The Ultimate Expert Guide To Interior Decorating Guides

When you're searching for inspiration, not just on what to put in your place, but on how to actually decorate with it, the possibilities are nearly endless. There's tips and guides and suggestions, all talking about totally different approaches to totally different topics. Trying to sort your way through it all can turn into a full-time job all by itself. Well, we'd like to do something to rectify that situation and help you get right to the business (and fun) of actually designing...MORE your home. So here's our Ultimate Expert Guide - sort of a guide to all of our guides, covering just about every area of home decorating, from sofas and rugs to dining tables and art. Best of all, we've broken everything down to it's simplest units - things to do and things not to do. So jump right in, and get to the good part that much faster.

  • 01 of 12
    Luxury living room in New York City apartment.
    Frank Schwere/Stone/Getty Images

    Walk into just about any house that hasn't been professionally decorated (and even some that have) and you're bound to see at least one of the following decorating mistakes. It's no big surprise really; there are a lot of rules when it comes to interior decorating and we all slip up now and then.

    To avoid making some of the most common decorating faux pas, check out these rules on how NOT to decorate. Just because most people make these mistakes, there's no reason why you should...MORE have to.

  • 02 of 12
    Blue Sofa Image
    Simple blue loveseat. Lauren Flanagan

    One of the biggest furniture investments you'll make is a sofa. Sofas cost a lot of money, they take up a lot of space, and they're where you and your family will likely spend a lot of time. So make sure you know what you're doing before you go out and buy one. Check out these sofa do's and don'ts to make sure you get the best sofa for your investment.

  • 03 of 12
    Formal Dining Room Image
    Formal Dining Room by Christopher Barson. flickr.com/Christopher Barson

    Framing windows with long curtains and drapes is a great way to add glamor and personality to a room, but before you head out to the store to buy some check out these curtain do's and don'ts. 

  • 04 of 12
    Pottery Barn Rug Image
    Pottery Barn Terra Cotta Floral Rug. Pottery Barn

    Area rugs are a terrific alternative to wall-to-wall carpet, namely because they're easier to remove and clean. They're also less of a commitment because they're easy to switch if you ever get bored or want to redecorate. But when it comes to using area rugs in your home there are some important rules to remember. Before buying, check out these area rug do's and don't.

    Continue to 5 of 12 below.
  • 05 of 12
    Lighting Do's and Don'ts
    Proper lighting is always important, even in the laundry room. flickr.com/Lightyears.dk

    It might not always seem like it, but lighting is one of the most important elements of a room – any room. Make sure your room is lit appropriately by following these lighting do's and don'ts. 

  • 06 of 12
    Lavender Sofa Image
    The pillows on this sofa add just the right amount of color and pattern without overwhelming the furniture. Lauren Flanagan

    Using throw pillows is a great way to add a little color and pattern to a room, liven up a boring sofa, or add comfort to a cozy bed. But when you're using throw pillows there are a few important tips to remember.

  • 07 of 12
    Crystal Chandelier Image
    Crystal Chandelier. flickr.com/Mr. T in DC

    Chandeliers are a great addition to just about any room, but knowing what size is best and how high to hang them can be tricky. Check out these chandelier do's and don'ts for all the info you need to know about decorating with these gorgeous light fixtures.

  • 08 of 12

    Table Linens Do's and Don'ts

    Table linens image
    Vintage table linens. flickr.com/little blue hen

    The table is often the showpiece of parties and family get-togethers, and the starting point of any table setting is the linens. So before you go out and buy a bunch of tablecloths, placemats and napkins check out these table linen do's and don'ts.

    Continue to 9 of 12 below.
  • 09 of 12
    Ikea Art Image
    Ikea art wall. Ikea

    There's nothing more depressing or empty looking than a blank wall. But before you start buying and hanging art, check out these artwork do's and don'ts. 

  • 10 of 12

    Home Staging Do's and Don'ts

    Home Staging
    Make your home look as appealing as possible. flickr.com/The Miami Story

    Home staging has become big business in the last few years, but the truth is, if you're selling your home you don't need to have it professionally staged. Home staging is something you can do yourself. 

  • 11 of 12

    Online Furniture Shopping Do's and Don'ts

    Online Furniture Shopping Image
    Anything you need for your home can be bought online. flickr.com/Carree

    Buying furniture online can be a little scary. Not being able to see items before you buy them means you can't be 100% sure of what you're getting. It can also be a big and costly hassle to return things. So before you start buying furniture online check out these online furniture shopping do's and don'ts. 

  • 12 of 12
    his and hers decorating image
    This room has a great mix of feminine and masculine elements. flickr.com/EVERYDAYLIFEMODERN

    When it comes to decorating men and women can have very different tastes. Really, any two people can have very different tastes. So if you live with someone else and you need to blend your styles check out these his and hers decorating do's and don'ts.