7 Secrets of home decorators

Ecclectic home decor

If you've browsed through magazine after magazine, wondering how the pros create those drool-worthy living spaces, then you're in luck -- because it looks like the cat is finally out of the bag! We've got the inside scoop on the best-kept secrets for successful home decorating.

Home decor secrets

Give these suggestions a try, and soon you'll be on your way to a fresh new look for your home decor.

Borrow, beg and steal

You won't need to reinvent the wheel to find great ideas for your home. Instead, find inspiration from what others are doing. Browse through your favorite websites, blogs and magazines, and then follow their lead to incorporate what you see into your own space.

Look before you leap

Before spending your hard-earned cash, take time to create a plan. Think about what styles you really enjoy and why you enjoy them. Consider the size, function and traffic flow of your space to determine the pieces you'll need. Create a small folder to hold your ideas, measurements and material samples. Keep the folder in your purse or in the car -- that way, you can easily reference your design plan even on spur-of-the-moment shopping sprees.

Be cautious with trends

Trends come and go, so be cautious with the trends you decide to use in your design -- otherwise, you may wind up with outdated decor in just a few years. Paint and accessories are great selections for playing up current trends. Paint colors can easily be modified without spending a lot of money, and accessories can be exchanged to keep up with current styles.

Hot trend: City pride at home >>

It doesn't have to be perfect

Your decor should make your home feel inviting, and that doesn't mean it has to be perfect. In fact, you'll feel more comfortable in your space if your decor matches your lifestyle and feels lived in. So go ahead -- hang your three-year-old's scribble art on the fridge. Personal touches like this make the phrase, "There's no place like home" come to life.

Eclectic is just fine

There's no need to play tug-of-war when it comes to picking a style. Over the years, modern design has gradually become more eclectic. This style is derived from the best elements of several different styles, which allows for more flexibility in your design decisions. The key to successful eclectic style is identifying the elements you wish to incorporate from other design styles. Choose two to three of your favorite styles to use as a reference, and then pick your favorite colors, finishes and furniture pieces from each style to create an eclectic blend.

Get the look: Eclectic decor >>

Be unique

Keeping up with the Jones is over-rated. There's no one out there quite like you, so incorporate that concept into your home decor. Look for signature pieces that make a statement. Paint an old desk Kelly green to give it a modern feel, or create a gallery wall filled with eye-catching images. Steer clear of matching furniture sets, and browse thrift stores for great deals on one-of-a-kind finds. Use your personality as a guide for how playful your decor should be.

How to show your personal style at home >>

Never settle

Your home is your shelter -- it's your safe haven. It's there waiting for you after a long day's work. It's where your children play, and where your family gathers for birthdays, holidays and family reunions. Your home is where your memories are made, and it should make you feel happy. Never settle for less. Fill your home with things that you love, and you can't go wrong!

More home decor tips

8 Easy ways to emphasize your decor style
Classic decorating techniques for your home
10 Timeless home decor trends

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