• Tell Your Friends

Although I don’t have nearly enough time to reply to the kind e-mails you send me, I do read every single one. And let me tell you: Many of you comment that you just don’t have style in your DNA.

I feel your pain. Decorating is hard enough when you lack time or resources, but I’m a big believer that everyone has an inner style voice: You just have to know how to get it to speak up! This is why I love HGTV. There are so many ways to get inspired and find your voice. Here’s some help for a few of you with common design questions.

coffee table arrangement
From SocalRachel on Rate My Space

“i have a round glass top coffee table/40″ round, and i just don’t what to put on top of it. do you have any ideas of what i could use to decorate the top?” — Jan

Round coffee tables are great because they usually have more surface area for showcasing accessories. The trick with a round — or any shape — coffee table is to make sure the arrangement you choose looks exciting from every perspective: from the top and 360 degrees around.

As to what to put on top, it all depends on your personal style. Do you have a collection? Do you like flowers? Do you enjoy reading books or magazines in the living room? See what fellow readers put on top of their coffee tables.

glass tile backsplash
From markbrownlee on Rate My Space

“does the backsplash have to match the counter top? We are doing a vanilla bean cabinet with a glaze and our counter top is in the earthtone shades, I saw a subway tile that was so beautiful but the color is pale green or pale blue (I love them both) but im afraid this would look odd since their isn’t any of those colors in the counter.” — Sandy

Sandy, don’t worry about the design police! Go with your gut. In my opinion, matchy-matchy is boring, and your combination sounds lovely and interesting. I’m a big fan of subway tile (so sleek!) especially in the mottled robin’s egg blue color. Take a cue from Candice Olson, who always comes up with interesting backsplashes that vary in material, or this beautiful kitchen from Rate My Space.

red kitchen cabinets
From LaurenThePartier on Rate My Space

“I have no idea why my boyfriend and I thought it would be a good idea to sand kitchen cabinets and stain them a sangria color. I guess its because I love red and we thought it would look beautiful.

But then, I painted the walls orange and green and now the kitchen looks like a Mexican restaurant. Nothing against that – I’m from Puerto Rico myself and love all the bright colors, but it just looks terrible. Since we don’t want to sand and stain the cabinets again (it was hard enough the first time), we want to just change the wall colors.” — Bethsabet

Sounds like a very festive kitchen! Red is a very competitive color when it comes to attention, and right now all the colors in your kitchen are so bold they probably make you feel uneasy. Paint the walls in your kitchen the same color to unify the space and give your eye a breather. I suggest light cream colors (like the above photo), off-white, gray or even a pale green to invoke a traditional/farmhouse style.

If the red is still overwhelming, try antiquing with a dark brown/black glaze. Be sure to test out your technique on a scrap piece of wood before you go to town on the real deal. Or if you want to commit to modern, slap some lacquer on those bad boys IKEA-style and paint your walls stark white.


Decorating Guides

18 Responses

  1. Mary says:

    I have beige sofa and love seat, tan carpet and a black tv. the end tables are light oak. Help what color should I paint the walls. I have a large painting of a old world street front I placed over my white fireplace. With cathedral ceilings it is very hard to paint so I don't want to have to do it again and again.

  2. Titan says:

    I love the color scheme of the second kitchen. Here is another place for finding similar home design ideas.

  3. Simplicity says:

    I live in a 3 room apt with no storage space. I have eggshell color walls, trim. I can't change the color. My living rm is 12 x 14. Right now I have way too much furniture in there. Old furniture to boot. Burgandy velvet, formal queen ann chairs(2) with foot stools, a table, a wall unit, another chair and a couch. And, oh yes, a small computer stand in the corner. The only thing I'd like to keep is the two glass, brush tone end tables(square) and the oval glass brush tone coffee table. I could throw all other funiture out. I feel like I need to breath in there. Looking for some ideas but I feel overwhelmed and definately need your help/expertise. I live alone, so I don't need much furniture, but occassionally I do have people over Even though green is not my color, I was thinking some earth tones, small furniture, small entertainement stand, etc. Help!

  4. Deb says:

    I want to redecorate my fam rm and am consiering two choices of color for sofa/loveseat or sectional: Eggshell/White or brick. (I will 1st redo my floors in oak hardwood and walls are butter color.) My 1st choice for new sofa is the white but I'm afraid it'll be too hard to keep clean ovr time. We have no children or pets, but my hubby is notorious for putting newspaper on the couch. I'm also worried about spills, etc. Is there a good material I can use that would be easy to clean, or would you recommend that I go w/the darker brick color..THX for any help!!

  5. Mommyx2 says:

    I need some help. I have a black leather sofa and don't know how to build my livingroom around it. The rest of my house is an Asian theme, but I don't want to over do it so I want to keep it simple, but still Asian… any suggestions from anybody? Thanks!!!!

  6. Great post, and unfortunately I have come across many who do lack the style gene, but most of the time, especially when planning for their own tastes and not thinking about resale, even those style challenged do a pretty good job. I will be back for more useful info.

  7. mdecoholic says:

    I love that warm olive green color in the kitchen!

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