Sabrina Soto
stress-free decor

Easy home updates

A lot of people are daunted by the idea of redecorating or even enhancing their space. It's not always easy figuring out where to start when it comes to choosing a paint color, which rooms to tackle first, what accents to buy or which trends to follow. If you're currently dealing with home decor anxiety, we're here to help.

Woman decorating with pillows

We have Sabrina Soto, decor expert, HGTV host and author of Sabrina Soto Home Design, here to share her top design tips with SheKnows. This week, she's showing us how to take the stress out of redecorating and actually have fun changing up your space.

Before you start

You can't just jump in and transform everything overnight so start small. "It's important to really understand the space you're redesigning and have a clear design goal in mind," says Soto. "Start with an idea or a concept for what you want the space to be. Then decide what pieces stay and what pieces go," she advises. It's also important to understand where the natural light comes from, which will help you with furniture placement.

Quick tip: To avoid getting overwhelmed, do your best to stay organized and work in smaller steps.

Once you know what you want to do, Soto suggests starting with your "family" rooms, or the rooms that attract the most people and the spaces that get noticed the most. "A living room, kitchen or dining room is a great place to start. These spaces receive the most attention, which lets you show off your new redesigns," she says. "Most people or guests don't get to see your bedroom or home office; start with the spaces that truly get noticed!"

Get inspired

One of the hardest parts about decorating your home can be tapping into what inspires you. Stumped for ideas? Look inside. "You are your own best inspiration," says Soto. "What do you like to do? Where do you like to go? Look at design magazines. What styles appeal to you the most or what don't you like? When you travel, take inspiration from the new things around you," she advises. "People can truly get inspired by anything; it's about what touches and appeals to you the most. Make it your own."

Soto tells us she gets her decor inspiration from numerous things, whether it's from the latest runway shows, the changing seasons or from a much-loved vacation spot.

paint canSmall changes, big impact

You don't need to overhaul your space to really see a difference. "The easiest solution for great impact is paint," notes Soto. "Color can really make a statement." Choose one wall and give it a punch of color to create a stylish statement in any room. Paint one chair or end table a vibrant hue to create a fun focal point, or simply repaint a room a new hue to really change things up. "Colors play an important role in setting the mood and feel of your space."

You can also rearrange your furniture for visual impact and to freshen up a room. "See what pieces look better if they're moved or up against a wall," says Soto. "New accents and accessories can also make all the difference for a truly budget-friendly update."

Feeling stressed? Ask for help

If you're stuck or lost, don't be afraid to ask for help, advises Soto. "Grab your friend and make a day of it. Go shopping together or paint together. You'd be surprised at how much faster you can accomplish things with someone by your side," she says. "Don't get frustrated, it's OK if something doesn't work out. Perhaps your mistake can turn into an unexpected design."

Mistakes to avoid

It helps to keep a few simple decor rules in mind to avoid overbuying or dealing with a redesign mishap. Soto provides a few:

  • Know exactly what you need and stick with it.
  • When you shop for accessories, don't overbuy. Purchase only the items you know will match and go with your space.
  • Even though you may be tempted, walk away from those "extra" items. This will save you money in the long run.
  • Make sure to have a nice balance of accessories; too many can easily overwhelm a room.

More decor tips and trends

Decorating Diva: Decorating with your guy in mind
6 Modern storage options for your bathroom
Quick decor changes for fall

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Comments on "Home decor made easy with Sabrina Soto"

Tiffany September 21, 2012 | 1:24 PM

I agree that it's good to ask for help. I have a few friends who are really good designers and decorator's. It's nice to have them come with me and help me decide what to get! Thanks for the tips!

Michelle September 20, 2012 | 10:35 AM

I like the tip about taking your time and not trying to redesign a whole room in one day. Rushing through a design makeover job takes the enjoyment out of it and can lead to disappointing results. The fun of redesigning should be in the process rather than the end result.

Lauren September 20, 2012 | 8:15 AM

I agree that you should have a balance concerning the amount of accessories you have. You want the room to look complete, but not cluttered. I recently changed out all our couch pillows, and what a difference that has made!

Kendra September 20, 2012 | 8:13 AM

I like the part about how small changes make a big impact. It's true - we've painted a few accent walls bright colors throughout our house and I can't tell you the difference it's made. Color really goes a long way!

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