Let me share a few of my favorite easy "tricks" in the hopes that they will make you and your home a bit happier!
1. Find your center.
People tend to hand their pictures way too high on their walls. An ideal height for the center of your pictures (the ones you view while sitting vs. hallways where you view standing) is 54" high. That's about where the CENTER of the picture should fall. Not the top.
Here's the tip -- find YOUR center. Measure 54" up on your body and then when you hang (or rehang) your pictures you'll easily find their proper height. When hanging pictures in a walkway use 60" as your center guide. We're not talking hard and fast rules here (I'm not a rules girl), just guidelines. The reason for lowering your pictures is simple—so you can SEE them without straining your neck. Put your art in front of you eyes!
2. Make a wall.
Most newer houses have large living spaces that spread into dining spaces that open into kitchens. These open floor plans don't provide a lot of separation between spaces, which can make defining spaces and arranging some furniture difficult.
Here's an idea—make a wall! Hang fabric from a tension rod (via hooks from the ceiling, so it all but disappears) perpendicular to a long wall. This fabric "wall" will allow you to place items in the new "corner," creating new options for furniture arrangements.
3. Hang them high.
Along with hanging art too high, many people hang their window treatments too low. Take your curtain rods 8" or more above your window. For lower ceilings I often hang the rod as close to the ceiling as I can. This adds height to your room and creates a finished look.
4. Paint it.
Painting your walls is obvious, but many people overlook the many other things they can and should paint along with their walls. Painting your closet doors, trim, ceilings and other ill-place cabinets makes them disappear, or in the case of a ceiling, feel higher.
If you have a red room with two white bi-fold closet doors and you paint the doors and trim around them red too the doors no longer stand out; they suddenly blend in. Do you really want the focal pint of your room to be white bi-fold doors? Ceilings that are painted a lighter version of the color room they are in (blue room, lighter blue ceiling) automatically feel higher. You eliminate the sharp line of contrast between the wall and ceiling colors that make your ceiling feel lower.
5. Book it.
Books can be a great decorating tool. Of course their obvious job is just being books—sitting on a shelf and looking good—but they can be useful in other ways too. If you need a lamp on a table but the lamp you have isn't tall enough, place it on a few nice looking books and you add instant height to the lamp. Other accessories are benefit from this trick.
If you have colorful hardback books try arranging them by color—creating color "blocks" on a shelf. Five red books together and 6 green books on the next shelf. And while you're at it pull those books to the front of your shelves, where you can SEE them!
Happy decorating. Please share other tips/tricks!