to 5 years from now. I’ve seen a lot of people fall into the trap of decorating their home to match the times, and when they’re ready to sell their house 30 years later, it looks incredibly old and outdated. If you prefer to have decor that last a lifetime, try to go for a style that’s more classic and timeless, instead.

Clear containers make everything more chic. Photo Credit: Yarrrrrbright/Shutterstock

40. When it Doubt, Put it In a Clear Container

For whatever reason, things just look better in clear glass or plastic containers. You’ll see it all over The Home Edit, as well as nearly every luxury pantry photoshoot. Putting things in glass containers gives you the ability to see what’s inside of the jar without opening the airtight seal. It also gets rid of any brand name boxes and bags in your pantry. For example, in my home, we use clear containers for our rice, quinoa, and dry beans. They stay on the counter, since we book with them so often. This makes it easy to see when we’re running out of those ingredients.

These clear containers are filled with commonly eaten foods. Credit: Shutterstock

Clear storage also comes in handy when you put things away in the attic, under the bed, or in the closet. When storage is clear, you can immediately see what items (or at least the category) of what’s inside the box. For more tips like this, check out our article on How to Make a House Look More Like The Home Edit.

Light fixtures can be a work of art. Photo Credit: PinkyWinky/Shutterstock

39. Choose Light Fixtures Like You Choose Art

Buying a light fixture should be equally as important as finding art to hang on your walls. It’s something that you see every single day. It’s going to hang from your ceiling, and be visible every single day. So, why not make it something beautiful? At night, you rely on the light to help you navigate your home through the dark. The level of brightness also makes a huge difference in the mood of your room. Some people like to install dimmers, especially if they have a large chandelier with multiple lightbulbs. 

This rattan light fixture is equally as valuable as the artwork. Credit: Shutterstock

Besides the fact that you can see it every day, your guests will subtly take notice of your light fixtures, too. I remember in my early 20’s, I walked into a friend’s house thinking, “Oh, she has the same light as me. I found it for $10 on clearance at Home Depot.” No judgement. Just straight facts. There’s nothing wrong with that if it’s all you can afford, but it doesn’t exactly tell people that you’re stylish, and it doesn’t make your home stand out from the crowd. Try looking for unique light fixtures at thrift stores, Etsy, eBay, Amazon, and Wayfair until you find something that reflects your style perfectly. 

Always be learning. Photo Credit: Chaosamran_Studio/Shutterstock

38. Always Learn New Design Skills

If you want to become a more stylish person, it only makes sense to learn new design skills. It’s rare to find colleges that offer actual courses in Interior Design, and even more rare to find it as a major to earn a degree. For most people, they need to figure out how to be stylish on their own. Some people believe that good style is an instinct, and that it can’t be taught. But this information can come from books, YouTube videos, or even the interior design Masterclass. After you watch enough of this content, a lot of it should begin to rub off on you.

Learning new design skills can make you feel more confident. Credit: Shutterstock

In her book called The Magnolia Story, Joanna Gaines shares the fact that in the beginning of her journey as a designer, she learned about decorating homes through trial and error. Her first home together with her husband Chip was a tiny cottage, and every room was decorated in a different color and theme. She made a lot of choices in her decor that are completely different from her current Farmhouse style. Everyone needs to start somewhere. So don’t give up, and just keep learning.

Ikea homes might look cool on display, but don’t try to copy it. Photo Credit: Michael Gordon/Shutterstock

37. Never Try to Copy A Photo or a Store Display to a Tee

In the comedy series Schitt’s Creek, there is a character who took the entire floor model from a furniture store, and placed it in his apartment. This was obviously a joke, because no one actually does that, even though they think about it all the time. The result is that the apartment felt very nice, but impersonal at the same time. I’ve heard so many people say “I just want to take this entire room and put it in my house” when they go to Ikea. But even if you’re in a position where you could, you never actually should. The issue with trying to create a carbon copy of a photo you see on Pinterest or transferring Ikea furniture to your own house is that it almost never translates perfectly. Remember that store displays are very small, and won’t actually reflect the size of a real house. 

Stores are beautiful, but difficult to replicate at home. Credit: Shutterstock

Instead of trying to copy a room exactly as you see it in a picture, start an inspiration board on Pinterest. Save multiple photos of homes and rooms with the same style you’re looking for. You’ll begin to notice a repetition in colors, objects and pieces of furniture that catch your eye. Once you have enough time put in to know what you actually want, go ahead and buy those pieces that make sense for the dimensions of your home. It takes a bit of trial, error, and a lot of measuring before you can get everything right.

Feng shui can make a huge difference in the vibe of your home. Photo Credit: Amilao/Shutterstock

36. Practice Feng Shui

For some people, the idea of Feng Shui is such a foreign concept, they write it off as if it’s some sort of Voodoo Magic. While Feng Shui has some woo woo elements about life force energy, or qi, there are plenty of practical suggestions tied in there that just make sense. For example, one of the teachings in Feng Shui is to never hang heavy artwork on the wall above your head. This is because it creates underlying anxiety and makes it difficult for you to fall asleep peacefully. And if we’re being honest, one earthquake could bring that art crashing down on your head. If you have never learned anything about Feng Shui before, you’re in luck. We already created a list here on Home Addict called The 40 Biggest Mistakes Made While Trying Feng Shui.

Small accessories, like this rock garden, are common in Feng Shui. Credit: Shutterstock

We’re not suggesting that you follow every element of Feng Shui to a tee, because it might not be cost effective or practical for everyone. But take some time to look into the rules of the practice. It really does help with the flow of your home, and makes everything simply feel better. If you begin to take this seriously, there are also professionals out there who can visit your home and let you know what changes need to be made in order for the energy to align in your space. 

Figure out the daily rhythm of your home before committing to change. Photo Credit: Friends Stock/Shutterstock

35. Figure Out What Works For the Flow of Your Space

The longer you live in a house, the more you figure out the daily rhythm of your life. As time goes on, you’re going to figure out which room you spend the most time in, and what objects or furniture gets in the way of you living your life. Ask yourself how your design can improve your quality of life, and make things flow more smoothly. 

This space is very open, and yet divided for purpose. Credit: Shutterstock

On her YouTube channel called The Chateau Diaries, Stephanie Jarvis purchased a “chateau”, which is a castle in France when she was just 29 years old. She decided to spend an entire year in the chateau before she spent any work on renovations. The home is so massive, it’s going to take decades for her to fix up every single room. So she needed to take the time to figure out which rooms she spent the most time in, which bedroom she wanted to sleep in, and so much more. Even if you don’t have an entire castle, try to do the same. If you recently bought your house, spend some time in it first before doing a total overhaul.

Don’t let the dishes pile up. Photo Credit: Dmytro Zinkevych/Shutterstock

34. Clean As You Go

No one’s home looks cute when it’s covered in clutter. Having a clean house goes hand-in-hand with being stylish. There is no point in putting in a lot of hard work to style your house if it’s just going to end up looking dusty and junky. Some people hate to clean, and the chores go undone for a week or more. When this happens, so much piles up that it becomes overwhelming. Instead of doing this, learn to clean as you go.

This kitchen is spotless. Credit: Shutterstock

One of the easiest habits you can get into is to unload the dishwasher in the morning before you go to work. After breakfast, start putting dirty dishes directly into the dishwasher throughout the day. When it’s full, it becomes as simple as during the machine on, and there aren’t any dishes piling up in the sink or counter. Same goes with spills or anything else that requires your immediate attention. And when you’re done using something, put it back straight away.

Don’t forget the kids in your design process. Photo Credit: Eugenio Marongiu/Shutterstock

33. Keep the Kids in Mind

So far on this list, we talked a lot about figuring out the style that you want. However, most people are not living alone. You most likely have a partner, and maybe even kids. Obviously, you need to keep your kids in mind when you’re designing a space. There are plenty of ideas out there that are not kid-friendly or safe. Believe it or not, there are actually professional kid proofers who will show up to your house to make sure that your children don’t hurt themselves on the furniture or anything else that you have in your home.

This play room is stylish, and perfect for kids. Credit: Shutterstock

If your kids are old enough to give feedback, get them involved in the process. Ask their opinion of what they think you should do with the house. Instead of making it an open-ended question, give some two or three options to choose from.  And when it comes to designing their bedrooms, try to give them more freedom on what to have in their space. By giving them this creative freedom, it will encourage them to think for themselves in the future.

Pay attention to the natural light in the room before committing to a paint color. Photo Credit: Fizkes/Shutterstock

32. Choose Paint Colors Based on Lighting

Sometimes, people are convinced that they want to paint a room a specific paint color before they even see the place. But this isn’t a very stylish or smart thing to do. When you’re choosing a new paint color for your home, you need to keep the lighting in mind. For example, if your room doesn’t have any windows or natural light, it’s going to be a very dark space. So if you paint a windowless room a dark color, it’s going to feel very dark and depressing. Light paint colors can help make a room brighter. 

This bathroom has great natural lighting, and the white paint makes it even brighter. Credit: Shutterstock

Colors will also look different depending on the time of day. Most professional interior designers will use multiple paint swatches on the walls. In the morning, afternoon, twilight, and evening, the designers pay attention to see how the color looks in the various types of lighting. A paint color that you loved in the beginning may end up becoming your least favorite by the end.

Repeat the same theme in multiple rooms. Photo Credit: Breadmaker/Shutterstock

31. Have Repetition Throughout Your Home

Earlier on this list, I mentioned how when Joanna Gaines started out as a designer, she decorated every room in her house in a different color and theme. Unfortunately, this is what a lot of people do. Most of the time, this happens because people can’t decide which style to go with. So every room ends up feeling like a different planet.

This home has a lot of black and metal elements. Credit: Shutterstock

After gaining years of experience, Joanna Gaines realized that a more stylish and professional way of doing things is to carry out the same theme throughout your home. This could be done with matching wood finishes, flooring, molding, light fixtures, or paint colors. You can still have some variation room to room, but try to make it all look like every room belongs to the same house.

Stacking artwork helps give dimension to a space. Photo Credit: Kristen Prahl/Shutterstock

30. Layer Your Artwork

Sometimes, having a great piece of artwork on the wall can speak for itself. But if you feel like there isn’t enough there, layering your art gives it a much nicer depth of field. It also mixes up textures, and makes the display look more interesting. Typically, you’ll want to make sure the colors match, and that the theme of design is the same. 

An example of a black and white vignette. Credit: Shutterstock

However, this can put you in danger of making something look overcrowded and busy. If you’re new to layering artwork, try to look at some examples of what you see online. Take a moment to stare at your display, adding and subtracting pieces as time goes on. Eventually, you should be able to find balance.

Everyday objects can be beautiful, too. Photo Credit: carsthets/Shutterstock

29. Have a Purpose For Everything

One of the main sources of clutter and disorganization in someone’s house is having objects that no longer serve a purpose. For example, if you have old junk lying around in your garage, is that really serving you? Are you getting any value from that? Or is it taking up space and draining your happiness every time you walk through the garage door?

Everything in this minimalist home has a purpose. Credit: Shutterstock

When you plan to design a new space, ask yourself if everything has a purpose. Sometimes, its purpose might be to simply bring beauty to the room. But most of the time, something should be utilitarian, and actually usable for some reason. By keeping the mindset of needing a purpose for an object, you can avoid buying a lot of unnecessary junk.

Books are great decor by themselves. Photo Credit: TabitaZn/Shutterstock

28. Put Books on Display

Something that stylish people have in common is that they all collect coffee table books. This is because a coffee table book can tell your guests what you’re interested in within just a few seconds. It also gives them something to flip through when they come over for a cup of coffee or drinks. When you’re a guest in someone’s house, spotting a familiar topic on a coffee table book can also be a great way to start a conversation, especially when you’re first getting to know someone. 

Beautiful and stylish books. Credit: Shutterstock

Coffee table books can also be a subtle way of showing off. For example, whenever I see someone who has the famous black Tom Ford book, I immediately know that they love fashion, and care a lot about style. It’s also a very expensive book, so I know that they must be well-off. The same could be said about a lot of travel books, which might be a sign that you travel all over the world. You get the idea, right? In just a few seconds of spotting coffee table books, people gather all of that information about a person.

Your home should have some influence from your travels. Photo Credit: Marcos Castillo/Shutterstock

27. Evidence of Your Travels 

You can watch YouTube videos and browse the internet for photos all you want, but it doesn’t replace the experience of traveling somewhere new. When you go to a new culture, you’re going to notice some differences in the way people live. You might pick up on some tips that you want to incorporate in your own life when you come back home. This is more common if you decide to live in an Airbnb or stay with people who actually live in the country, versus staying somewhere like a hotel that isn’t actually a good representation of how people truly live.

These objects belong to someone who loved to travel in France. Credit: Shutterstock

I’m not suggesting that you fill your house with souvenirs. In fact, you might not bring back any souvenirs from your trip at all. But what you can bring back is the inspiration that you received while you were there. A lot of people decorate their homes in textiles, furniture pieces, accessories, colors, and more that they found in various countries and felt that they really wanted to have it back in their own home. 

Old and new things look good together. Photo Credit: Galina Grebenyuk/Shutterstock

26. Mix Old and New Objects

One of the common habits among stylish people and interior designers alike is that they invest in vintage and antique pieces. When everything is brand new, it’s difficult for you to find everything you want to fit your aesthetic. It also pigeon holes you into a box where your house has to be like everyone else’s. So by going to an antique store, flea market, eBay, or Etsy, you’re opening yourself up to the possibilities of finding objects from the past couple hundred years, instead of this year’s newest trends.

This desk has a beautiful mix of vintage and modern pieces. Credit: Shutterstock

Another huge benefit of buying antiques is that you can often find pieces that are valuable. An object from the store is only going to be as valuable as what you paid for it on the ticket price. But a rare antique could be bought for $5 at a flea market, and you could resell it later in an auction or on eBay for $100. In the past, I actually did this for a living before I became a full-time writer. So I can attest to the fact that there are amazing, valuable, beautiful objects out there waiting to be found for your home.

Antiques can make a huge difference in your home. Photo Credit: WichitS/Shutterstock

25. Invest in Antiques 

One of the common habits among stylish people and interior designers alike is that they invest in vintage and antique pieces. When everything is brand new, it’s difficult for you to find everything you want to fit your aesthetic. It also pigeon holes you into a box where your house has to be like everyone else’s. So by going to an antique store, flea market, eBay, or Etsy, you’re opening yourself up to the possibilities of finding objects from the past couple hundred years, instead of this year’s newest trends.

This home strongly features expensive antiques. Credit: Shutterstock

Another huge benefit of buying antiques is that you can often find pieces that are valuable. An object from the store is only going to be as valuable as what you paid for it on the ticket price. But a rare antique could be bought for $5 at a flea market, and you could resell it later in an auction or on eBay for $100. In the past, I actually did this for a living. So I can attest to the fact that there are amazing, valuable, beautiful objects out there waiting to be found for your home.

A variety of textures enhances design. Photo Credit: Jodie Johnson/Shutterstock

24. Use Various Textures Throughout Your Space

One of the easiest ways that you can add style to your home is to give your space of a variety of textures. For example, throw blankets and pillows can have two different fabrics on them to give you a sense of variety.  Same goes with pottery, flooring, and the other objects in your surrounding area. 

Textures make something more cozy. Credit: Shutterstock

Try to mimic what you see in nature. You see smooth leaves, bumpy bark, and slick wavy grass. It’s never a uniform and perfect spaced out in the world. Once you add texture to a space, everything is going to look a lot more cohesive, and inviting to your guests.

Give attention to certain aspects of the room. Photo Credit: zhu difeng/Shutterstock

23. Give a Hierarchy to the “Stars” of the Room

This next piece of advice comes from an interior designer named Kelly Wearstler from her Masterclass. She explains that certain decor pieces are the “star” of the room, and that you need to go in order of which things get attention. In the photo above, you can see that the huge stone slab on the wall catches your eye immediately. That’s the “star” of the room. Then, your eyes might work their way down to other details of the room second, third, fourth, and so on.

Credit: The chandelier is the star of this room.

Just like looking at an image or painting, your guests are going to do this in a room, no matter what it looks like. Look around your house and ask yourself what pops out as the biggest, most obvious focal point. And when you’re planning your design out, don’t make too many features compete for space as the star of the show.

It’s good to give yourself little home luxuries. Photo Credit: ben bryant/Shutterstock

22. Treat Yourself to Little Luxuries

Very few people can actually afford to buy a mansion and make it look like what we see on TV. But stylish people love to treat themselves to little luxuries. This means something different for everyone. To some people, their most important luxury item might be having expensive scented candles. For others, they want to concentrate on having the newest kitchen appliances. Everyone is different, and you should treat yourself what matters to you.

Hygge is the practice of embracing everyday luxuries like scented candles, teas, and reading books. Credit: Shutterstock

If you can’t afford the things you want right away, that’s okay. Make it a goal to buy these things after saving up the money. Or, put it on your Christmas or birthday wish list. Give yourself permission to have the things you want in your home, especially if it’s going to improve your quality of life.

This room looks dark, moody, and cozy. Photo Credit: PlusONE/Shutterstock

21. Create a Mood in Each Room

Earlier on this list, we talked about having cohesion in every room by repeating certain elements throughout your house. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t change the mood in every room. For example, in France, they even have words to describe different moods in spaces, like “boudoir”, which means “the sulking room.” So people who design a “boudoir” style space immediately understand by that description that there’s going to be plush pillows for lying down, dark colors, and dim lighting. Some people interpret the word in a sensual way, and they want a boudoir style bedroom. Obviously, most people don’t want that dark, sensual atmosphere in every single room of the house. 

These products help you experience “hygge”, or a cozy lifestyle. Credit: Shutterstock

Before you get started with a redesign, ask yourself how you want to feel when you walk into a room. Some people want to walk into a kitchen that feels white, sterile, and clean. Others want a kitchen that’s painted with dark colors, because it makes them feel like it’s more warm, cozy, and like being at home. If you live with a spouse or partner, sit down and have a conversation about how you each want the house to feel. Compromise on your differences, and work on this together. If you can both create the mood you desire, it’s going to be a really happy space. And if you find that the decor isn’t the problem, maybe you’ll consider spiritually cleansing your home to get rid of bad vibes. Check out this article on How to Spiritually Cleanse Your Home.

This entryway has cubbies for coats, shoes, and umbrellas. Credit: Shutterstock

20. Prepare Your Home For The Climate and Weather 

When you look around your home, you should ask yourself if it makes sense with the climate of where you live. For example, in England, most homes have a designated boot room or landing area near the front door. Since it rains so often, people are dealing with a lot of soaking wet boots. shoes, coats, and umbrellas. So it’s totally necessary to design a home with that in mind. They also use a lot of skylights, and make sure every room has windows. Even if it’s cloudy most of the time, they truly appreciate a sunny day.  

This log cabin is designed perfectly for cold weather. Credit: Shutterstock

Here in America, we tend to ignore the reality of weather and climate, and choose what looks the most aesthetically pleasing instead. With the exception of log cabins and beach houses, you can look at photos of the majority of American homes, and you wouldn’t be able to tell where the house is located. If you want to be more stylish, start taking advantage of the weather, or figure out ways to design your house to make things better in order to accommodate common weather conditions. 

It would be a shame to strip a historic home like this. Credit: Shutterstock

19. Honor the History of the Home

Historic properties are amazing, especially since you can have a home that’s different from all of the cookie cutter McMansions you see across America. If you’re lucky enough to have bought an older home, please don’t immediately gut the place and make everything modern. You may have to do some research when you’re trying to design a historic home. Browse through the photographs of local real estate listings to see what original features are still intact from the homes made in that same time period. 

This bathroom has a great blend of old and new. Credit: Shutterstock

If you can find the names of the architects of the larger historic buildings in your local area, you can research that person’s style. Typically, people would take inspiration from the more extravagant homes in their local area, and find a way to make it more affordable. After a while, you’ll start to pick up on the finer details of local homes, and you might want to emulate that on your own. This research process can be a lot of fun, and deeply satisfying if you’re trying to restore a historic property.

Kids can quickly turn a stylish house into a mess. Credit: Shutterstock

18. Don’t The Kids Overrun the House

Children are truly a blessing, and they can bring so much joy to our lives. And sometimes, parents love their kids so much, they let things go too far. When I was growing up, I was raised to take my belongings up to my bedroom immediately, because the rest of the house was my mother’s domain. And if my brothers and I played video games in the living room, the game system needed to be put away when we were done. Controllers were put into a drawer, and the game system was pushed back into the TV stand. When I visited my friend’s houses, I immediately noticed how some of their parents let their kids leave their things absolutely everywhere. You could barely walk through the living room without stepping on a toy. 

This mother’s closet has been taken over by her kids. Credit: Shutterstock

Take a look around your house, and ask yourself if your kids have overtaken your space. Remember that you can love your kids unconditionally, and yet want your own space, too. Lay some ground rules about where toys need to be put away. Consider making it a rule that the kid’s belongings go into a designated play room, or their bedroom. This is not being “mean” or “strict”, either. It’s going to teach your kids the importance of cleaning up after themselves, and they’ll learn how important style is from an early age.

Shopping is fun, but not when it’s uncessary. Credit: Shutterstock

17. Don’t Buy Things Just Because They’re On Sale

Who doesn’t love a good bargain? Everyone loves to walk into a store and buy something at a huge discount. However, if you’re making a habit out of buying things just because they are on sale, you’re going to end up with a lot of home decor items that you don’t actually need. This can lead to your home looking cluttered, or could even develop into a hoarding or shopping addiction. A lot of those items eventually end up stored in the closet or attic. 

It’s far more satisfying to buy exactly what you want. Credit: Shutterstock

Buying things at a discount brings joy to a lot of our lives, especially during such difficult times. However, a much better shopping habit is to have a few items in mind that you’re looking for before you browse a sale. Trust me, it’s far more satisfying to find the exact thing you wanted on sale. It becomes a story in your mind about how you got your dream item for a huge bargain. But can you remember all of the cheap items you bought on a whim? Probably not. 

Learn how to balance both masculine and feminine. Credit: Shutterstock

16. Balance the Masculine and Feminine Energy 

Whether you realize it or not, rooms feel the best when there is a balance between masculine or feminine. For example, imagine a room with pink carpet, floral curtains, pink walls, porcelain dolls, and collectable plates with kittens on them. Most of you would think, “Wow, this is too much.” Too much what, exactly? You might not know how to even put it into words why you don’t like it. But the answer is that it’s way too much feminine energy. It has completely let out any masculine attributes whatsoever. A room like that is guaranteed to feel out of touch, off-balance, and the furthest thing in the world from “stylish”.

Yin and Yang is all about balancing active and passive energy. Credit: Shutterstock

Please keep in mind that this has nothing to do with your gender identity or sexuality. In the modern world, a lot of us are challenging what “masculinity” and “femininity” really means. Every human being has both elements of masculinity or femininity in them, no matter what their gender may be. In Feng Shui, they say that if you want to attract love into your life, you need to put more balance in your home of the gender you’re trying to attract. On top of that, the right side of the bed is “masculine” energy, while the left is “feminine”. Once you start to blend masculine and feminine, things immediately begin to feel more balanced. A great example of a designer who accomplishes this incredibly well is Joanna Gaines. She always balances both genders, or aims for gender-neutral design.

This home looks truly magical. Credit: Shutterstock

15. Find Opportunities to Make Your Home Feel Magical

In her interior design Masterclass, Kelly Wearstler gives that advice to find opportunities throughout your home to make something magical. She has a lot of great examples in her portfolio, like hidden doors under staircases, and a little bar that looks like a robot. Basically, don’t limit yourself to thinking along the lines of practicality. When you make something in your home magical and fun, people remember that, and it brings a smile to their face. Brainstorming an idea like this probably won’t happen overnight. But once you make the habit of thinking outside the box, you just might create a little masterpiece.

Fairy doors are a great way to make trees in your backyard magical. Credit: Shutterstock

A great example of a magical, fun home is the New York City townhouse of Niel Patrick Harris. In his tour with Architectural Digest, you see how his entire house is magical and whimsical. In their living room, they have a big antique apothecary cabinet filled with small drawers. When their guests leave, they sign the guest book, and open a drawer at random. Whatever is inside the drawer, they get to keep it. They also have a player piano that plays music on its own. With a bit of imagination, you could come up with an idea that suits your place, too.

There are many kitschy items in this room that the owner may want to consider getting rid of. Credit: Shutterstock

14. Don’t Keep Things That Don’t Suit Your Style

One of the most common mistakes that people make with designing their home is that they hold onto something for too long. Maybe you bought something that was expensive, so you hold on to it far longer than you should despite knowing that you’ve grown tired of it. Or, there is a memory attached to the item, so you feel bad putting it away or donating it to a thrift store. A great solution to the problem is to offer those items to family and friends, especially anyone young who is moving into their first house or apartment.

Feeling strange? It could be your home decor. Credit: Shutterstock

I’ve been guilty of holding onto items that no longer suit my style plenty of times. This happens a lot when I buy something with one design in mind, but I end up going in a totally different direction. Eventually, I had to put those things in a tub up in the attic. I also gave a lot away to my youngest brother. One day, when I have a larger house, I could use those things. But for now, I had to face the reality that it just wasn’t working. I’m so happy that I did, because my space looks much more stylish.

Credit: Shutterstock

13. In a Larger Space, Section Off Smaller Zones

A lot of people are all about open-concept living and kitchen areas. However, if you decide to open up your home into one huge room, you still need to divide your space into smaller zones. Whenever you look at photos of open-concept living rooms, there is still a kitchen area, living room area, and dining room area all subdivided into this bigger space. Throw rugs and furniture often work as barriers, even if there are no walls.

Credit: Shutterstock

If you are lucky enough to have a large bedroom, a good thing to do is to give the space a small lounge area. Think about luxury hotel rooms. They always have a bed in the room, but there is a section for a desk, couch, and coffee table. Instead of just being a place to sleep, you have a soul relaxation area.  Personally, I chose that same method when designing my bedroom, and it has made the space feel ten times more luxurious. It also gives the illusion that the space is even bigger. 

This gallery wall is a great mix of media. Credit: Shutterstock

12. Mix Personal Items And Professional Artwork

Some people assume that if you want a home to look stylish, you need to buy expensive artwork from the store. This is absolutely not true. In fact, if you rely on buying art from the store, what ends up happening is that you have the exact same pictures as thousands of other people.  (I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen the same Ikea pictures in people’s homes.) You can still make a home look stylish even if you only use your family photographs, or art that you made on your own. Personally, I like to mix both professional and personal pieces in my space. 

Something as simple as black and white photographs can make a big impact. Credit: Shutterstock

For example, I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted from a store. So I have several paintings that I’ve made on my own, as well as images I had custom-made into posters. Don’t get me wrong. I also have canvas artwork purchased from a store. But I’m far more picky to make sure it perfectly fits my aesthetic. Try to get in the habit of thinking outside the box. Is the art on your wall there as a placeholder, or is it there because you truly love it?

You don’t need to rush the process. Credit: Shutterstock

11. Don’t Rush the Process

Earlier on this list, I already mentioned how a lot of people wish that they could do the TV makeover version of styling their home. In reality, most of us need to take months or years to style our space. While some of you out there might feel frustrated with waiting for the perfect home, it’s actually a lot better to not rush the process. As time goes on, you’re going to find the “perfect” objects for your home, instead of trying to quickly buy whatever was the cheapest or most convenient thing in the beginning.

Take time to examine your home designs. Credit: Shutterstock

When I think about what my space looked like a few years ago, it was completely different than what it is today. And yet when I glance around, I see objects that I’ve gathered for 10 years. When people see my home, a lot of them think I’m very stylish. The reality is that it didn’t happen overnight. I made a lot of mistakes along the way. I added and subtracted objects and furniture in the room until I got it “just right”. It’s easy to look stylish when you give yourself a lot of time to think about it. 

If you cling too much to an idea, it’s less likely to come true. Credit: Shutterstock

10. Don’t Cling Too Much To One Idea

Whether you realize it or not, clinging too much to something that you want typically results in the opposite things happening. For example, if you start dating someone new and become too clingy and overbearing, that usually pushes the other person away. The same thing can happen with home design. If you focus too much on having this idea of the “perfect” home in your head, you’re going to close out the other possibilities to come into your life that might be equally as wonderful. 

Daydreaming is fine, but don’t cling to just one outcome. Credit: Shutterstock

A lot of you out there may have watched a TV show or found something online that you are obsessed with. You’re dreaming and manifesting this “dream home” so hard, it’s always on your mind. That’s great to have goals, but you need to let it go. The reality is that most of us don’t get 100% of what we want, when we want it. 

There is no art on this wall, but it still looks great. Credit: Shutterstock

9. Embrace Negative Space 

There are some people who are nervous about having too much negative space in there home. In case you aren’t aware, negative space is essentially a blank wall. For example, if you’re trying to hang artwork or create a gallery wall, some people want to fill up every square inch. But there is something to be said about leaving enough space between your objects and art in order to make a true impact. 

This wall is completely blank, except for these two paintings aligned with the table. Credit: Shutterstock

A great example of this could be one piece of artwork hanging over your fireplace. The rest of the fireplace might be brick or a plain wall, but it is more elegant and makes a bigger statement if you just stick to one thing surrounded by negative space.  On the other hand, some people try to create a full vignette on their mantelpiece above the fireplace. If it’s not done correctly, this can come off as being very busy, and not as stylish as a singular piece of artwork. 

Donate items you no longer need. Credit: Shutterstock

8. When You Buy Something New, Get Rid of Something Else

Being a stylish decorator doesn’t mean that you own a ton of stuff. In fact, it’s the opposite. It’s all about knowing how to carefully curate just a few items at a time so that it feels “just right.” If you keep buying new things and never getting rid of the old, you’ll end up accumulating far too much. You may even become a hoarder. The next time you go on a home shopping spree, challenge yourself to donate an equal amount of items to your local thrift store.

You don’t want clutter to build up like this. Credit: Shutterstock

For example, I know a few women who accumulated a lot of different sets of porcelain china over their lifetime. They hold onto these fancy things, and almost never use them. Then, they buy curios and hutches to fill with these useless pieces. Eventually, their dining rooms or living rooms have too much furniture filled with objects that don’t actually serve any practical purpose! It’s much more stylish to have a home filled with objects you use on a daily basis, and that aren’t simply storing away your collections. 

Browse online to find new home decor brands. Credit: Shutterstock

7. Make An Effort to Discover New Home Decor Brands

Remember that there is no such thing as a perfect place to shop for your home. You might gravitate towards certain brands that do a good job of capturing your style. There’s nothing wrong with that. However, you won’t know when something is truly high-quality or a good deal for your money until you do a lot of research about what’s out there. 

It’s always a good idea to figure out what items should cost. Credit: Shutterstock

Discovering new brands is so much fun. Personally, I like to find out about brands from Europe, because I’ll find something that I have never seen before. It helps spark inspiration for new ideas, and I feel like I end up becoming more stylish as a result. Even if you don’t have a huge budget to buy directly from other countries, this will still put you in the right direction to search for similar items on Amazon or Ebay. 

Sometimes, events can be unexpected, and you may need to move. Credit: Shutterstock

6. Go With the Flow of What Life Throws at You

Believe it or not, being stylish is a bit of a mental game. You need to be ready to go with the flow at any moment. For example, we all had big unexpected changes dropped in our laps in 2020. We had two choices- resist change, or go with the flow. 

Going against the flow is far more difficult. Credit: Shutterstock

For example, when my grandmother died, my mom and her siblings took care of her beach house. Eventually, they needed to sell it. The house sold much more quickly than we expected, and we needed to move everything out by the end of the week. I ended up keeping the living room set of vintage Rattan furniture from the 1970’s. This furniture is actually very expensive if you were to try to buy it today. I had never planned to decorate with that style furniture. In fact, I was trying to go for more of a Hollywood Regency vibe before. But once I got the furniture, it ended up becoming an amazing Boho-Regency mix. This only happened because I wasn’t too precious about my space looking a certain way, and I went with the flow of what was happening in my life at that very moment.

These nautical items are only appropriate in the summertime, or in a beach house. Credit: Shutterstock

5. Don’t Buy Too Many Things That Are Only Good For One Season

If you want to have a stylish home, it’s best to buy things that are seasonally neutral, so that they work all year long. Obviously, you are going to have holiday decorations to celebrate for your family house traditions. However, most people keep those up for just a few weeks before putting them away. Imagine someone who keeps Christmas decorations up all year long. That’s not very stylish, is it? The Christmas analogy is easy to understand, and yet some people don’t see why it’s unfashionable to keep other seasonal items up for too long. 

These Christmas decorations are only appropriate for a couple months out of the year. Credit: Shutterstock

For example, if you don’t live near the ocean, it doesn’t make sense to have nautical themed decor items outside of the summertime. Another common mistake is that someone might have a bouquet of fake flowers that normally bloom in the spring, but they keep out that same vase all year long. The point in the faux flowers is that they last forever. But you still need to make your bouquets seasonal and change them every season. Take a look at the objects in your home, and ask yourself if it’s truly appropriate for all 4 seasons. Yes, you can have a box in the attic and take out seasonal decor just like the holidays. But it simply makes more sense to save both money and time by just buying decor that’s appropriate for every season.

Your home should be feel good spiritually. Credit: Shutterstock

4. Focus on Making it Feel Good Spiritually

Architects and designers all over the world have been considering spirituality in their decision-making for thousands of years. Whether you realize it or not, the focus on spirituality is often while you can walk into a space and feel an immediate sense of calm. Wabi-sabi design in Japan is an example of that. Same goes with churches in Europe that are designed to be so fantastically large that they make you feel small, like a grain of sand in the expansive universe. No matter what belief system you subscribe to, ask yourself how you feel emotionally and spiritually when you walk into your home. If you feel negative and suffocated, it might be a sign that you need to do a spiritual cleansing in your space

This zen Japandi room feels spiritual. Credit: Shutterstock

With that being said, I’m not suggesting that you take this advice too literally. For example, my mother is Catholic, and she has set up a literal shrine to the Virgin Mary in one of her sitting rooms. This shrine is complete with statues, tapestries, and candles. While it might make her feel happy and spiritual, it might make other people feel uncomfortable to have the statues staring at them while they’re trying to watch TV. There are plenty of ways to make a space feel good to your soul without choosing a specific religion. What matters more is that you feel at peace in your space. 

Chairs facing one another creates an intimate area to have conversations. Credit: Shutterstock

3. Create Intimacy in a Space

A really good habit to get into when designing your home is to look for opportunities to create intimacy. For example, in your living room, it might be a good idea to create a seating arrangement that encourages people to have a conversation, rather than just one couch facing the TV. Intimacy can also come in the form of having family dinners. Do you just have a kitchen island to eat, or can your family gather around a table and have a conversation? Always be on the lookout for how you can bring a sense of togetherness in your home.

An L-shaped couch helps create intimacy in a room. Credit: Shutterstock

Obviously, intimacy has a double meaning, here. In your bedroom and master bathroom, look for ways to make your space more romantic, rather than just a place to sleep and get ready in the morning. In a long term relationship, you often have to work on keeping things exciting and fresh. Consider having a conversation with your partner about how you can make your shared space more intimate. 

This open-concept space is divided into smaller zones. Credit: Shutterstock

2. Try to Make Small Spaces Feel Larger

Most people can afford to rent or buy a small space. But not everyone can live in a larger space. So if you have a small home, and you aren’t doing anything to help make the space feel bigger, it’s guaranteed to feel cramped. It’s very difficult to have a space feel stylish, cool, or aspirational if it feels like a claustrophobic box. With people staying home now more than ever, it’s crucial for you to make your space feel bigger to accommodate your family, and help you stay sane. 

This loft was arranged in different zones. Credit: Shutterstock

There are a lot of tips and tricks for making a house feel bigger. Hanging mirrors on the wall will reflect the space, and give the illusion that the space is bigger. Legs on furniture, a new seating arrangement, and pushing items against the wall are all ways to create more space. Here at Home Addict, we already have Design Tips On How to Maximize The Smallest Spaces. Check that out, and try to incorporate as many of the tips as you possibly can. 

Even professionals were beginners at one time. Credit: Shutterstock

1. Have Confidence in Your Styling Abilities 

Last but not least, if you want to be stylish, you need to have confidence that you can do this. If you have a habit of negative self-talk, stop right now! Remember that everyone was a beginner at some point. People didn’t come out of the womb being more stylish than others. Sure, maybe they were more gravitated towards learning how to be stylish. But literally anyone can improve over time. Believe in yourself, and have fun along the way. 

You don’t need to be a pro to sketch out your ideas. Credit: Shutterstock

Trust me, the fact that you even care about improving your style skills probably means that you’re already better off than others. There are plenty of people who don’t care at all. Go get yourself some library books, watch TV shows, and keep learning as much as possible, whenever possible. And if anyone has anything negative to say, don’t listen. They’re just haters! 

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