ALL POSTS IN Decorating Guides

  • Tell Your Friends

It’s just 1 week till Thanksgiving — is your dining room ready for the big event? If not, don’t worry, there’s still time for a guest-impressing makeover. From disguising a past-its-prime dining table to an easy way to give stock white plates a high-end look — we’ve got you covered with five easy project ideas, each with complete step-by-step instructions.

A plain white tablecloth is great for covering up a scratched or discolored tabletop. For a sophisticated look, stitch on a row or two of ruffled burlap or linen: Give a Basic Tablecloth a Custom Makeover

Enlist help from the kids to glue real or silk fall leaves onto fishing line to create a magical falling-leaf effect over the dining table or buffet:How to Make Fall Leaf Streamers


  • Tell Your Friends

“There’s a reason a good suit (or favorite flannel) never goes out of style. Menswear patterns are classics that are meant to stand the test of time. So, naturally, you should be decorating with them, too.” — Cassandra Lavalle, coco + kelley 


Menswear Patterns

I couldn’t have said it any better, Cassandra. And as the resident dude at Design Happens, I appreciate the shout-out for my fashionable gender. And folks, don’t you think this look goes perfect with November’s Color of the Month?

  • Tell Your Friends

Okay, so I know today is Halloween — and believe me, I thought about sharing more Halloween craftiness; but unless you’re looking for pumpkin-carving templates (here and here) or cocktail recipes, the All-Hallows ship has pretty much sailed.

But, in just three weeks (yes, only 3 weeks!) friends and family will be ready to celebrate Thanksgiving. So, if you haven’t started working on your Turkey Day decorations yet, now’s the time.

Start by putting leftover Halloween decorations to good use. Give faux pumpkins a fashion-forward makeover by covering them with trendy upholstery fabrics:  How to Cover Faux Pumpkins in Metallic Leaf

Turn a canvas dropcloth into a custom-fitted dining chair slipcover, perfect if you need to visually unify mismatched chairs:How to Make a Dining Room Chair Slipcover


  • Tell Your Friends

Halloween is sneaking up on you fast (only 1 week left!) but don’t worry, we’ve got 23 printable (and free!) templates to make throwing a party, spooking up your front yard, treating your favorite ghouls and ghosties and perfecting your pumpkin relatively painless.

Start with our templates and instructions for creepy outdoor cut-outs:Halloween Outdoor Decoration Template

Get the party started with our printable party favors, like this princess crown: 
Halloween Party Crowns


  • Tell Your Friends

When it comes to Halloween pumpkins, I think many of you out there will agree with me when I say that faux can be fabulous. Oh, I know, there are always pumpkin purists who like the squishy sensation of pumpkin innards oozing through their fingertips (You know who you are!) or prefer the look of a real pumpkin or choose real so they can roast the seeds — tasty recipe here, btw — but my personal choice is faux.

Why, you ask? Because, quite honestly, I am a project-aholic. At any given time, I have too many projects started and not enough time to finish them all, so when I buckle down and take the time to bling out a pumpkin, I want my hard work to be displayable for many years to come.

If you’re like me, our Halloween feature  is hooking you up with lots of creative ideas for faux pumpkins. Here are 5 of my faves:

For a sophisticated look, add a trendy silhouette:  Trendy Silhouette Pumpkin

Coordinate your Halloween decorations to your decor by using scraps of leftover fabric for these decoupage pumpkins:Fabric-Covered Pumpkins


  • Tell Your Friends

Shorter days and a crisp chill in the air certify that summer truly has come to an end.  Now’s a great time to break out the cozy throws and warm up your home’s decor with a few fall touches.

Take a cue from designer Sarah Richardson and fill vintage vases with autumn-hued flowers:Sarah Richardson's fall floral arrangements

For many of us, fall also signals the beginning of the holiday entertaining season — Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations are coming up fast. Get ready for the impending arrival of holiday guests by sprucing up areas of your home where guests gather, like the foyer
traditional foyer by Thibaut

Image courtesy of Thibaut.


  • Tell Your Friends

Every three months, those of us that work at HGTV Headquarters are lucky enough to see the beautiful design vignettes created by the HGTV Home Studio interns as their final project before returning home. Over the summer, Savannah College of Art and Design students Rachel Kelly and Justin DiPiero worked closely with design experts and HGTV professionals, including Vern Yip, to create a unique concept to represent both current and iconic design trends that could ultimately live right here on the second floor of our building. What did they come up with? Find out!

HGTV Home Studio InternsHGTV Home Studio Interns Justin DiPiero and Rachel Kelly

The Eames Chair:

HGTV Home Studio Display - Eames Chair

Kayla Kitts: Why the Eames chair? What was your inspiration for choosing this iconic piece above anything else?

Justin DiPiero: Well, even if you don’t know Eames chairs, you actually do know them on a subconscious level. After working with Vern, he suggested that I expand upon something well-known and shed some light on the piece and the people that designed it: Ray and Charles Eames.

KK: Was there ever a period of time since its production where the Eames has been absent from design?

JD: No, never. It’s been in production since 1948, and you can find it in schools, churches, homes and restaurants. This is what makes it so iconic!

HGTV Home Studio Display - Eames Chair“Their clean, simple forms cradle the body. Today’s chairs are authentic, original design updated with eco-friendly materials and manfacturing and a large selection of base, shell and color combinations.” – from Herman Miller

KK: If you had to pick, what’s your favorite design setting for the Eames chair?

JD: Oh, that’s tough! It’s extremely versatile. It can go anywhere. It can be paired with an ethnic woven rug on wood floors (above). You can use it anywhere you want to — it’s a chameleon! But if I have to choose, I prefer the model with wooden legs. Or the gold-leafed seat with metal legs. (That’s my favorite, too! – KK)

See More Eames Chairs + Modern Wallcoverings

  • Tell Your Friends
Centsational Girl - Kate RileyWe’re so excited to announce a new addition to the HGTV Design Happens team! You all know Centsational Girl‘s Kate Riley, right? Of course you do. Well, starting tomorrow, and continuing every Tuesday, she’ll be writing a five-part weekly series on sprucing up secondhand finds and turning them into stunning home decor you’ll love for years. She’ll provide tips on seeing the potential in old finds and honing your DIY skills to give them a brand-new, modern-day makeover. Sound fun? We thought so, too! Check back tomorrow for Kate’s first post on secondhand sprucing, starting with the bedroom.
  • Tell Your Friends

Alright, it’s countdown time people. Just 8 weeks until Halloween; it’s time to get a jump on making outdoor decorations. You’re in luck because I’ve gathered 4 killer projects, with accompanying printable templates, so you can haunt your home in style.

You could let your yard go to the birds with our Giant Raven Cut-Out:
Giant Raven Outdoor Halloween Decoration

Or give trick-or-treaters a fright with our Life-Size (Well, at least Afterlife-Size) Gauzy Ghost:Life-Size Gauzy Ghost


  • Tell Your Friends

The dog days of summer are still upon us. While many of us are trying to head to the beach, soon-to-be college students are prepping for a new school year. Summer vacation is almost over and classes will soon be back in session. Moving away from home for the first time and into a college dorm is an exciting (and slightly stressful) event. I don’t think I’ve ever been more nervous than when I met the person I’d be sharing an 11-by-14-foot space with for an entire year. But, if you go into the experience well-prepared, your first year of dorm life will be a breeze and maybe even your most memorable year of college.

So college kids (and parents), how do you decorate a bland dorm room? Sharing a space—a super tiny one at that—requires some smart, space-saving solutions. It’s ideal to coordinate with your roommate ahead of time so you don’t end up with double mini-fridges or futons. Think you’re ready? Check out these functional and stylish dorm room decorating ideas for inspiration before your big move.

Rearrange your furniture to find the best layout (do this first!). A bed pushed against the wall as a daybed can also be used as a “couch” when you’re not sleeping:

dorm room decorating ideas hgtvCourtesy of

Avoid clashing colors or patterns by working with your roommate as your own design “team.” Agree on a color scheme or a simple, neutral palette:

dorm room decorating ideas hgtvCourtesy of PBdorm

Add personality to the walls with unique artwork. We also love personal inspiration boards. What a positive way to start each day!

dorm room decorating ideas hgtvMorgan Georgie ::

We’re just getting started. Check out all 20 of our dorm room decorating ideas. And for even more dorm room inspiration, this savvy article has everything from move-in tips to our top dorm essentials.

  • Tell Your Friends

Necessity, they say, is the mother of invention — and when you’re the mother of four kids and a top mommy blogger, designing kids’ rooms that are both fun and functional is a necessity. Enter Rebecca Woolf of Girl’s Gone Child; she’s taking us on a video and photo tour of nurseries and kids’ rooms that offer big design ideas for your little one.

Start by peeking inside the whimsical world of Rebecca’s 10-month-old twin daughters, Reverie and Boheme, to get a taste of her eclectic style:


  • Tell Your Friends

If money woes or the recent crazy weather has you vacationing at home this summer, now’s a great time to tackle some of the updates you’ve been putting off. Let’s start in the living room — after all,  it’s where you gather with family and friends and often the first room people see when entering your home. Time to show it some love. To get you started, I’ve gathered a few of my favorite living room updates that will add a lot of style for just a little cash.

With some lumber and trim, you could update your fireplace surround:Update Your Fireplace Surround


  • Tell Your Friends

Well, it’s true: Summer is officially here and that means vacation season is upon us. Hopefully, you have a relaxing getaway planned but if you’re staycationing because money is tight or just need a quick mental break, I’ve gathered together some of the country’s most luxurious hotels for your virtual vacationing pleasure. We’re talking lifestyles of the rich and famous, people! So, grab an icy summer beverage, kick back and take a photo tour of high-end hotels where high-end design reigns supreme plus get tips for bringing the boutique-chic look home.

  • Tell Your Friends

I remember when I was a child, flipping through the pages of my mom’s fashion magazines and seeing the models and celebrities dressed head-to-toe in these stunning designer outfits. It didn’t take long until I was in my own closet trying to replicate the look. Years later, I still see how close I can get to that Marc Jacobs silk blouse on the cheap, but I’m even more fascinated with pulling off a budget-friendly look in my home. How can I nab that golden-yellow, tufted linen chair from Anthropologie without paying almost two grand?

At first I was purely concerned with convenience. You know, “I’ll just grab this lamp, even though it’s slightly more expensive, because it’s right here.” But now, I’m on the prowl for a better price and refuse to settle until I know it’s the absolute lowest I can get. With all the money I save by sticking to a budget, I can eventually splurge on my dream area rug or that midcentury modern table I’ve had my eyes on for months. So, imagine my joy when I flipped open this month’s issue of HGTV Magazine (on newsstands now!) and saw the article on chic look alikes with drastically different price tags. I was instantly dying to find my own budget-friendly look-alike like these. Check out my favorite high-low finds – you won’t believe the prices! (Do you think you can spot the steal? Give it a shot before reading the caption.)

high low target look for less

Currey and Company :: Z Gallerie

The turquoise glass chandelier on the left costs $840, while the similar aquamarine beauty on the right is a steal for $399. The budget-friendly option features more exposed bulbs and a greener hue, but portrays many of the same shapes as the other.

high low target look for less

Bungalow 5 :: Target

For $338 you can choose from one of eight glossy hues for this curvy stool/side table (left). With a similar shape and style, Target offers a green, metal accent table for an incredible steal — $70!

high low target look for less

LL Bean :: Ace Hardware

The heavy-duty, all-weather Adirondack chair on the left can be used all-year-round for $299. But for just $26, you can buy several of these lightweight summertime chairs (right) to dress up the patio.

high low target look for less

Fun 1TM :: PBteen

The luxurious table lamp on the left features three tiers of mother-of-pearl disks for a price tag of $1,500. You can get a similar beach-chic look for a much lower price with this capiz-shell lamp on the right that costs just $99.

We’ve shared some of our high-low finds, so now it’s your turn. Have you found the budget-friendly twin to your high-end dream buy? Share your shopping tips and tricks in the comments below!

  • Tell Your Friends

When Lara Spencer, coanchor for Good Morning America, says that it’s easy to get “addicted to the hunt,” she’s not talking about stalking celebrity news stories. She’s referring to her off-the-clock passion: finding raggedy, outdated, neglected furniture via yard sales, thrift stores, flea markets and yes, even dumpsters, then transforming it and using it to create amazing, high-end rooms on a budget.

I can totally relate, because her lifelong addiction to “sale-ing” is my brand new one: Since I bought my first house, I’ve been a Craigslist and estate sale addict, and the thrill of finding (and transforming) that amazing piece is intoxicating. New to the hunt? Lara’s new book, I Brake for Yard Sales, shows you how to find furniture gems in the rough. (Get more of her tips tonight at 8/7c in her HGTV special!)

I Brake For Yard Sales Cover

Thrifting runs in Lara’s family — she spent nearly every weekend as a child hopping from secondhand shop to yard sale to auction with her mother and siblings — so she’s nailed down the tricks of the trade. She starts by helping you define a your style, then offers tips for how to recognize quality pieces (and duds.) She also shows you how to use the pieces once you get home — a vintage sign becomes an industrial-chic focal point in this space filled with modern, graphic touches.

Sign Transformation

From flea market find to living room showpiece.

And as Lara reveals how she makes over and styles each piece, she also tells you how much she paid for them: Can you believe she picked up an Eames lounger for just $150 and a pair of Picasso sketches for $30?! (So. Jealous.) This collection of medallions set her back only $20, while the ornate “musical” chair was a mere $50. Looks like a million bucks, right?

Yellow Wallpaper Antique Furniture

Retro yellow wallpaper gives traditional furniture a modern look.

The book also shows off some of the interiors she’s decorated with flea market and budget finds. My favorite: This living room in comedian Kathy Griffin’s house that’s decorated in a style the friends jokingly call “Palm Springs gay man going through a midlife crisis in his midcentury home who wants to attract the hottest guys to come over.”

Kathy Griffin Living Room

Kathy Griffin's living room, designed by Lara Spencer.

And Lara is full of ideas that take decorating outside the (reclaimed and repainted) box. After recovering her kitchen chairs one t0o many times, she found the perfect budget-friendly solution to two messy kids: cover the chairs with shower curtains!  She used one heavy-duty plastic curtain per chair, and hid the seams with chrome upholstery tacks.

Shower Curtain Dining Chairs

Dining room chairs recovered with high-end shower curtains.

When you finish the book, you’ll want to drive off and slam on the brakes for the nearest yard sale…I know what I’ll be doing this weekend!

Take a break from furniture scouting tonight at 8/7c to watch Lara redecorate her best friend’s home on the HGTV special I Brake for Yard Sales.

Happy bargain hunting!

  • Tell Your Friends

Is everyone ready for the big game tonight? It’s the Giants vs. Patriots, and I’m rooting for the football. Ha!  Let’s face it, for many of us the best part about Super Bowl Sunday is the food and drink that comes with such an occasion. Did you see all the nifty bowls Briana delighted the other day? They’re perfect to fill with your favorite munchies for casual, at-home gatherings like tonight. And since Briana found the perfect party bowls, I’ve been on a quest to find the most amazing football-themed, Super Bowl party decor. My findings may have turned me onto the sport even more just so I can incorporate football-shaped food into my shindigs come fall. Adorable.

super bowl 2012 party ideasHostess with the Mostess

super bowl 2012 party ideasHostess with the Mostess

super bowl 2012 party ideas football centerpiecePizzazzerie

super bowl 2012 party ideastheKitchn :: Scrappin’ Memories 4 U

super bowl 2012 party ideasWants & Wishes

super bowl 2012 party ideas football cupcakesMini Baker

super bowl 2012 party ideas cupcakesKara’s Party Ideas

OK, is anyone else feeling hungry? I definitely wouldn’t mind eating chili from a mason jar (being from the South and all). Our friends at have plenty of game-day recipes to keep you satisfied while the Giants and Patriots battle it out.

So tell us, how will you be watching the Super Bowl? Are you hosting a big-game bash?

  • Tell Your Friends

Winters in NYC usually make me want to get away, and though my mind wanders to warmer climes, maybe the best plan is to embrace the season for its own particular magic and virtues. A trip to the Hôtel de Glace in Québec — the only hotel in America made entirely of ice and snow — seems like just the thing to change my tune.

ice hotel

Photo: Luc Rousseau

This Narnia-esque creation is 500 tons of ice and 1,500 tons of snow to be precise, yet it still has all the amenities you’d expect from a high-class hotel, and then some: theme suites, hot tubs and saunas, an ice bar, a café that can be turned into a chapel for weddings and even a “Grand Ice Slide” for kids and adults alike.

ice hotel

Photo: Luc Rousseau

Part of what makes the Hôtel de Glace so special and wintery (aside from the gorgeous, glacial decor, of course) is that it only runs until March 25. Now, if I could only get a guarantee that it would feel like spring by then…

  • Tell Your Friends

First, pat yourself on the back because you made it to Christmas Eve in one piece. Second, put down your to-do list, kick back and relax. It’s your holiday too, you know. And for anything now and last-minute you can come to us and we’ll make sure you’re covered, from decor and crafts to recipes and gift wrap.

If you’ve been running around this season like a maniac, it’s finally your turn to enjoy the glowing lights and and beautiful decor. Plus, we have some ideas hidden in here if you’re a bit behind. Grab a cup of hot chocolate and enjoy some of our favorite around-the-home holiday ideas:

tobi fairely pink christmas tree8 Festive Christmas Tree Themes

handmade christmas gift wrap10 Creative Gift Wrap Ideas

marian parsons handmade Christmas stocking hanger17 Glowing Holiday Mantels

handmade owl christmas wreath10 Christmas Wreaths

marian parsons snowflake chandelierClassic Silver and White Christmas Table Decor

For more Christmas inspiration, check out all of our holiday features:

  • Hosting the Holidays >> Learn how to entertain like a pro with simple yet festive do-ahead projects, recipes and table decorating ideas.
  • Handmade Holidays >> From gift wrap and cards to handmade gifts and ornaments, you can skip the store and make it yourself.
  • Deck the Halls >> Make your home feel festive both inside and out with these creative decorating ideas.
  • 12 Days of Handmade >> See all of Liz‘s handmade project picks from her Christmas countdown.

Happy holidays from everyone here at Design Happens. We hope you have a truly wonderful holiday weekend. Cheers!

See What We’re Pinning

  • Make a red, white and blue wine spritzer with in-season

  • Make a Tiki Ice Cream Float for #HGTVHappyHour! Get the

  • Step-by-step instructions for making these Southern-style

  • How To Make Jam Party Favors >>