ALL POSTS IN Decorating Guides

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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.
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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


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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.

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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:


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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


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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.

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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!

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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!

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