Hang canvases painted with interior latex paint to brighten blank walls. Think big: The canvases should fill the wall.
2 of 20Ngoc Minh Ngo
Create a Side Table
Stack modular storage units (from $22, amazon.com) to make a stepped side table with surfaces for displays and lighting. Create miniature still lifes in the cubbies, or stack reading material that you’re going to get to...someday.
3 of 20Bob Hiemstra
Plates in unexpected colors make a fresh wall arrangement. Vary hues (within a family), sizes, textures. Put the most dramatic plate toward the center (lay out the plates first to experiment); attach wire plate hangers and hang plates on picture nails.
4 of 20Paul Wicheloe
Lighten Up With Wicker
Inexpensive wicker that looks as if it belongs outdoors changes the mood of any room. Put chairs in a sunny corner of their own or mix them with your upholstered pieces.
5 of 20Frances Janisch
Make Your Own Art
Even photocopied art looks sophisticated when it floats between two pieces of glass in Umbra’s Document Frames (from $13, umbra.com). The wall color shows through the glass, creating the illusion of a custom mat.
6 of 20Michael Luppino
A variation on the idea: Make use of mittens missing their mates. Cut felt to fit the backing of the frame ($24 each, mtsframes.com), then use craft glue to adhere the felt. Center the mitten on the felt and glue it down; let dry overnight.
7 of 20Ditte Isager
Use shells and other beach bounty to warm up a kitchen, an entryway, or a stairwell by creating a rustic, relaxed display.
8 of 20Lucas Allen
Add interest to a store-bought lamp shade with the help of ribbon, glue, and an eye chart. (Print one for free online, then have it enlarged at a copy center.)
9 of 20Thayer Allyson Gowdy
Fake a Headboard
An easy paint project: Create a trompe l’oeil headboard. Cost: about $20 and zero floor space. For how-tos, see Paint a Faux Headboard.
10 of 20Bob Hiemstra
Hang a Gallery of Photos
Mine your albums for your best shots (pick a theme: weddings, birthday parties, vacations) and put them in identical frames. Hang in a tight grid or a long line—you can’t go wrong if you stick to a geometric arrangement.
11 of 20Paul Whicheloe
Reflect Your Style
Define a space—here, a foyer—with a mirror that adds both drama and light. This one is a hand-me-down dressed up with one coat of spray paint.
12 of 20Bob Hiemstra
Bring in Shades of Colors
Colored lamp shades can make a bold statement. Limit the colors to one per room, and select other lamp shades in neutral tones, such as parchment and white.
13 of 20Sarah Maingot
Stack Your Books
Piled books draw the eye. If shelves aren’t high enough or deep enough to accommodate oversize books, stack them on a flat surface, such as a bench or an end table.
14 of 20Susie Cushner
Candles look best when massed, particularly on a spacious surface, like a coffee table; the larger the surface, the larger the candles should be. Group four or five pillars of different heights (same color) in glass containers.
15 of 20Paul Whicheloe
No matter the season, your bedroom will look springlike year-round with floral sheets or pillowcases paired with crisp white linens. Pick patterns with white backgrounds to keep florals harmonious. Drape bedside tables with vintage floral tablecloths or white matelassé runners.
16 of 20Anna Williams
Bring the Outdoors In
Lend an entryway an earthy vibe with a coatrack made from found materials. Using polyurethane-based glue (such as Gorilla glue), attach a stone to the end of a wooden drawer knob, then screw each knob into a plank of wood.
17 of 20Antonis Achilleos
Rickety seating can be given a second life as a bedside table. If there’s a hole in the caning, place a tray on the chair to hold an alarm clock, a reading lamp, etc.
18 of 20David Prince
Pump Up the Color
Perk up a dull room with vibrant hits of a color like green. Though this space is accessorized generously with the shade (starting with the big burst in the rug), even something as subtle as green blossoms can add pop.
19 of 20Thomas Loof
Showcase a Collection
In the months when your fireplace goes unlit, use it to display a collection of vases or other objects. Gather similar pieces, staying in a simple palette, in a variety of heights and shapes.
20 of 20Victor Schrager
Amplify Your Space
Tight spaces expand and rooms seem roomier when you prop up a large mirror (at least three-fourths as tall as the wall). It’s a classic interior decorator’s trick to create instant―if not real―square footage.