5 (Affordable) Design Tips from Our HGTV Cruise

As 2015 is winding down, I’m gathering all our plans for next year, and among them is FINALLY redecorating our house.  We’ve now lived here just a little over a year and we promised that we wouldn’t do anything too drastic for the first year until we figured out how we really used our space, so that we could make the best choices in renovating.  Luckily for us, our recent cruise with the Property Brothers provided us the opportunity to get some fantastic inspiration from designers like Jillian Harris and Kim Myles (who are also super cool and funny, too!)  Here’s our favorites:

  1. Decorator white is the whitest white. Jillian Harris loves to decorate with white, and I’ve always been gun shy because it seemed impractical and hard to keep clean.  But, I never thought about painting my walls white, and she pointed out that if you’re someone who changes their mind often (HELLO!), then you can’t go wrong with painting your walls white so you can change up the decor easily. I’ll be trying this out soon with some upcoming renovations.  Check out this great example from Decoist.Predominantly-white-bedroom-with-smart-pops-of-color
  2. Floor to ceiling curtains create the illusion of high ceilings. I’ve always been a big fan of curtains.  They can change up the look and feel of a room with relatively low cost.  My one mistake though has been only putting the curtains as high as the window sill.  Now that I’ve done it for most of the rooms, I don’t want to buy all new ones, but this is good to know for future reference. Kim Myles showed a great illustration, and this picture from Your Home Only Better comes close 🙂  curtainheights
  3. Make use of useless spaces.  This is probably my favorite tip, because it’s one I never really heard before and it makes so much sense (thanks Kim!).  There’s always spaces in our homes that could be more functional and more useful.  My favorite example of this are bookcases under staircases.  Do you have a small corner or a space under your staircase that can be made for better use?  For us, it’s our foyer that we never use because we always use the kitchen entrance that’s closest to our driveway.  I can’t wait to come up with something new for the foyer!bookshelf-under-staircase-443x500
  4. Turn a small room into a closet.  Isn’t it every girl’s dream to have a walk-in closet?  If you have a small guestroom or office that isn’t getting much use, turn that room into your dream closet!  Jillian Harris re-purposed old bookshelves to create extra shoe storage, of course in white. 🙂 There’s tons of cute examples on Pinterest! closet room
  5.  Make your bedroom the best it can be.  Jillian mentioned that your bedroom is where you start your day and end your day, so make sure it is a place that doesn’t stress you out! I definitely took this one to heart – I am easily stressed out visually by messes and so, even if you can’t afford a huge remodel of your bedroom, keeping it tidy and clean can go a long way.white-bedroom

Even with all these great tips, Kim Myles had the best advice of all. “It’s not life or death.  At the end of the day, they are just pretty rooms.”  While it would be great to have an HGTV ready home, that sometimes isn’t in the cards for everyone.  So love what you have and make them the best they can be!

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