Decorating inspiration can be as close as your own front door, or as far away as an exotic vacation. Pay attention to all of the decorating details that surround you in the newspapers and magazines you read, your friends’ homes, local stores, museums, gift shops and other places you visit. As an interior designer, I get some of my best decorating ideas from industry trade shows such as the International Home Furnishings Market in High Point, N.C. I talk to absolutely everyone and always come home with lots of great ideas. Here are a few tips from my travels—enjoy!
10 Tips to Brighten Your Life—and Home

  1. Get a fresh perspective by rearranging your furniture. Think about how you are using your rooms, and move pieces around so they are more effective. This can be one of the quickest ways to give your home a facelift.
  2. Bring on the spray paint! If you hate the color of your bathroom tiles, simply recolor them with epoxy and a rented spray gun. Or give new life to old furniture by using a can of spray paint. You can add even more interest by spray painting stencils in a contrasting color.
  3. Perk up your kitchen with coordinating chair pads, placemats, napkins, tablecloths and kitchen textiles. Many decorative styles are available in both fabric and easy-care vinyls.
  4. Use candles to add a soothing and intimate glow to your home. Cluster small groupings of tea lights or interesting votive holders in romantic corners; use large tapers to add drama to your dining area.
  5. Use decorative or antique baskets as an ornamental element. Fill them with small pots brimming with flowers; use them to hold pretty potpourri; or fill them with shells and eye-catching stones.
  6. Do something different. Stop by a coffee shop, go into a store or visit a museum that you’ve never been to before. Strike up a conversation with a new neighbor.
  7. Say it with flowers—spoil yourself and get fresh flowers for your bedroom, dining table or living room. Use a single blossom or a whole bouquet!
  8. Add aroma to your home. Scented candles, incense or potpourri can help create a special mood.
  9. Make a conscious effort to examine the décor and designs used in the movies, on television or in your favorite magazines. Keep a notebook of things you like—and things you don’t. Then, adapt some of your observations to your own home.
  10. When you add something, give something away. Replace some of your furnishings and donate older items to a local shelter. You can brighten your life, and someone else’s, at the same time!