50 Design Ideas to Try Now

From budget hacks to easy updates, these creative home ideas from HGTV Magazine are sure to spiff up your space. Test a few or try 'em all! Your next weekend project is waiting for you.

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Create a Black and White Gallery Wall

The key to a successful black-and-white wall is mixing pieces that are primarily black with others that are mostly white. Throwing in a few wood frames keeps the combo from looking too stark. Hang the lowest row first with the frames lined up at the bottom, then build up from there.

See More: 5 No-Fail Gallery Wall Looks to Try at Home

Organize Countertop Accessories In Groups of Three

No need to put everything away—make countertop workhorses look stylish with a simple 1,2,3 formula. Try combining kitchenware that sets a mood. Here, a mix of red gingham, rattan and bright accessories gives off a fun, picnic-in-the-kitchen vibe.

See More: Stylize Your Kitchen With These Countertop Combos

Stagger the Heights of Hanging Lights

This family's dinner banquette was made unique by designer Kendra Duton, who had the idea to stagger the heights of the lights hanging above the table. “I’d never seen that before, but I love it—we get lots of compliments,” says homeowner Raeleen Yoon.

See More: House Tour: Fun and Fearless Decorating

Cover Up Quirks With DIY Art

That’s not just amazing DIY art to the far right of the kitchen island, it’s also a cover-up for an annoying off-center window. A handyman built homeowner Nicole Botsman a wood canvas double the window’s size, which she painted white. One night after the kids went to sleep, she went all abstract on it.

See More: A Unique, Neutral-Chic Home Ready for the Holidays

Glam Up a Bathroom

It doesn't have to match the rest of your home! If you're looking for a luxe getaway what better place to glam than a powder room? With its bold mix of patterns and metals, this one seems more like it belongs in a posh hotel than a house in the ’burbs.

The wallpaper is by Brunschwig & Fils and the spiky mirror is years old from Horchow. “The fact that somehow the mirror and the wallpaper work together is the thrill,” says the homeowner. The marble vanity with polished nickel legs is from Restoration Hardware.

See More: House Tour: Fun and Fearless Decorating

Mix and Match Bathroom Fixture Metals

“People get hung up on metal finishes needing to match, but this bathroom is a perfect example that a mix can look great,” says Joyce Downing Pickens, a designer in Los Angeles. The black vanity, white marble countertop and black-and-white basket weave tile are a neutral canvas for the polished-nickel faucets, brass cabinet knobs and pulls, brass mirrors from Restoration Hardware and black sconces from Schoolhouse Electric.

See More: Designers Reveal How to Decorate Any Space With Black and White

Create a Comfy Reading Corner

A reading nook with a window, a bookcase and a fireplace may be straight out of central casting, but a super-comfy chair and what designer Amie Corley calls “cozy fixings” can transform any living area.

After placing a curved-frame velvet number (from Jayson Home) in this den in St. Louis, MO, she put in a vintage side table for snacks, a rich brown leather pouf (from Serena & Lily) for stretching out and a swing-arm lamp (by Visual Comfort) for catching every bit of a good book. Rich blue on the walls and trim cocoons the space.

See More: 33 Ways to Cozy-Up Any Space

Take an Old Buffet From Ho-Hum to Holy Cow

This buffet was part of an original dining set; painting it white (Decorator’s White by Benjamin Moore) transformed it from frumpy to fabulous. You can still see the carved detailing, and the original black hardware pops.

See More: The Makeover That Took 10 Years Off This Dining Room

Turn Chalkboard Paper Into Fun Placemats

Looking to add some excitement to a holiday table setting? Bring in unexpected elements, like chalkboard paper (available at crafts stores) as a place mat, topped with a buffalo-check plate (this one’s from Pottery Barn) and rose gold flatware (from West Elm). Modern Glam blogger Ashley Luengo of Lafayette, CA, wrote guests’ names with a chalk pencil: “It’s easier to use than regular chalk.”

See More: 14 Ways to Add a Little Fall to Your Home

Paint Your Fireplace Pink

Or any color you'd like!

“Painting my dingy red brick fireplace perky pink took only about an hour and a half, and the payoff was instant. First I cleaned the brick with a damp cloth. Then I applied two layers of satin-finish paint in a dabbing motion—to get all the nooks and crannies—with a 2-inch nylon brush, waiting 15 minutes between coats. For the third, I just brushed on the paint,” explains Jenika Kurtz Cuadra, J. Kurtz Design, Los Angeles, CA

See More: 50+ Paint Shades We Love and How You Can Use Them

Wallpaper a Bookcase

Make like homeowner Jeanne Davis and get creative when it comes to wallpaper! She wanted to make the bookcase in her living room stand out, so she painted it Privilege Green by Sherwin-Williams and wallpapered the back (with a fun black and white pattern).

See More: 3 Homes That Make Living In Less Than 1,600 Square Feet Look Chic

Turn Old Into Vintage-Chic

Old furniture and accessories don't have to go straight to the garbage during a reno—especially if they're still in good condition. When homeowner Rebecca Wilkinson renovated the kitchen of her 1925 Los Angeles bungalow, she was adamant about keeping the mint condition 1940s Gaffers & Sattler range with its oven, broiler and storage drawers.

“We’ve never repaired it, and it still keeps perfect temperature,” she says. “The only thing I worry about is buying too big a turkey on Thanksgiving.” A new vent hood above it almost disappears, thanks to a white finish that matches the wall color (Super White by Benjamin Moore).

See More: A '70s Kitchen Gets a Much Needed Makeover

Spray Paint Your Succulents

Supplies: Artificial potted polyresin cacti for a similar look (Richards Expo, $28); Gloss Candy Pink, Gloss Black and Gold Specialty Metallic (Rust-Oleum)

Here's How:

  1. 1. Spray-paint each potted plastic cactus a different color.
  2. 2. Bend back the leaves (or remove them, if possible) to help cover all surfaces, including the pot and faux soil.
  3. 3. Let dry.

See More: 8 Accessories You Never Knew You Could Spray Paint

Add Black to Your Dining Room

Using black in interior design can be daunting (especially in an inviting space like a dining room), but the tried-and-true black-and-white combination actually works in any room!

"Teaming up black-and-white with wood tones and a multicolor rug makes the dining space in this mid-century house feel homey,” says Shea McGee, a designer in Salt Lake City, UT. The black chairs help tie together the light fixture (from the designer’s store, McGee & Co.) and the art above the cabinet."

See More: Designers Reveal How to Decorate Any Space With Black and White

Rearrange to Revamp

When homeowner Shelby Grayeli gets tired of her living space she rearranges, and you can too! The cane-back settee, pictured above, which she bought at the Rose Bowl Flea Market and reupholstered in coral-and-pink fabric from Raoul Textiles, used to live at the foot of daughter Alexis’ bed. The old rug is an eBay find, and the mirror was picked up years ago during Shelby’s self-described “obsession” with mother-of-pearl inlay.

See More Photos: A Los Angeles Home That Expertly Blends Old and New

Convert a Niche Into a Mini Library

Store your books with style! Nashville homeowner James Wilson converted a niche next to his living room fireplace into a mini library. The shelves, crafted from simple clear pine, hold the family of book lovers’ ever-expanding collection. The leather-and-steel chair is from Savant Vintage, one of Nashville’s hottest secondhand shops.

See More: A Cleverly Updated Nashville Family Home

Install Wall Tile Vertically

Walls of black subway tile may seem like a dubious choice for a 195-square-foot area, but the vertical placement draws the eye up while the glazed ceramic reflects light. (It’s Essentials Swedish Mink pinstripe tile from Stone Source.)

When homeowner Jamee Kelly first saw this kitchen nook, she thought, "This is the sexiest kitchen I’ve ever seen!

See More Photos: 3 Homes That Make Living In Less Than 1,600 Square Feet Look Chic

Use Bent Spoons as Coat Hooks

From simple shelf to fab rack, homeowner Chelsea Bieber bent thrift store spoons to make hooks, then attached them with screws. Voila: A makeshift coat rack!

See More: This Virginia Home Is a DIY-Decorated, Handmade Heaven

Mix Vibrant Patterns

Playing with patterns isn't as scary as it seems. Paige Minear, of the The Pink Clutch Blog, created a vibrant mudroom full of different colors.

“I couldn’t resist using this wallpaper from Rifle Paper Co., which brightens my day whenever I walk in the door," she says. "Mixing patterns is my thing, so I paired it with leafy and flamingo prints. Of course, the hooks for bags and the baskets for shoes make me seriously happy too!”

See More: How to Decorate Every Room In Your Home Like a Design Blogger

Turn Placemats Into Mirrors

Supplies: Vintage place mats; Water Hyacinth 16"-diameter place mat (Pier 1, $8); Darice mirrors (Joann, $2 and up)

Here's How:

  • 1. Center round mirrors on round rattan place mats (we used new and vintage ones) and adhere with construction adhesive, such as Liquid Nails for mirrors.
  • 2. Attach picture hanging strips, such as ones made by Command, to the back, then hang on the wall.

See More: These 12 Crafts Are Your Next DIY Decorating Projects

Use Kids’ Art to Create a Gallery Wall

This art is by a pair of renowned painters: homeowner Raeleen Yoon's kids! For a gallery effect, Raeleen had everything framed in black.

See More: House Tour: Fun and Fearless Decorating

Add an Ombre Effect to Boring Drawers

“The rows of drawers in this metal filing cabinet really bring out the gradient effect. Choosing chalky paint meant I didn’t need to prime first! I picked two lavenders and mixed them with white in cups, experimenting to create five distinct shades. This works with any color, and you can use a paint deck for inspiration,” says Charlotte Martin Smith, At Charlotte’s House blog, Southport, CT.

See More: 50+ Paint Shades We Love and How You Can Use Them

Paint Cabinets Two Different Colors

“My last kitchen was all white, so I wanted to switch things up with this one,” says homeowner Cynthia Patton. She picked navy for the lower cabinets and white for the uppers (Blue Earth and Droplets, both by Dunn-Edwards). We love the results!

See More: 10 Ideas to Steal From a Colorful California Kitchen

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.

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

Mix Textures and Materials for Ultimate Coziness

Create a cuddle-worthy space by mixing materials. PSA: You don't have to choose just one!

“A mix of materials that inspires cuddling—like faux-fur, velvet and linen pillows—makes for a supremely cozy bed,” says designer Amy Kartheiser, who created this retreat for the parents of three kids in Winnetka, IL. “Without textured elements, a room can feel cold and sterile.”

See More: 33 Ways to Cozy-Up Any Space

Add Some Color to a Stairwell

Every step is a hit of happy! Painting them was a simple weekend project for this homeowner: She raided her collection of sample pots left over from design projects, chose four colors and put them on at random.

See More: Colorful Ideas Abound In This Happy Florida Home

Lay Three Rugs In a Row

Side-by-side, they'll create the look of one! This homeowner scored three rugs (on different outings, no less!) for $10 total, and laid them in a row. She then teamed the rugs with newer pieces, like a gray Ikea sofa and a molded plastic rocker by LexMod. Ultimate coziness ensued.

See More: A Georgia Home Full of $5 Finds

Brighten a Small Space

Like a laundry room! Not only are the cabinets painted a minty fresh hue (Leisure Green by Benjamin Moore) but all the trim is, too. A span of graphic yellow wallpaper by Given Campbell makes a big statement, even though the space is smaller.

"It’s the happiest little room,” says homeowner Kathryn O’Neal-Dunham.

See More: A Slew of Hues Make This Renovated Farmhouse Pop

Turn Excess Fabric Into Art

No need to throw out old fabric! This homeowner was a fan of fabric dyed with natural indigo so she framed two remnants as art and turned a third into a long rectangular pillow.

See More: A Cleverly Updated Nashville Family Home

Paint Your Curtains

White curtains look anything but basic when you paint stripes on them. Homeowner Chelsea Bieber used matte paint in a tan shade (Country Grey by Annie Sloan).

See More: This Virginia Home Is a DIY-Decorated, Handmade Heaven

Pick a Color, Paint a Door

“Doors are such a great way to bring a splash of color into a room—small risk, big reward! I picked a light avocado green for my entry that’s in step with my mid-century ranch. It’s a good balance of eye-catching yet subdued,” says Alicia Drown, Studio Rancho, Denver, CO

See More: 50+ Paint Shades We Love and How You Can Use Them

Frame Your Fave Wrapping Paper

Here, the phrenology art is actually wrapping paper homeowner Amy Lind squirreled away until she found the perfect frame for it — in the trash. “We live in a college town, and all kinds of goodies hit the curb when students move out.”

See More: A Georgia Home Full of $5 Finds

Pair Vintage With Modern

A vintage chandelier and a modern table from Overstock? Yes, please.

This homeowner bought the pretty chandelier years ago from a Dallas vintage shop and put it in storage, waiting for just the right place to hang it. Found! The super-sleek table doesn’t distract from the bold pieces around it.

See More: Old and New: A Texas Designer Mixes Modern and Retro

Wallpaper Your Kitchen

Floral wallpaper doesn't have to be old-fashioned or fussy. Designers Natalie Papier and Kim Daunis, helped these homeowners find a style with big yellow roses that felt part vintage, part modern. Find the right pattern for you and get moving—trust us on this one!

See More: It’s Always Spring In This Bright and Fresh Kitchen

Try Two Types of Tile

Can't decide between two types of tile for your kitchen backsplash? Use them both—seriously, it's okay! It paid off for homeowner Stephanie Baker, who had two different types of tile installed on two different walls. “Using two different tiles gives the space a ton of personality,” she says. “Not being matchy-matchy really paid off.”

See More: A Smart Reno Made This 200-Square-Foot Kitchen Unrecognizable

Experiment With Unexpected Pairings

Sometimes it's okay to break the decorating rules ... especially if you and your partner or roommate have different tastes! Here, HGTV Magazine mixes rustic and modern styles, and the results are awesome.

See More: How to Make Unexpected Design Combos Work In Your Home

Reupholster an Ottoman

You don't have to throw it out if you're tired of it! This homeowner picked up her ottoman years ago at Calico Corners and has had it reupholstered three times, most recently in this sky blue linen by Quadrille.

See More: A Slew of Hues Make This Renovated Farmhouse Pop

Decorate Your Headboard With a Table Colorful Cloth

Transform your headboard by draping an eye-catching (clean!) tablecloth over it. Hang a round mirror next to your bed to catch the morning sunshine. Then swap out your standard nightstand for a stepladder that has a bright pop of color. We painted the risers and top of ours Surfer by Sherwin-Williams.

See More: 5 Ways to Style Your Home With Items You Already Have

Dip Paint Kitchen Utensils

Give old flatware some pizazz!

Supplies: Easton Green, Seaside and Eggplant spray paint (Amy Howard at Home)

Here's How:

  1. 1. Wash utensils (ours are vintage finds) with soap and water. Wipe dry.
  2. 2. Tape off the top of each utensil with electrical tape—it’s more pliable than painter’s tape and will better cover any designs.
  3. 3. Spray-paint each utensil a different color, starting with one side. Let dry. Turn utensils over and spray the other side. Remove the tape while the paint is still wet. Let dry.

See More: 8 Accessories You Never Knew You Could Spray Paint

Restyle Your Bed Pillows

Sprucing up bed pillows is an easy way to make big difference in a bedroom. To recreate this look, start with two pillows in standard pillowcases propped up against the headboard. Next, add two pillows in standard shams, then a long lumbar pillow. Finish off the look with a square decorative pillow at the front.

See More: 6 Brilliant Ways to Arrange Your Bed Pillows

Wallpaper a Neutral Nightstand

This nightstand wasn't always so colorful. A little wallpaper and some spray paint went a long way!

Here's How: How to Make a DIY Wallpaper-Decal Nightstand

Use a Basket as a Hanging Light Shade

Bored with your current light fixture? Replace it with a lightweight basket. Or have an electrician wire a hanging light socket and slip a basket over it as a shade. Get creative! You can use more everyday items to decorate too. These cafe curtains were made from a colorful scarf that was cut, hemmed and hung from clip-on rings and tension rods. Finally, fragrant herbs were planted in a set of mugs to decorate the counter.

See More: 5 Ways to Style Your Home With Items You Already Have

Ombre a Wall

“Stripes ranging from light to dark give a space amazing energy. And they’re a cinch to paint—even in a bathroom,” says designer Vern Yip. Selecting five happy-together colors is totally foolproof—just pick from the same paint strip. Here, Vern used (from top) Gratifying Green, Bonsai Tint, Haven, Dill and Greenfield, all by Sherwin-Williams

Here's How: Painting Ombré Stripes on a Wall

Paint Your Porch Ceiling

Painting the ceiling of a porch is an easy and subtle way to add some extra color to your space. This light blue exterior paint (Rain by HGTV HOME by Sherwin-Williams in a flat finish) gives the illusion of permanent blue-skies.

See More: 22 Things to Put on a Porch

Hang 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?

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

Replace Kitchen Chairs With a Bench

Cozy up your dining room with a bench! These homeowners went with square-back chairs upholstered in linen and leather paired with a leather bench to surround their dinged-up farm table. The room is used for special-occasion dinners as well as crafts parties for kids, and the bench makes all the difference.

See More: An Alabama Home Where Rustic Meets Refined

Make Your Mantle Pop With Pattern

Here's a simple DIY project — fabric stapled to a 30-inch-square stretched canvas — is the focal point in this display of art, vases and boxes. Stick with just a few colors so the end result won’t be wacky.

See More: 5 Cures for a Ho-Hum Mantel

Theme Up a Bar Cart

This one's "Game Night" themed! Snacks, bottled soda and a mid-century-style cart add up to a winning night in with friends. Vintage-y prints and games make this look all the more nostalgic-cool.

Need more bar cart ideas? We've got plenty below!

See More: Our Favorite Winter Bar Cart Looks

Layer Your Rugs

Instead of busting her budget on one room-size patterned rug, homeowner Shannon Eddings laid a smaller, colorful World Market dhurrie over a larger gray Loloi rug. Still just as cozy!

Have Fun With Your Designs

Decorating is all about making your space shine. Add floral wallpaper, paint your bathroom a vibrant color, get creative—don't be afraid do what you makes your space right for you.

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