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Placing a smaller rug over a large neutral one is an excellent solution when you have a rug you love that’s too small. The layer acts like a border to extend the rug, says rug expert Jess Evans. (Courtesy of Annie Selke)

My friend, Susan, and I disagree on just about everything except home design — until now. Yes, I understand that an 8- by10-foot area rug would have worked better size-wise in my 10 by 13 living room. But I already had the 5 by 8 rug. I loved the pattern and colors, navy and burnt orange, and had decorated around it.

She persists. If I insist on keeping the small rug (yes), I should get a larger solid rug to layer underneath it, she said, and extend it under the furniture to pull the room together.

So when the rug arrives, I spread out the large, navy rug, lay the smaller one over it, replace the furniture, and text Susan a picture. “Happy now?” I asked.

“Yes, but I think the deep orange would have been better.”

Good thing she lives six states away because I might have strangled her.

So I text the same photo to Christopher, a designer friend I often consult with. Unlike Susan, he does not have a dog in this fight. His reply: “That blue rug just makes everything in the room look cheap. Maybe try a burnt orange one?” He does not know what a loaded topic this was.

Fine. I order a solid, burnt orange wool rug online. I roll up the blue rug and drag it out of the living room like a dead sea mammal. I unfurl the orange rug, which I am determined to like.

I stand back and squint. The orange is pretty bright. Plus, now the smaller rug keeps bunching up and rumpling no matter how I try to smooth it. I text photos to Susan and Christopher.

“Way too bright,” Susan said. “It needs to be a deeper color.”

“I am not doing this again,” I text back. “Your choice is either with the orange rug or without.”

“I cannot in good conscience choose between two bad options,” she writes.

Christopher is more tactful. “Try putting the orange rug in your bedroom. Better to have no rug under the smaller rug than one that detracts.”

In search of closure, I call Jess Evans, vice president of design for Annie Selke, a Massachusetts-based rug company, and ask if I can interview her for a column about rug sizes. Little does she know what she is getting into. I send her a picture of the living room.

“When you have a small rug in a room with no surrounding furniture on it, it can showcase that the rug is too small for the space,” she said. “While I recommend getting a rug that’s the right size from the start, I also love the look of layered rugs, and so do many top designers.” (I am not telling Susan.)

“But won’t putting a small rug over a larger one just emphasize the fact that the top rug is too small?”

“Not at all,” she said. “Layering rugs is an excellent solution when you have a rug you love that’s too small. The layer acts like a border to extend the rug, and the combination is in no way inferior to having one rug.”

Since my first two layering attempts flopped, I ask Evans for suggestions on how to get the right base and for solutions to other rug-size problems. Her advice:

Go lean: To prevent layered rugs from bunching, look for a thin base layer with a pile height of ¼-inch or less, she said. You also want a flat texture. Thinner sturdy rugs can be made of jute, sisal, wool or polypropylene.

Avoid patterns: Choose a base layer with little to no pattern in a neutral color that works with your flooring. The base should act as a frame and not compete with the feature rug.

Add legs: Ideally you want a rug big enough to allow at least the front feet of the room’s main furniture to sit on it. If you put only the front legs on, the rug should extend several inches underneath. If you can’t get all the front legs on, it’s better to have no legs on than some legs on and some off.

But don’t go too big: Leave at least eight inches between your rug and your wall. Eighteen inches is ideal, and fewer than six inches is too tight. “A rug that’s too big looks like wall-to-wall carpet and defeats the purpose of an area rug,” Evans said. Contact her at [email protected].


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From its iconic Atlantic City Boardwalk to its deep-rooted musical heritage with legends like Bruce Springsteen, New Jersey offers a wide array of experiences. Whether you’re exploring the natural beauty of the Pine Barrens, tasting the delicious Jersey tomatoes, or walking the historic grounds of Princeton University, there is always something fascinating to discover. What else is New Jersey known for? Whether you’re considering renting a home in Newark, looking to settle into an apartment in Princeton, or just planning a visit, you’ll soon find that New Jersey has much more to offer than meets the eye. In this article, we’ll explore what makes New Jersey unique and why so many are proud to call it home. Let’s dive in.

1. Atlantic City Boardwalk

Built in 1870, the historic Atlantic City Boardwalk was the first boardwalk in the United States. This iconic stretch offers a variety of attractions, including casinos, restaurants, and entertainment venues like the historic Steel Pier. For example, people enjoy strolling along the Boardwalk, indulging in saltwater taffy, and trying their luck at the numerous casinos. Additionally, the Boardwalk hosts events like the annual Atlantic City Airshow, drawing large crowds for its spectacular performances.

2. Childhood home of Bruce Springsteen

New Jersey is the proud home of rock legend Bruce Springsteen, affectionately known as “The Boss.” Springsteen was born in Long Branch and grew up in Freehold, with his music often reflecting the working-class roots of the state. Fans can visit landmarks like the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, where Springsteen frequently performed early in his career. New Jerseyans take great pride in Springsteen’s global success and his close connection to his home state.

3. Liberty State Park

Liberty State Park in Jersey City offers stunning views of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. This 1,200-acre park contains open green spaces, picnic areas, and the Liberty Science Center, featuring interactive exhibits and a planetarium. Additionally, the park serves as a departure point for ferry rides to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. With panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline, the park is popular spot for photography and outdoor activities.

4. Jersey tomatoes

New Jersey is renowned for its delicious Jersey tomatoes, celebrated for their rich flavor and vibrant color. These tomatoes are a staple in local cuisine, often featured in dishes like the classic Jersey tomato salad with fresh basil and mozzarella. Farmers’ markets across the state sell these prized tomatoes, drawing food enthusiasts eager for a taste. Furthermore, the annual New Jersey Tomato Festival in Hammonton highlights this beloved produce with tastings, contests, and recipes.

5. The Pine Barrens

Covering over a million acres, the Pine Barrens is a vast forested area and unique natural landmark in New Jersey. This region is known for its distinctive ecology, including rare plant species and diverse wildlife. Outdoor enthusiasts enjoy activities like hiking, kayaking, and birdwatching in this relaxing setting. Additionally, the Pine Barrens have a rich folklore, including tales of the legendary Jersey Devil.

Fun facts New Jersey is famous for

  • The Birthplace of FM radio: FM radio was invented in New Jersey by Edwin Howard Armstrong. His first successful FM transmission took place in Alpine, NJ in 1933, revolutionizing how we listen to music and news.
  • Diner capital of the world: New Jersey is known as the “Diner Capital of the World” with more diners than any other state.
  • Highest population density: New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the U.S., with more people per square mile than any other state.

6. The Princeton University

Princeton University is one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in the United States. Founded in 1746, this Ivy League institution is prized for its academic excellence and beautiful campus. Visitors can tour the historic Nassau Hall, the university’s oldest building, and the Princeton University Art Museum, which houses an impressive collection of artworks. Moreover, the charming town of Princeton offers boutique shops, cozy cafes, and a dynamic cultural scene.

7. The Jersey Shore

The Jersey Shore stretches over 130 miles of coastline and is loved for its sandy beaches, lively boardwalks, and fun attractions. Towns like Asbury Park, Point Pleasant, and Wildwood offer a mix of beach activities, amusement parks, and lively nightlife. Furthermore, Cape May, with its Victorian architecture and quaint charm, is a popular destination for those seeking a more relaxed atmosphere. The shore also hosts numerous events and festivals, such as the annual Seafood Festival in Belmar.

8. The Battle of Trenton

The Battle of Trenton was a pivotal moment in the American Revolutionary War, taking place in Trenton on December 26, 1776. General George Washington’s daring crossing of the Delaware River and surprise attack on Hessian forces marked a significant victory for the Continental Army. Sightseers can explore the Trenton Battle Monument and the Old Barracks Museum to learn about this historic event. Furthermore, you can attend the annual reenactment of Washington’s crossing to experience a vivid portrayal of this famous battle.

9. The Meadowlands Sports Complex

The Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford is a major hub for sports and entertainment in New Jersey. This complex includes MetLife Stadium, home to the NFL’s New York Giants and New York Jets, and the Meadowlands Racetrack, which hosts harness racing events. Additionally, the nearby American Dream Mall offers a unique shopping and entertainment experience with its indoor ski slope, water park, and numerous retail stores.

10. Thomas Edison National Historical Park

Thomas Edison National Historical Park in West Orange preserves the home and laboratory of one of America’s greatest inventors. Visitors can tour Edison’s 29-room Victorian mansion, Glenmont, and his innovative laboratory complex where he developed groundbreaking inventions like the phonograph and electric light bulb. Moreover, the park offers educational programs and interactive exhibits that showcase Edison’s contributions to modern technology.

11. Hoboken’s music scene

Hoboken prides itself on its music scene, famously known as the birthplace of Frank Sinatra. The city’s live music venues, like Maxwell’s Tavern, have hosted numerous iconic performances and continue to support emerging artists. Moreover, Hoboken’s proximity to New York City adds to its dynamic cultural atmosphere, making it a hotspot for music lovers. If you’d like to experience the music scene for yourself, annual events such as the Hoboken Arts and Music Festival celebrate local musical talent and showcases the area’s strong community spirit.


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When it comes to home design, we all have our own personal aesthetics and tastes — and on the flip side, I know we can all think of a trend or two that we just can’t get behind. But when I came across this viral series on home design “icks” from TikTokers Ethan Gaskill and Robert Gigs, I was reminded that sometimes it’s the smallest, most wildly specific decor elements that can annoy us the most.

Monkeybusinessimages / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Naturally, it got me thinking: If two people could have so many super specific (and super relatable) hot takes on these design trends, what opinions are the rest of us holding on to? So, I’m turning to you, our BuzzFeed readers, to hear your biggest “icks” and hot takes when it comes to subtle design trends in 2024.

For the record, I’m not talking about the divisive, incredibly popular design trends that nobody ever agrees on: the sliding barn doors, floating staircases, modern farmhouse exteriors, etc. I’m talking about the niche little interior (or exterior) design features that always send a chill down your spine…even if you feel like you’re the only one that ever notices them.

As low-key terrified as I am to admit my biggest “ick” on the internet, I’ll go first. While I am all for fiberglass shower surrounds — they’re straightforward, way cheaper than tile, and easy to clean — shower surrounds designed to look like faux tile make me uneasy. I cannot explain it, but that is my truth.

Maybe your niche home ick is a bedroom with a ceiling fan (stunning!) — and the only lighting in the bedroom is said ceiling fan’s light.

Ablokhin / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Fun fact: Someone I know (not me, I swear) absolutely loathes patterned outdoor rugs and says that adding one to your al fresco living space is the quickest way to ensure your home gives soccer mom vibes.

Stu99 / Getty Images

Or, maybe you just can’t bear to see another arrangement of dried flowers on someone’s dining table. They think it’s elegant, and you think it looks like…death.

Juergen Sack / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Whatever your niche home design “ick” is, we want to hear from you. And remember: While you can write in with obvious design trends (like open floorplans, exposed shelving, or color-coded bookshelves), the more specific and personal you can get here, the better. Tell us all about the subtle home decor element that makes you see red in the comments below, or fill out this form if you’d prefer to stay anonymous. We’ll feature the best responses in a future BuzzFeed Community post.


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Home design trends in any year contradict themselves. For 2023, designers said it was the year of organic materials and muted greens, while other designers were painting walls black for dark academia bedrooms—complete with crows. Trends come and go, but we can use them to inspire ourselves and create our idea of a happy place. No matter how different we all may be, there’s a design trend for each of us—even if it includes crows. 

When home decorating, the goal is to find colors and elements that you like and that support the look you want to achieve, and then give them a try. The trick comes in finding a way to try 2024 trends without making major changes that you’re not ready to live with for the long haul. From the many, many trend lists we’ve looked at this year, we’ve chosen styles and elements that run the gamut from bold to understated, and modern to traditional. Whether you’re a moody crow lover or a modern farmhouse diehard, you’ll find something in this year’s trends to up-level your look.

1. Quiet Luxury

Designer: ANA Interiors. Photographer: Ana Cummings

If you’ve scrolled your feeds looking for home design ideas recently, you’ve seen #quietluxury trending. This understated approach to posh emphasizes quality and craftsmanship over flash and bling. Paring down decor, keeping clutter at a minimum, confining colors to muted neutrals, and adding quiet luxury ingredients are meant to inspire calm. The centerpiece of a quiet luxury living space is the cloud couch, a white sofa with a puffy seat and back pillows stuffed with goose down. 

“Quiet luxury is here to stay,” says Morgan Olsen, Thumbtack’s home and design expert. Homeowners are done with loud luxury trendy pieces and are being very intentional with their spending. 2024 will be about craftsmanship over big brands and labels, as homeowners look for reclaimed materials and quality furniture.” 

That means buying pieces that last decades rather than the 3 or 4 years of mass-produced furniture. “But who said you have to get the cloud couch?” asks Olsen. Instead, find secondhand furniture by quality makers and reupholster it. Or pare down your wall art and knickknacks, then add goose-down throw pillows and a luxurious throw like this State Cashmere Striped Throw Blanket to your existing neutral sofa. 

2. Healthy Habits

Designer: Kelley Design Group.
Builder: CKN Capital Group.
Photographer: Cate Black Photography

Bringing wellness closer to home is no longer a luxury but an essential for many people, especially for exercise and spa experiences. “Homeowners will continue to turn their homes into wellness retreats, prioritizing features that have health benefits,” says Olsen. 

According to the 2024 Houzz U.S. Emerging Summer Trends Report, with cold plunge pool, indoor sauna, and backyard sauna all rising in search frequency in the first quarter of the year, compared with Q1 2023. At-home exercise has evolved from a stationary bicycle, with searches for bocce court, bowling alley, and game room all higher than last year. Mentions of pickleball courts on Zillow are up 64 percent over last year. People are looking for homes with private courts and nearby public courts. Pickleball in the driveway, anyone?

In addition to saunas, Amanda Pendleton, Zillow home trends expert, lists spa bathrooms and red-light therapy rooms among the features home buyers are using to complement wellness routines. While replacing a bathtub with a walk-in spa shower is a trend for remodeling projects, you can spend far less and create a spa bath at home with simple switches. Create a relaxing atmosphere by focusing on all five senses. Replace the counter clutter with a flower arrangement or basket of fluffy towels. Choose soft textures in muted colors and a comfy bath pillow, like this Luxurious Cork Bath Pillow by LIVTUUshop at Etsy. Add the soothing scent of essential oils and a source of meditative sound. Don’t forget a glass of cucumber water.

3. Hidden Spaces

Courtesy of Ruhl | Jahnes Architects.
Photographer: Nat Rea

Nothing beats a cozy reading nook, according to the 2024 Houzz U.S. Emerging Summer Trends Report. Searches for library walls, reading corners, and book nooks have all gone up this year. Secret spaces have long been a favorite for people who enjoy a bit of whimsy at home, along with out-of-sight storage. The Houzz Emerging Winter Trends Report, released at the end of 2023, shows that cloaked additions are gaining popularity. Searches for trapdoors are up by 350 percent, and searches for kitchens with hidden pantries rose by 250 percent. Say goodbye to the wet bar in the living room and hello to a secret speakeasy bar and lounge, or a wine bar and cellar under the stairs, both searched more often in 2023. 

If you’re not ready to tear down any walls or excavate the closet under the stairs, create nooks and hidden spaces with a few easy changes. Give more privacy to a window seat by hanging curtains outside the front of the seat rather than against the window. Hide the entrance to a closet with this Door Mural of Antique Bookshelves by Recallart at Etsy. In the kitchen, create a secret pantry by adding vertical wood panels on and around the pantry door. For renters, this Abyssaly Wood Slat Peel-and-Stick Wallpaper at Amazon is removable; homeowners who want a more permanent solution without the hassle of cutting wood can try the Set of 4 PVC Wall Paneling pieces at Wayfair that mount with adhesive.

4. Blues and Greens

Courtesy of Brittany Lyons Interiors.
Photographer: Mike Healey Photography

Green is the most popular color this year for home design. No, wait, it’s blue. Blue is the most popular color this year for interiors. Designers differ on this one, but most agree that shades of blue and green are taking center stage in the home. Mitchell Parker, senior editor at Houzz, says blue provides a calming influence. 

Sage and gray-green also are on the rise, according to the Houzz winter report. A barely-there sage functions as a neutral on kitchen cabinets, and a darker gray-green provides contrast to warm neutrals. In true blue fashion, however, several paint companies have chosen a shade of blue as their 2024 color of the year. 

Add contrast to neutral furniture and flooring with blue or green items you already own, gathering throw pillows and blankets, table runners, vases, decorative containers, and framed prints from other rooms. Add a blue or green ribbon trim to curtains or the base of a fabric sofa without a sewing machine by using HeatnBond Hem Iron-On Adhesive at Amazon; seal the trim with a flat iron (used for hair styling) in places you can’t fit onto an ironing board. For a classic look, we like this M&J Trimming Greek Key Fabric Ribbon in denim blue and sage options.

5. The Return of Creams

Courtesy of kate roos design.
Photography: Andrea Rugg Photography Andrea Rugg Photography

While many new homes are still coated in gray from floor to ceiling, the trend is moving away from this cool palette and back to warmer colors like cream, tan, and brown. Stark white walls are too harsh for this year’s earthy color schemes. Parker says beiges, creamy off-whites, and rich browns are the focus for a warm, welcoming space. 

If you like the look of an all-neutral, off-white room, add textures and patterns, as well as a variety of tones, to create a more layered look, says Parker. The Graham Leather/Suede Lumbar Rectangular Pillow Cover and Insert at Wayfair has a removable cover to swap for a machine-washable option when needed. Swapping accessories has a big impact, especially if you clear the clutter first. We like this Handmade Wood Table Vase, an organic take on the popular ceramic styles, and the Magalia Wood Tray that brings both functionality and latticework texture.

6. Whole Wall Art

Photo: iStock

If you want an abundance of colorful expression in your home design, those cream walls act as a blank canvas perfect for art and pattern. Bold floral wallpaper or a hand-painted mural are both big this year. Zillow’s 2024 home trend report shows that many homeowners are into eclectic, maximalist interiors. Murals in homes for sale are showing up 18 percent more often than last year. The good news is you can learn how to paint a mural even if you’re not an artist, with a bit of painter’s tape and imagination.

Wallpaper also comes in mural patterns, including the peel-and-stick variety beloved by renters and frequent redecorators everywhere. Modern botanicals, landscape vistas, and stripes are trending patterns this year. Guest baths are often the place to start, since the design will make a big impact in a small space without costing a lot of time or money. Murals like this Chinoiserie Watercolor Peacock Wallpaper by FabbWallDecor, can be subtle while bringing interest to a neutral palette. Or make a big impact with this Removable Abstract Wall Art Wallpaper by ONDECORstore, both at Etsy. 

7. Handmade Touches

Photo: Zillow

This year, embrace handmade pieces that show the inevitable imperfections of craft. Artisans are impacting today’s trends with handmade tiles, hand-thrown serving dishes, and hand-painted murals. Pendleton points to Murano glass chandeliers as an example of the handmade and bespoke features popping up in today’s homes. The colorful light fixtures are featured 58 percent more often in searches on Zillow, despite the sometimes hefty price tag. If this Ares Murano Glass Chandelier at $1,675 is out of budget, support an Etsy artist with this Handmade Dusty Pink Peony Pendant by FloralsBySERRO. 

Handmade items make your home unique and add a personalized touch to any room. The 2023 Houzz U.S. Bathroom Trends report showed that 62 percent of renovating homeowners are choosing a custom or semi-custom vanity. Repurpose a piece of vintage furniture and make your own vanity, or add painted details to an existing model.

8. Brutalism

Photo: Zillow

Even if industrial design isn’t your style, the return of brutalism can be a welcome change in today’s homes. Brutalist design uses materials like raw concrete, brick, steel, and bronze. You’ll see organic shapes with raw edges and unpolished surfaces, as well as a streamlined design for functionality. Pendleton says Zillow has seen a 452 percent increase in the number of homes for sale that mention brutalist design.

“The return of brutalism is the most surprising rising trend of 2024, particularly after the hygge movement where homeowners embraced cozy comfort over hard surfaces,” she says. “The hallmarks of brutalist design—raw, organic, and unfinished materials—are already showing up in furnishings, lighting, and accessories. When juxtaposed with overstuffed sofas, curved armchairs, and plush high-pile rugs, brutalist architectural elements can add visual interest and much-needed contrast to a space,” says Pendleton.

9. Style That Sticks

Designer: Molly J Littlejohn Design.
General Contractor: Kraft Custom Construction.
Photographer: Chuck Collier

Some trends stick around for years. Most people are hanging onto their outdoor kitchens and fire pits. Others come and go, like inflatable furniture. No one is missing that squeaky stuff. As interior design trends have bent back toward the traditional and eclectic, designers are emphasizing a focus on timeless style that doesn’t look dated from year to year. 

Parker says modern homes are showing brick, clay tiles, rustic wood, and other materials that signify a legacy rather than a fad. To get a timeless look that works for your space, create meaning through your belongings. A quality collection of original artwork from your travels will never go out of style, nor will vintage area rugs. Antiques are a good bet too because they add contrast to modern accessories. 

White bedding, pleated curtains, and anything with stripes serve as foundational textiles you can build upon as trends change. Truly timeless style is about quality and meaning, so make space in your home for what matters most.


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As the temperatures heat up across the country, many of us will desire to spend more time outside. However, if you don’t have any outside space, you should consider sprucing up your home decor for the summer. 

A warm summer refresh is always a good idea and easy to do. To add light and warmth to your home, you can change your color scheme, focusing on light fabrics and elevated and colorful decor. This technique will transform your home or specific areas into a summery haven and oasis. Or you can incorporate the outdoor space into an indoor-outdoor space by mixing patio seating, lighting fixtures, and colorful rugs. 

However, when you decide to refresh your space, you should aim to be creative and intentional and add exciting color palettes like indigo blues, creamy oranges, and electrifying magentas. Check out some low-lift home decor ideas to transform your space for the summer below. 

Pair down your decor: I love mid-century modern interior design because of its sleek and contemporary design. Choose creams, whites, and decor accessories like throw pillows and geometric-shaped sculptures to add a classic summer look to your decor. Add some visual interest to your space! 

Lean into jewel tones: Colors like magenta, sapphire blue, and dewy yellows work perfectly for a summer theme. Those colors add character to any space and work well with subdued colors like white, cream, and beige. Try incorporating jewel-toned throw pillows or a vase to ease your way into using the color scheme. 

Adjust your window treatments: Adding a lot of light is one easy way to make your home more summery. Pull back the curtains or change them altogether. Instead of heavy window treatments, opt for flowy or light ones. 

Bring in beachy elements: Bring the sea to your home. Leverage nautical decor to make your home into a chic beach house! Navy, blue,  white, and cream with seashells should do the trick. 

Leverage wicker: Wicker decor adds flair and earthiness to your home. You can even use a wicker tray server for your breakfast nook. 

Add florals: Florals add fun to any space, especially in the summertime! Be sure to keep some beautiful floral arrangements in your home this summer. 


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And with home prices rising more than double the pace of inflation since the 1960s, making the place you live look great is as important as ever, whether it’s a rental or your expensive dream abode.

Here are the 10 decor mistakes she hates to see in other people’s homes.


Moreira said she always notices when a room has a rug that’s too small

“Select a rug as big as possible for the space, allowing it to anchor the furniture in the room,” Moreira said. “This will also make the space feel bigger and help with the acoustics.”

Your rug should also be flat enough that it fits under the gap of doors as they swing open and closed, she added.

Nightstands should never be way taller or shorter than the bed they’re next to

Your nigthstand shouldn’t be much lower or higher than your mattress.

Woko / 500px / Getty Images

She also dislikes when nightstands are not the right size for the bed they’re anchoring

“The height of the nightstand should be within 2 inches from the top of your mattress,” Moreira told BI. “This allows for easier reach and looks more proportionate.”


A blank ceiling is a missed opportunity

Always consider the ceiling when designing your space.

“Adding wallpaper or contrast paint to the ceiling allows you to add height, depth, and draw the eye up,” she said.

The ceiling is also an opportunity to add another texture to the room.

By thinking of light fixtures only as functional, you’re missing out on decor opportunities

A lamp isn’t just a light source — it can also be a decorative element in your space.

sellbetter/Getty Images

According to Moreira, thinking of light fixtures strictly as functional is a big mistake.


“Light fixtures are a great way to add an artful element to a room,” she told BI. Choose fixtures that are sculptural, but also complement the architecture.

By hanging drapery hardware too low, you’re sabotaging your own space

Draperies should be at a height that allows them to just kiss the floor, the designer explained. This gives them a very custom look.

“The drapery rod should be hung as high up as possible, close to the ceiling,” Moreira said. “This adds height to the window.”

Repeating too many of the same wood tones can make the room look one-dimensional

It’s not ideal to buy furniture in matching wood tones when decorating a room, Moreira told BI.


In fact, your furniture should never look like you purchased it all at once or that it’s part of one set.

“Consider staying within the same hue but playing with the tone or texture of the woods to add dimension and look curated,” the designer said.

A boring powder room is a missed opportunity to make a statement

A funky mirror can give a bathroom personality.

Fiordaliso/Getty Images

“A powder room is a great place to get creative, take risks, and go bold,” she told BI. “Use wallpaper, paint the millwork, and/or the ceiling.”

Special details, like a really cool light fixture or an interesting mirror, can make a statement and be something that your guests will talk about.


A space with warm and cool light temperatures will look busy

The designer hates to see warm- and cool-toned light bulbs within a single space.

“It’s important to make sure the color temperature of the light bulbs or architectural lights are all the same within the space,” Moreira said. “Otherwise, it will look like the lights were an afterthought and look very busy.”

Buying the wrong-sized furniture for a space can make it feel too empty or crowded

The scale of your furniture is so important. When shopping, she said, consider the floor space you’re working with as well as the architecture of the room.

“You should have good traffic flow within the space, but it should never feel like it’s missing a piece or feel empty,” Moreira told BI.


Try to avoid completely matching metal finishes within a space

“Many people are very afraid of mixing metals and prefer all of the finishes to match exactly,” she said. “I always encourage my clients to mix metals.”

This allows the space to evolve over time and gives you more flexibility when introducing new items into the space.