The Best Decorating Ideas to Cozy Up Your Home, According to Design Pros


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It seems like staying at home is bringing out the best in designers and DIYers, at least when it comes to styling and cozying up their homes. Social distancing isn’t the best time to tackle large projects that might require a contractor or team of people or a bunch of stuff from the hardware store. But if our favorite Instagram follows are any indication, where there’s a will, there’s a way.

We rounded up some decorating ideas that you can actually take on at home with limited resources. Here’s hoping one of these will inspire you to roll up your sleeves this weekend and make a cozy change with book styling, lighting, or something else on this list, however small it may be.

Looking to eke out some extra storage in a small space? Book ledges could be the best solution for you. For interior designer Sarah Sherman Samuel, time at home was just what she needed for a quick update in her daughter’s room. “Our daughter’s room is small with no room for extra furniture, and her book collection was getting a bit out of hand,” says Samuel. “The low profile of a book ledge was exactly what we needed to bring some organization to our bedtime routine.”

All you need is some painter’s tape to mark the wall where you want the shelves, a ruler or measuring tape to space them out, and a drill to install the shelves. Not only are these ledges great for books, you can also use them to style a gallery wall and prop up photos.

If you’re looking for a little cheer right now, try adding wallpaper to your home, which artist Gina Palaza did. Typically, people gravitate towards papering an accent wall, but Palaza switched things up and used bright colors to bring life to the stair risers in her entryway.

“I purchased this wallpaper from Anthropologie a long time ago and have been wanting to do this project, but never really had the time,” says Palaza. “I’ve never used wallpaper before, and this project was small enough for me to handle. The paper is pre-pasted and just needs to be sprayed with water to activate the glue.” 

If you’re also new to papering, don’t sweat it! Patience, a tape measure, and an x-acto knife is all you really need for this kind of decorating project. And know that peel-and-stick varieties are even easier and more foolproof than paste-the-wall or pre-pasted styles, simply because you just take the backing off pieces and can reposition them until you get the placement correct.

If you’re looking around the house to see what you can use to create fresh new decor, you’re not alone! DIYer Amber Vestal knows the feeling. “I’ve been scanning my rooms to see where I can add extra life and then looking around to see how I can repurpose items I already own,” she says.

To that end, she created this boho planter with a plant, basket, rope, and tassel trim she had lying around her home. The only tools you need are a glue gun and scissors, and all you really have to do is be able to tie knots. This is the perfect kind of thing to fill an empty corner you might have in your living room, kitchen, bedroom, or bathroom. Anytime you bring greenery into a room, it instantly gives your space more depth.

Designer Melanie Raver is supporting her favorite stores and taking advantage of online sales to help refresh her master bedroom. “I am currently obsessing over all things pink and mustard, so I quickly ordered a mustard bedspread with light floral accents,” she says.

All you really need is one standout piece to kick off a makeover that can be done largely with things you already own. Raver went “shopping” in her home for items to complement her new bedding. “I pulled rugs from two other rooms in my home, a chair from my guest room, and a pouf from my daughter’s room,” she says. The idea is to swap items between your different rooms to make them feel fresh—maybe you try switching up lamps and their lampshades, for example. Or maybe you move your nightstand into the living room, and a side table into your bedroom. Create new combinations to complement the one thing you’ve maybe allowed yourself to buy, and don’t be afraid to add trim to pillows or curtains, to re-dye linens, or make other changes to what pieces you do have to make them feel different.

Blogger Brooke Christen created some DIY sconce lighting to give dark areas in her house the extra light they needed—without an electrician! “All you need is your favorite sconce, some click-lights (make sure you get the ones with the remote control), and a way to secure the lights in the fixture like wire or industrial strength velcro,” says Christen. Essentially, you are using puck lights to create a warm glow inside of a fixture, so you’re not actually hard-wiring anything into your walls, though you will likely need to make a hole or two to secure the entire fixture to the wall.

Adding lighting like this can help illuminate artwork in a dark hallway or make your bedroom feel cozier if you fake the look of bedside sconces this way. “This is a great trick if you have limited electrical outlets or don’t want to invest the time or money to have a fixture fully installed,” says Christen.  Find her tips and tutorial here.

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