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Easy Decorating Ideas

10 DIY Home Decor Tricks

Designer Michael Garvey, known for his sophisticated interiors, happens to be a scrappy DIY genius at home. Real Simple popped in for a peek—and for the secrets to his 10 most inventive upgrades.  

Small table with stools and large mirror
Dean Kaufman
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Max Out an Alcove

Double your decor by butting a tiny table up against a giant mirror. Go big with flowers or branches for a focal point when the space is not in use. Garvey collaged these stools with gaffer’s tape (which has a clothlike texture). “Don’t try to make the stools look alike,” he advises. “The more mismatched and random your tape patterns are, the better.” His tabletop here? Covered in layers of duct tape. “It creates a really rich finish, and it’s just an everyday material. To me it looks like burnished leather.” Use long strips of tape to divide the surface into quadrants, then fill in each section with short pieces pointed every which way. “If you mess up, just add more.” When you’re done, “iron” the edges of the tape with the back of a spoon. This tactile table is covered in duct tape!

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