Here are a few tips and tricks that I have learned through experience (and making my own mistakes) that everyone should know.
1. Choosing a paint color seems so easy. You decide you want olive green walls so you head out to the paint store, pick out the olive green that appeals most to you and head home. Only to paint your walls and discover your olive green somehow became neon pea green! What happened?
Paint is a tricky thing, you have to know what you’re doing or you almost always will be surprised by the outcome. Those paint sample chips do not tell the whole story. Paints will become brighter or darker and will sometimes even change hues in different lights.
When picking out a color, remember a few things. If you want a light color like yellow, green, beige, etc; pick out the color that you want and then buy the color in 1 to 2 shades lighter than you wanted it. This is especially true with yellow. You may see a pretty buttery yellow, but it’ll look big bird yellow on your walls unless you go a shade or two lighter.
Oppositely, if you want a very saturated shade like navy blue or red, try going a little darker than you like to keep the paint from turning out glaringly bright. You can also pick a color that is a grayer version of your color to tone down the loudness as well.
2. New curtains. Always remember that new curtains will fall (meaning the material will stretch…especially for heavier fabrics). So if you want them to graze the floor, hang them 1/2″ to 1″ off the floor depending on the weight of the fabric. In a month or two your curtains will be grazing the floor.
3. A trick to making your windows look larger is to hang the curtains just outside the window, leaving about 3-6 inches of fabric covering the window frame. This will allow more light to come in and give you the illusion of a larger, grander window.
4. If you want to make a room look larger, consider hanging a large mirror on one wall to give the illusion of more space. This works especially well in dining rooms.
5. To make built-in bookshelves really stand out, consider painting or wallpapering the back wall of the shelves in a color or pattern that coordinates with your decor. This will draw more attention to them and off set the items you use to decorate the shelves.