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26 Simple Ways To Add Style To Your Home

26 Simple Ways To Add Style To Your Home

Finding the right balance between functionality, coziness and style seems difficult to achieve when decorating our homes. No matter how much money we spend on decent furniture, rooms always seem to be lacking something and look nothing like the perfect spaces we see in magazines.

Sometimes the situation can be solved with a few small tricks that only require a few minutes of your time and don’t involve spending any money. Read through the following tips to find out how you can make your home look more stylish with minimal effort.

1. Treat the front door the same as the indoor

    The first impression you create about your home should not be overlooked, even if you live in an apartment building. Treating the outside of the entrance with the same attention as the inside is a great way to add style to your home.

    Put something from the inside of your house (nothing particularly precious though), hang a seasonal wreath or decorations, or update your house number sign. Plants are always a great idea, as long as they get sufficient light.

    2. Display stuff in threes

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      As in many fields and disciplines, the rule of three is vastly used in decorating and styling. Displaying a trio seems to be more appealing visually and more balanced, especially when sizes, heights and materials bring some variety.

      Start small by testing in a little corner or table and then apply the concept to different areas throughout the house. Just make sure you’re not overdoing it, otherwise the effect won’t be read right.

      3. Layer your carpets and rugs

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        Professionals use this tip a lot to save money on client projects or to “cheat” on shoots. Not only does this method cost less to bring a room together, but it also doesn’t deprive you from getting the pattern you love in case you can’t find the right size. It’s also a great way to test how you feel about a bolder choice and it makes the whole room feel cozier and more stylish.

        Start by layering a small bold rug on top of a bigger neutral carpet or rug.

        4. Stack your books in alternative ways

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          While the usual vertical or slightly tilted stack in bookshelves is common for a classic home, alternative placement speaks for a bolder style.

          Try alternating between vertical and horizontal book piles in shelves. Horizontal stacks will break the pattern of the vertical lines and add more visual interest, making it much more easier to style the shelves with additional objects. Just make sure the rhythm is random and not the same all over, as it defeats the purpose by creating a rigid pattern that’s heavy on the eye.

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          5. Display conversation pieces

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            This tip is a little trickier than it sounds because you don’t want to display your dear objects all over and find out nobody is impressed.

            In order to get people’s attention, conversation pieces should be standing out from the surroundings and immediately draw the eye to them. Don’t forget that you don’t need to cross an ocean to find a piece worth talking about. As long as there’s a dear memory related to them, distant or recent, anything can be a conversation piece (even a random picture or a thrifted piece).

            6. Make liquid soap bottles fancier

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              Next time you have a beautiful bottle of hand wash, save it after you use up the soap and refill with a cheap one. For a quick and easy fix, just soak the plastic bottles you usually buy in warm soapy water until all labels are easy to peel off. A transparent bottle looks less tacky and much fancier than a labeled one, even if it costs very little and is still plastic. Do this in the kitchen sink with dish wash bottles and on all bathroom sinks.

              While you’re at it, add a bottle of random lotion by each sink, to slather on your hands after doing the dishes to keep them soft and feel more stylish yourself.

              7. Keep the dust away

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                Nothing kills style like dust. It might be just yesterday that you cleaned the whole house, but dust finds its way back no matter what.

                Test and see which surfaces are more visible in the usual light at home and be sure to swipe them more often in between general cleaning. You will be able to enjoy your home and stay relaxed and not get alarmed when guests stop by. To remember to do it often, keep an easy cleaning supply (even wet wipes will do) tucked somewhere near the problematic areas.

                8. Display fresh flowers randomly

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                  When you get flowers put them in a vase somewhere in a corner of the room, nothing too central. Bonus points if the flowers are mismatch from street vendors or a garden. The casual look and random placement gives the impression that you do this all the time and for your own pleasure, without trying too hard to impress others.

                  9. Move stuff between different rooms

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                    We’re used to the logic of moving things around in the same room and it doesn’t naturally occur to move things from room to room. Doing so provides a fresh way of rearranging furniture and layouts. Also many things might look better in a new space or might serve a better function. When there’s no time or budget to go shopping, this is the fastest solution to freshen up every room in your house.

                    10. Keep white towels in the bathroom      

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                      This is a personal choice, but the white color in towels gives the idea of freshness and cleanliness (they have to be actually clean though). Additionally, having more than one towel in the bathroom is great, because it adds to the idea of effortless hospitality and curated details.

                      11. Always have books on the coffee table

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                        Books instantly add style and make for great entertainment moments with guests. Make sure to include what you love most and a couple of different genres, so everyone is pleased. You can have only books stacked in low piles or a mix of magazines, photo books and table books. This is a perfect setting to apply the rule of three and mix books with decorative elements and small objects.

                        12. Serve water in a pitcher

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                          Whether you drink water out of the tap, refrigerated or bottled, keeping it in a pitcher allows for easy access for also looks fancier. There’s nothing cooler than taking out a pitcher during meals with family or when guests are around. You can also add slices of cucumber or lemon to the water for a ridiculously quick, but super fancy touch.

                          Add a pitcher to your bedroom nightstands as well, to make hydration easier and give your bedroom extra style points.

                          13. Paint mismatch pieces the same color and finish

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                            If there’s a lot of mismatch pieces of furniture around your home that don’t stay well together because of their different style, finish or color; consider painting or even spray painting a few in the same color and finish to bring some unity to the space. Choose a couple of pieces that are scattered across the room and not too close to each other. There’s no need to go overboard, as even a small dose can help bring unity.

                            14. Keep placemats on the table even when you’re not eating

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                              This might sound counter-intuitive, but it actually gives the illusion of tidiness at home and order in the family (especially if you have kids). Placemats are also a great way to add color and pattern in small doses, if that’s your style. They can be inexpensive store-bought ones in plastic, rubber or paper. You can also make your own by cutting fabric or repurposing old sheets.

                              15. Display a bunch of the same element

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                                Choose one kind of produce you have in bulk at the moment. Fruit works best and the brighter the color the better. But you can also use some kind of vegetable or simple elements found in nature, such as stones or wood pieces.

                                Place a bunch of them in a big vase or bowl and display somewhere visible (like the kitchen countertop or a shelf), but not too central, unless you are using it as a table centerpiece. The aim is to make a big visual impact by having the same element in bulk, so better keep it simple with the shape and material, going for a glass vase or porcelain bowl.

                                16. Light candles in groups

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                                  Gather all the candles you have and arrange them in small groups around the house. The leaving room and entrance are great spots to start.

                                  Lighting candles in groups is much more effective than displaying them individually because they will provide a bigger glow, which is perfect for the evenings and when you have guests over. Also, having a bunch of candles burning gives the impression that you are used to do this randomly and you don’t save them for special occasions.

                                  When buying candles, skip the fancy smells and go for plain white ones, which look classic and chic and perfect for grouping.

                                  17. Add indoor plants

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                                    Plants are a great way to take any place to the next level. Not only they bring freshness and color to the room, but treating them as decorative pieces when choosing their placement helps adding style points to the room.

                                    Play with different scale plants and different leaf design if possible. Put big plants near big pieces of furniture or use them to fill empty corners, while small plants can be mixed within furniture parts or compliment bigger ones (when the rule of three is applied). Just make sure to provide them the right amount of light needed to survive.

                                    18. Remove some accessories

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                                      If you’re usually a fan of the “more is more” look, you have an eclectic style or you’re just looking to define your style, this is a quick tip for you. Take away a few items from what’s on display. Decorative objects, wall art, rugs, pillows can go one by one until you are left with a cleaner state. You can go back and forth replacing items or taking things back until you’re pleased with what you have.

                                      This tactic is not aimed to give you a minimalistic home, but rather take you a step back in order to rediscover the potential your home already has. From there, it’s easier to add “style” in different ways, big or small.

                                      19. Keep throws and blankets over the sofa

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                                        Not only do light blankets and throws make everything look cozier and lived-in, but they provide an effortless way to add texture or color/pattern to a rather flat or neutral room. If you want only one throw, make sure it’s not neatly folded, but thrown a little loosely. If you want two or more, play with the placement until the space looks balanced.

                                        20. Keep baskets in display around the house

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                                          Baskets are great to fill with clutter before guests arrive or carry from room to room to pick up stuff and take objects back to where it belongs. They seem much more expensive and exotic than they really are. Having them around the house in a few visible spots makes them feel part of the decor.

                                          They can be different sizes and shapes, but they should be the same material or have a common color, in order not to make too much noise in a rather busy looking home. On the contrary, they can be totally unique and loud in a neutral space.

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                                          21. Remove all packaging and store products in containers

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                                            Often stylish homes are defined by a few details and this little tip is a big helper. For everything food related you buy and keep on display, you should remove the packaging it came in and place it in a neat looking container. Glass containers are beautiful, but they can sometimes get expensive if you need a lot. Repurpose jam or sauce jars for an inexpensive solution or get plain porcelain ones. The point is not to have a whole matching set, but go for the same material or color in order to create a coherence and clean look in a kitchen or pantry.

                                            22. Hang up stuff on the walls

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                                              Many people avoid dressing the walls because they dread the expensive cost of art and frames. But you don’t need frames and you don’t even need art, because everything can be art as long as it moves you in a way and evokes feelings.

                                              Magazines pages are fast and inexpensive to display using tape, as you can choose images of the same theme or contrasting ones to add dynamics to the wall. Also, you can switch them up as often as you can without feeling guilty.

                                              23. Display your hobbies

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                                                Nothing says “you” like the things you love doing, so don’t shy away from letting your hobby creations or even equipment right there in the open. It will ensure for interesting discussions, probably more quality time if you manage to get someone else into it and a ton of character added to your house without any extra effort. Hang objects on the walls, place randomly on shelves or just leave on the floor.

                                                24. Fill a non-functional fireplace with something unexpected

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                                                  The classic place to play with its function is a fireplace. Put anything other than burning wood inside it and you instantly have style added to the space. Other examples where you can apply the same tip are small corners, architectural elements, windows with partial or no view, old appliances or even parts of big furniture.

                                                  25. Layer, layer and layer some more

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                                                    If you want to go the full magazine styled home, layering is the answer for you. Start small and add more layers as you get comfortable with your home’s dynamics. A good place to start practicing is a sofa or coffee table. Experiment with the rule of three and different materials, textures, colors until it feels right to your eye.

                                                    26. Let your home reflect who you are

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                                                      The most stylish homes I have seen are either styled for a photo shoot; or are real life houses of interesting people, that look somewhat “different” to what we are used to see, but hold a lot of character and style.

                                                      The easiest and foolproof way to make your home more stylish is to add more of who you are and what you like. Make it a beautiful place you are eager to spend time in and love it as much as you can. When you love and “support” your home’s quirks, it’s easy to impress everyone else.

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                                                      Last Updated on September 16, 2019

                                                      How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                                                      How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                                                      You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

                                                      We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

                                                      The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

                                                      Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

                                                      1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

                                                      Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

                                                      For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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                                                      • (1) Research
                                                      • (2) Deciding the topic
                                                      • (3) Creating the outline
                                                      • (4) Drafting the content
                                                      • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
                                                      • (6) Revision
                                                      • (7) etc.

                                                      Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

                                                      2. Change Your Environment

                                                      Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

                                                      One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

                                                      3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

                                                      Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

                                                      Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

                                                      My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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                                                      Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

                                                      4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

                                                      If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

                                                      Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

                                                      I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

                                                      5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

                                                      I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

                                                      Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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                                                      As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

                                                      6. Get a Buddy

                                                      Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

                                                      I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

                                                      7. Tell Others About Your Goals

                                                      This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

                                                      For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

                                                      8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

                                                      What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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                                                      9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

                                                      If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

                                                      Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

                                                      10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

                                                      Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

                                                      Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

                                                      11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

                                                      At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

                                                      Reality check:

                                                      I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

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                                                      Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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