My Top 10 Interior Design Tips & Tricks

The ten styling tricks I swear by for any space and decor aesthetic
10 Interior Design Tips & Tricks I Swear By. Green painted built in book shelves, styling tips, and home decor inspiration

I’ve shared countless interior design tips across the 10 years I’ve been writing this blog, but I’ve never actually put them all in one place. That would take forever to do, so instead I figured the best course of action is to rank my top 10 and share them with you! These are tips that I’ve picked up along the years either by trial and error or through research and recommendations by friends/expert. And each tip is something I’ve done in both of our houses! I hope they give you the confidence to approach the interior design of your own home.

10 Interior Design Tips & Tricks I Swear By

Tip #1: Use flat paint on the ceiling to make the room feel larger

If I could give you one interior design tip, this is it. I talk about it more in my post about small space hacks, but basically flat paint helps to trick the eye into thinking a room is taller. Because it doesn’t reflect as much light as a satin finish, flat paint is ideal.

Tip #2: Style surfaces and shelves in odd numbers

Grouping items in odd numbers creates visual interest and force your eyes to move around the grounding. Our brains love the mental ‘challenge’ of the Rule of Thirds and find it to be more dynamic and therefore more interesting. There is still a place for even numbers, but I use that look sparingly.

Tip #3: Incorporate plants, dried foliage, and flower arrangements

As far as I’m concerned, plants are always a good idea! Whether you bring in houseplants to purify your air, add color, or to bring life into a low-light room, this is one of the best ways to add texture. I also love incorporating dried foraged foliage to change things up. A flower arrangement is also always a good addition!

Tip #4: Sneak in storage whenever possible

Even though our current home is much bigger than our last one, I still make sure to find ways to bring in hidden storage whenever possible. A few examples include a storage bed, chic jewelry storage, and coffee tables with storage. Even if you don’t immediately need the storage space, you might one day and it will be a big relief to have it!

Tip #5: Hang curtains close to the ceiling to make the room feel taller

This interior design tip is all about tricking the eye (yes, again!). When you mount a curtain rod close to the ceiling and let the curtains fall to the floor, it will create the visual illusion that your ceiling is higher. Be sure to check out my other tips for picking window treatments, too!

Tip #6: Mix big box, vintage, thrifted, and DIY decor

When it comes to decorating, I always recommend curating a mix of sources for the items. For example, I like to mix furniture from big box stores, antique malls and pieces that I’ve made myself. This adds layers of interest to your home, while also making it feel unique and special! Plus, you’ll most likely save money by thrifting core pieces.

Tip #7: Be intentional about your purchase and repurpose when possible

Similarly, I always encourage you to evaluate the items you need and repurpose where you can. For example, when we moved into the cabin, I spent a lot of time figuring out ways to re-style our existing decor and furniture in the new space. This helped us to save money while also continuing to enjoy the pieces we already love.

Tip #8: Measure before buying (twice even!)

I cannot tell you the number of times that I’ve ordered something, unpackaged it, and realized that it’s bigger or smaller than anticipated. It can be so frustrating, especially for bigger ticket items like sofas. Always double check your measurements, especially doorways!

Tip #9: Paint is a powerful way to change an entire room

Our colorful cabin is a major testament to this interior design tip. The biggest transformations we’ve pulled off have always started with fresh and new paint colors! For example, painting our window and door trim green completely changed the aesthetic of our built-in shelves and the rest of the house, too.

Tip #10: Hang art

And lastly… always hang art as soon as you can! To me, nothing quite makes a house feel like a home faster. Even if you are simply hanging art on existing nails and hooks before you paint, this quick tip will make you feel more settled very quickly.

10 Interior Design Tips & Tricks I Swear By. Green painted built in book shelves, styling tips, and home decor inspiration

So what do you think of these interior design tips?? I hope you find them helpful! Also, I’d love to know any decor hacks that you swear by. Leave a comment and let me know!

Photography & styling by Jojotastic.

Behind The Blog

Joanna Hawley-McBride is a Pacific Northwest-based social media strategist, content creator, and former textile designer. Joanna is the founder and editor-in-chief of Jojotastic, a lifestyle blog focused on Joanna’s work-in-progress cabin, finding the best pair of underwear through #UnderwearThesis, and empowering women to explore nature — all in her signature unfiltered style. Her work has been featured in Domino, CNBC, and Eating Well.

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  1. 6.30.23
    Elle Jones said:

    You made a good point when you noted that by placing the objects in odd numbers, you force your eyes to move about the area while also generating visual curiosity. My aunt is updating the interior of her home, therefore she is looking into new blinds. She has always discussed this with me, so I am looking forward to seeing things finished. Thanks for the insights!

  2. 6.13.23
    Bethany said:

    What paint color is this? I’m totally obsessed with your space

  3. 1.6.23
    Brigitte Singh said:

    I loved your home interior tips. I will use them in my interior works. Thanks and keep posting more!!!

  4. 10.13.22
    Taylor Abrams said:

    I like that you said that by arranging the things in odd numbers, you compel your eyes to roam around the grounding while also creating visual intrigue. My aunt’s renovating her house so she’s looking into new furniture to spruce up her interior design. I am so excited to see everything done since she’s always talked about this with me.

  5. 8.28.22
    Mara said:

    Great tips! Thank you for sharing

    • 8.31.22
      Joanna said:

      thanks for your comment! glad you enjoyed the post!