Posted on March 10, 2020

10 Ways to Stun with Simple Decor

Looking to take your decor from average to stand-out? A single bold focal point might be all you need. Here are 10 great options to choose from.


1. Invest in a Piece of Art

One of the best ways to show off your personality and make a statement in your home is by investing in a large piece of art that can act as a focal point. It can be more affordable than you might think. Original silkscreen prints are a fraction of the cost of paintings of the same size, but if your heart is set on a painting, check out estate sales. If your aesthetic leans to the modern, art school sales and open houses are a great place to connect with up-and-coming artists. Or, for a personal touch, you could even commission a local artist to create a piece for you.


2. Bring in a Big Mirror

Mirrors can make a space feel more spacious and airy, and a large mirror propped up against a wall can make a big statement. You can go minimal with a thin black, white or wood frame, or ornate and gilded for a traditional nod. (Note: Be sure to anchor the mirror to the wall to prevent accidents, especially if kids or pets are around.)


3. Organize Your Bookshelves by Colour—or Go Totally Neutral

There’s nothing quite as striking as a book collection organized by colour. Whether you create a fluid gradient that fades from blue to green to yellow and so on, or colour block with contrasting hues, the effect is quite stunning. Even if you have a smaller collection of books, you can group like colours together on shelves, standing some up and stacking others.

For those with a minimal style that’s grounded in soft neutrals, another option for organizing bookshelves is to turn all books so the spines are facing in, leaving the neutral paper tones facing out. This works especially well if you have a large collection of paperback novels with busy spine designs.


4. Create a Gallery Wall

A gallery wall is a great way to show off your personality and make a statement in your space. You might opt for a carefully curated selection of black-and-white photography and art or take an eclectic approach that showcases your favourite pieces all in one grouping. Keep in mind a gallery wall doesn’t have to be restricted to art or photography — a curated collection of objects like mirrors, pottery or hats can also make for an interesting display.


5. Add Lush Texture with Plants

One of the best ways you can add a lot of texture and interest to a space is with plants. Fill a bright corner with a large tropical plant like a palm or bird of paradise for a jungle vibe or go all out with a lush collection of plants spanning a full wall.


Throw pillows and blanket on a couch in a 390 on the River living room.

6. Up Your Throw Pillow Game

One of the simplest and most affordable ways to add interest in your space is with throw pillows. If your decor is quite neutral, an unexpected pop of colour will liven things up. Think bold hues like chartreuse, hot pink, persimmon or aquamarine. Or, if colour is too much of a stretch, opt for pillows in unusual shapes and size. Add bold patterns and textures in neutral tones, such as sumptuous sheepskin or an energetic black-and-white print.


7. Embrace Wallpaper

One of the simplest ways to make a bold statement in a space is with wallpaper. There are so many gorgeous prints available. Choose from large-scale moody florals, textural tropical leaf patterns, whimsical animal motifs, and graphic patterns that range from minimal to bold, to name a few. You can even order custom murals online to perfectly fit your walls. If a whole wall or room seems like a big commitment, you can always add interest by wallpapering a door or nook.


8. Colour Block the Walls

Another option to add interest to your walls is to colour block with paint. Choose contrasting hues for a bolder look or keep it minimal with tone-on-tone shades of the same neutral colour. If you want to really make a striking statement, you could even colour block with a diagonal line that stretches from floor to ceiling. Colour blocking proportions will depend a lot on your space and decor, so play around with the positioning using painter’s tape before you break out the paint rollers.


9. Up Your Lighting Game

Lighting can transform a space. You might choose to swap out an overhead fixture for one that suits (or contrasts with) your decor, such as a crystal chandelier or a minimal fixture with a modern shape. Floor and table lamps and neon signs can also add a lot of interest to a space, especially when you play with scale and contrasting decor styles.

For a super-affordable lighting transformation, replace an ordinary lightbulb with a colourful one or a smart bulb that can change colours to suit your mood.

This works especially well in a hallway, entryway or nook, where it can really shine.


A stylish 390 on the River living room with lighting accent.

10. Bring in a Gorgeous Area Rug

An area rug can transform simple decor into a show-stopper. Whether you opt for traditional silk Persian, bold cowhide or mod graphic, keep in mind that bold, contrasting colours or styles will really pop in your space. When you’re rug shopping, remember that scale is critical. In a living room, the rug should be big enough that the front legs of all seating (chairs, sofas) are sitting on the rug. If you do find the rug of your dreams only to realize it’s just not big enough, you could layer three or more rugs for an eclectic vibe. Or place your new fave rug over a larger neutral rug that fills the space better.


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