Whether you’ve just moved or you’re looking for a quick home pick-me-up, we have some genius interior design tricks straight from the professionals. These tips are so easy, you can do them with little effort and cost.

Sometimes the smallest things make the greatest impact. It could be the addition of a mirror, a painting, a lamp or even a plant. Maybe you want to soften your walls, brighten a room, or add some warmth to your living space. Take a look at these clever design tips and see how they can inspire you!

1. Paint small rooms in soft, light colors

The living room above is a great example of how to maximize a small living space. A room this size has the tendency to seem cramped, but the large windows, light colored walls and strategic use of mirrors reflects the natural light pouring in from the doors and the windows. 

Here’s another classic interior decorating secret. Using mirrors gives the optical illusion of extra space, making a small room seem larger than it actually is. On the opposite end of the spectrum, painting a room with darker colors will make it feel smaller. Even with the abundance of natural light and the savvy placement of the mirrors, this room in a darker shade would have a more boxed-in feel to it.

2. Use decorative mirrors to add light

As you’ve seen, mirrors are great for making a small space feel larger. For larger rooms or a room with less natural light, placing mirrors directly across from the windows adds instant brightness. Decorative mirrors can also be used in lieu of art to fill empty wall space. Large or small, mirrors add light and dimension to your living space.

3. Mix patterns and textures, old and new, expensive and inexpensive

Don’t be afraid to mix it up! There’s nothing wrong with placing family heirlooms alongside your modern couch. All good interior decorators will tell you that the key goal for decorating your home is to create a design that reflects who you are, your personality and your style.

The antique Chippendale desk that was your grandfather’s tells a story. It tells the story of your past. The modern couch you fell in love with and simply had to purchase also tells a story, your present story, and there is no reason why the present and past can’t co-exist beautifully together.

The same can be said for art. Now you might not want to place a painting by Salvador Dali on the same wall next to a Monet, but there’s no reason why they can’t be in the same room together. A unique blend of furniture, rugs or pillows paired with varied colors and patterns can bring warmth and texture into your living space.

4. Try slipcovers to refresh your living room design

Need interior design ideas for your living room? Slipcovers often get a bad rap, but they’re a great way to change your furniture’s look to reflect the seasons. These easily removed coverings allow you to have a sophisticated look without constantly worrying about people and pets getting your living room furniture dirty. Slipcovers actually work great in any room, especially ones where your kids spend a lot of time! The white slip-covered couches shown above give the air of a casual, comfortable, easy and sophisticated elegance.

5. Add wicker baskets for extra storage

Wicker baskets, or baskets made from any material, are an economical and elegant way to add storage to any room. Baskets can be used to store and display books, architectural and decor magazines, toys, towels and blankets to name a few. Placing small wicker baskets filled with fruits and veggies on your countertop is a smart interior design trick for your kitchen. It doubles as storage and an eye-catching focal point.

6. Use what you have to decorate on a budget

Do you have any treasures tucked away that you’ve forgotten about? When your interior design needs accessories, take a good look at what you already have, instead of running to the home decor store. Here are some ideas to repurpose items you already have at home.

  • Place wooden, acrylic, metal or silver trays on top of carts, trunks, and bedside tables
  • Arrange candles with greenery on countertops and coffee tables
  • Hang your favorite plates to create custom wall art.
  • Frame art from children’s books for nurseries and children’s rooms
  • Stack your most beloved books to add a vertical design element

7. Hang a pot rack in your kitchen

We spend a lot of time in our kitchen preparing meals and entertaining, so it seems fitting that kitchen spaces deserve some interior design love. One of the best kitchen design tricks that’s functional and beautiful is to add a hanging pot rack.  

A hanging pot rack lets you display your cookware and frees up cabinet space. They come in many sizes and styles, so measure your kitchen space before you go shopping. Be sure to set aside a little extra money for those new pots and pans you’ll want to buy!

8. Go green with houseplants

Adding plants to your living space is an inexpensive way to accessorize by adding color and texture. Not only are plants beautiful, they can help clean the air in your house and control humidity. House plants keep your home healthy by absorbing pollutants and removing harmful gases from the air. Plus, they make your home feel more alive!

9. Paint or wallpaper your bookcases

When it comes to interior design ideas, adding a pop of color is a quick way to brighten and re-energize any room! A simple DIY project like painting a wall can instantly energize and transform your space. 

This built-in bookcase is basic and functional, but the bright blue interior brings it to life. One of the most affordable room design ideas that will transform a ho-hum space is to apply a coat of paint somewhere unexpected. Bookcases are an easy place to start, because you don’t need to paint a large area. Other fun places to add a pop of color include painting fireplace mantels, the insides of closets, hallways and ceilings.

10. Add area rugs to soften hardwood floors

Hardwood floors are easy to maintain, but they lack the comfort of carpeted floors, especially in the cooler months. A cozy home design trick is to add area rugs to your living space for extra warmth, texture, color and personality. 

Use throw rugs of varying patterns and fabrics to showcase your personal style. Or add several rugs of the same pattern and fabric, or different textures but the same color. The possibilities are endless. 

You can change your area rugs to reflect the seasons, using warmer tones and fabrics for winter and lighter ones for summertime. There are family-friendly washable area rugs that are ideal for homes with children. 

What inspired you? Personally, I adore these animal-hide rugs as an unexpected interior design element.