22 Ways to Be (a Little) More Daring With Your Decorating

Nothing too crazy here — just 22 bold(ish) design ideas from HGTV Magazine that will subtly spice up your space.

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1. Paint a Room Charcoal

Many rooms can handle dark walls, especially if they get plenty of light. Try deep gray — or, if you really want to be a daredevil, black — to instantly create coziness. 

2. Rethink Your Switch Plates

So long, plain white plastic! Try a patterned plate instead for a surprising pop. Mexitile Diamond 5" x 3 ¼" clay switch plate, $17, switchhits.com

3. Hang Art Low

There’s no rule that says art should always be at eye level. Position a piece a foot or two off the floor. It’s not only unexpected, but you’ll also be able to enjoy the picture while seated. 

4. Fill a Vase With One Giant Leaf

A solitary leaf with a striking shape, like a monster (pictured), a palm or an elephant’s ear, can last weeks and is often much cheaper than a flower bouquet. Colors of Summer 12"H x 7"-diameter glass vase in fuchsia, $89, vivaterra.com

5. Put a Chandelier in the Laundry Room

You probably spend a lot of time in this chore space, so why not give it special treatment with a fun, fancy light fixture?

6. Add Pretty Finials to a Curtain Rod

Many rods have threaded ends so you can easily screw on new finials. Diadem 4"-wide brass and iron finials, $48 for a set of 2, anthropologie.com

7. Paint a Pattern on Your Floor

Stencil or tape off a design. So it lasts, use porch or floor paint, followed by one or two coats of polyurethane.

8. Try a Furry Accessory

Adding a fun accent piece, like a sheepskin stool, gives your living room a whole new vibe. 15"W x 15"D x 18"H sheepskin and metal stool, $349, cb2.com

9. Get Geometric Storage

Shelves don’t have to stick to the straight and narrow. This angled unit looks like a sculpture. Soft Modern 16 ¼"W x 16 ¼"D x 54 ¾"H metal étagère, $200, sauder.com

10. Hang a Disco Ball

Yes, you read that right! Although it doesn’t give off real illumination, a mirrored ball bounces light around. Find similar options at a party supply store or on amazon.com.

11. Replace a Shade

Just because a standard-issue shade came with a lamp base doesn’t mean you can’t switch it out for a livelier version. Synthesis 13 ½"-diameter giclee shade, $70, lampsplus.com; Lauren 16 ½"-tall ceramic lamp in cream, $129, ballarddesigns.com

12. Upholster a Chair in Two Fabrics

If seats in an allover wild pattern feel too out-there, cover just the backs with a printed fabric, and leave the rest solid. 

13. Add a Surprising Side Table

Throw a curveball by subbing in a metallic animal-shaped piece for a traditional end table. Safavieh Thailand Elephant 20"W x 14 ½"D x 17"H ceramic stool in gold, $112, allmodern.com

14. Combine Leopard and Floral Pillows

Because the spotted print acts like a neutral, it’s the perfect match for colorful flowers. Kitsui Leopard 20" x 20" cotton pillow, $40, pillowdecor.com; Emmy Floral 18" x 18" polyester pillow in violet, $40, luluandgeorgia.com

15. Patternize Your Fireplace

A painted design gives a mantel-free fireplace some much-needed style. The triangle stencil used here mimics the look of tile.

16. Try a Floral Rug in Non-Floral Colors

Done in two sophisticated shades, a flowery design doesn’t look granny-ish. Florence Broadhurst Bondi Beach 5' x 7'6" polypropylene rug in aqua, $350, rugs-direct.com

17. Pair Contrasting Colors

Get creative with hues by combining two equally strong shades, such as purple and green or orange and pink. This works on a small scale too, like with bedding or table linens.  

18. Hang a Sculpture

Short on wall space for art? Aim higher and suspend a mobile from the ceiling. Flensted Flowing Rhythm 12" x 18" fiberboard mobile in yellow, $57, spotonsquare.com

19. Put a Bed in Front of a Window

It’s not as awkward as you may imagine. Windows are a natural focal point — think of them as an insta-headboard — and will help draw attention to pretty linens and shams. 

20. Swap out Your Doorknobs

It’s fun to add color in an unexpected place. Trade a plain Jane knob for something bright. Smooth 2 ½"-diameter glass doorknob in cobalt blue with polished nickel finish, $213, merlinglass-usa.com

21. Go Huge With Lighting

A jumbo pendant or chandelier in the dining room leaves a major impression. To keep it in proportion, make sure it’s not wider than the table below it. 

22. Get Chairs Off the Ground

Suspended from a rope, a hanging chair is a playful take on accent seating. Anchor it from a ceiling joist to make sure it’s secure. Circular 45"W x 23 ½"D x 51"H rattan hanging chair, $395, serenaandlily.com

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