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design dining room

What Are The Best Ways To Design A Dining Room Space?


Whether you have a formal dining room or a kitchen nook, these tips will help you design a space that’s both attractive and functional.

Consider Function

When designing a dining room space, keep in mind how often and how many people gather there on a regular basis.

If you don’t entertain often or have a large household that dines together, you probably don’t need a large rectangular dining table. A small circular or square dining table might better suit your needs.

What is the Best Shape for a Dining Table in a Small Room?

Determine a Focal Point

Where does the eye go first? The dining table? A wall? A window? Decide where the focal point is and keep this in mind as well when designing your dining room space.

For instance, if your focal point is a wall, you may want to consider hanging up a large statement piece or painting the wall in an accent color.

What is the Best Way to Arrange Living Room Furniture?

Select Dining Room Furniture That’s to Scale

Before you go shopping for furniture, measure your dining room space so you can avoid purchasing furniture that’s too large or too small.

Selecting furniture that’s to scale will also help create an intimate dining experience and ensure three feet of clearance between the table and walls.

Tips for Buying Dining Room Furniture

Install Sufficient Lighting

Although you may not want to dine under bright lights, it’s still important to have sufficient lighting so you can see who you’re sitting with and what’s on your plate.

Your best bet for dining room space lighting is to install a chandelier above the center of the table; if this isn’t possible, consider putting sconces on walls or a bright lamp on the server.

How to Make a Room Feel More Cheery

Opt for Storage Pieces

If possible, get a server or cabinet to store your dinnerware and glasses. This can prove helpful when it’s time to set up the table, and it separates your good dishes from your everyday ones.

These storage pieces also provide extra surface space to place food and drinks when table or counter space is limited.

Design Tips for Living in a Small Space

Get a Room-Sized Area Rug

A larger area rug anchors and defines a dining room space as well as adds additional style through colors and patterns.

Since chairs will often be moved, it’s best to lay rug tape or a rug mat underneath your area rug to avoid bunching, which poses a tripping hazard.

Best Decor Advice for New Homes

Mix Your Dining Room Furniture

Sometimes, matching all of your dining room furniture can look a bit dated; other times, it may not even be possible.

If you’re inclined to give the trend of mismatched furniture a try, you put chairs of different styles with a table and/or pass on the matching server.

Top Home Decor Trends of 2020

Experiment with Color and Texture

Another way to add style to your dining room space is experimenting with color and texture to create visual interest.

If you need ideas, sites like Pinterest and Houzz have plenty of inspiration for all dining room space styles and sizes.

Things to Do Before You Go Furniture Shopping

Are you designing or redecorating a dining room space? Tell us which tips you found to be the most helpful!

should living room furniture match

Should Living Room Furniture Match?

JUNE 20, 2020 2 COMMENTS

When decorating a living room, there’s a tendency to make sure all of your furniture matches, but does it all really have to? Not necessarily.

While matching all of your living room furniture is satisfying, it can look a little staged. Not to mention, trying to make sure that everything matches can drive a person crazy!

Matching all of your living room furniture may even look a bit outdated since 2020 is all about mixing things up. But how exactly do you mix furniture? And does that mean nothing can match?

Top Ten Home Decor Trends of 2020

The key to mixing furniture in your living room is to either match or contrast colors and styles. In cases where you can’t strike a close match, it’s better to contrast because pieces that “sort of” work together leave something to be desired.

For instance, if you’re mixing occasional tables and want oak, you can get a few different tables that are all an oak finish even if they’re not the same exact shade; it’s OK for some pieces to be slightly lighter or darker than others, especially if they’re not going to be side-by-side.

However, if you wanted to have a more eclectic living room, say, country-style, you could pair a large oak coffee table with a white distressed end table and a black sofa table.

Main Concepts of Shabby Chic Design

Another example: pairing a sofa with a couple of recliners that are almost the same shade of chocolate and have very similar arms. A contrast would look like pairing a teal sofa with a couple of coral accent chairs that pick up on the flowers in the throw pillows.

In addition to mixing colors, you can mix different types of furniture; one popular trend now is bringing outdoor furniture like patio chairs and wicker tables into the living room. Talk about mismatched! But it works because of the contrast with the traditional living room furniture.

How to Give Your Space New Life with Things You Already Have

Do you think that living room furniture should match? Give us your opinion in the comments!

choose wall color or furniture first

Which Should I Do First: Home Wall Color Or Furniture?

JUNE 18, 2020 2 COMMENTS

While there’s no inherently right or wrong way to answer this decorating question, we suggest that your pick your furniture before your wall color.

Why? For one, it’s much less expensive to change a paint color than it is to replace your furniture. If you choose furniture that you like but aren’t crazy about the wall color, it will only cost a few hundred dollars to change it whereas it costs thousands of dollars to replace furniture.

Home Decor | Small Changes, HUGE Impact

It’s also easier to pick a paint color to goes your furniture than matching furniture to a specific paint color. You may not even want to “match” the colors of your walls and furniture; upon seeing your furniture in the room, you may want to go with a different wall color altogether.

For instance, you may have planned on painting your living room walls beige but have just picked out a blue sofa and loveseat. Beige walls do go with blue upholstery, but you realize that you would like to go with a cool color scheme and like the soothing effect of grey.

How to Make a Room Feel More Relaxing

If you’re renovating your home, however, the very first thing you’ll want to determine is your flooring as this can be your most expensive investment. Also, you may find that your flooring has a particular color/undertone that you want to match or contrast with your walls and furniture.

After this decision is made, you can then take a sample of your floor and other helpful swatches with you while furniture shopping to help guide your purchasing decisions.

Things to Do Before You Go Furniture Shopping

Do you think you should choose your wall color or furniture first? Let us know in the comments and tell us why!

small condo furniture

Best Furniture To Purchase For A Small Condo

JUNE 15, 2020 1 COMMENT

The average condo is 1200 square feet, so condo living can be a bit cramped, but these furniture pieces will help maximize your space (and not eat it up).

Apartment-Sized Sofa or a Loveseat

Save space in your condo by downsizing to a sofa that’s between 68″ and 80″ long, or opt for a loveseat instead of your space is particularly small.

If you plan on having company spending the night and you don’t have a guest bedroom, make sure your sofa or loveseat is a sleeper.

9 Alternatives When There’s No Room for a Sofa

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Narrow Side Tables

Trade out your standard square end tables for narrow side tables that are still functional but won’t take up as much room; nesting tables and drink tables are also great options.

If you need lighting in your condo but the side tables are too small, get a floor lamp or, better yet, install wall sconces to save floor space.

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Coffee Table Ottoman

Coffee table ottomans are good for both kicking up your feet and setting your drinks down; the storage variety provide extra storage space, too.

In addition to these purposes, you can also use a coffee table ottoman for extra seating if you have company; just slide it back two or three feet from the sofa.

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Console Table with Storage

Instead of a stand or cart, set your TV on a stylish console table with storage.

Console tables take up less space, visually, but can just as easily serve your entertainment and storage needs.

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Storage Cabinet

If you’re lacking storage space in your condo, consider getting a slim storage cabinet to store extra belongings like clothes, books, and groceries.

Maximize the storage space in your cabinet by placing smaller items in bins, boxes, or containers; this will also make your cabinet look tidier.

Courtesy of Walmart

Terai Folding Chairs

Terai folding chairs are upholstered so they’re comfortable but also space-efficient and easy to put away when not in use.

These chairs are great to have when you need to seat extra people in the living room or dining area.

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Portable Kitchen Cart

A portable kitchen cart is wonderful to have if you’re short on counter space, and, when you’re done using it, you just roll it away!

You can also use it as an entertainment cart or a server when you’re entertaining; having a portable kitchen cart can come in handy!

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Round Dinette

Space-efficiency is a priority when it comes to furnishing your condo, so your best bet when it comes to dining options is to get a round dinette.

Circular tables are best for small dining rooms because they take up less room due to their lack of surface space; if you can get a drop leaf table, all the better! Just make sure the chairs can slide underneath the table.

What is the Best Shape for a Dining Table in a Small Room?

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Bar Stools

If you have some counter space, you don’t have to try fitting everyone at the table- just get a few bar stools for extra seating!

Buying bar stools will save you space as you don’t have to choose a larger dining table or worry about storing extra chairs.

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Corner Desk

Sure, you can work at the dining table, but, if you want a separate workspace, consider getting a corner desk in your condo.

A corner desk is one of the more space-efficient home office setups and is doable in most cases as most people usually have a corner to spare.

Tips for Setting up Your Home Office | Furniture, Decor, and More

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Storage Bed

While a storage bed may be bulkier than a standard headboard, footboard, and rails setup, it could save you room by eliminating the need for more bedroom furniture.

If you don’t get a storage bed, make sure you have clearance under the bed for storage so you can easily store bins and containers underneath the bed.

Design Tips for Living in a Small Space

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Storage Bench

Having a storage bench at the foot of the bed in your condo can give you both additional seating and storage.

A bench at the foot of the bed will also add style to your bedroom without being too bulky or expensive.

Master Bedroom Must-Haves

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Chest of Drawers

If space is a particular issue in your condo bedroom, avoid a dresser and mirror and get a chest of drawers instead.

A chest of drawers is narrower and shorter (depth-wise) but can provide plenty of storage with at least five drawers.

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We hope our blog post has been helpful as you decide which furniture pieces to buy for your condo. What furniture helps you save space in your condo? Let us know in the comments!

table shape small dining room

What Is The Best Shape For A Dining Table In A Small Room?

JUNE 13, 2020 2 COMMENTS

If you have a small dining room or nook, choosing a dining table can be a bit of a challenge, but there are a few table shapes that tend to work well.

Tips for Buying Dining Room Furniture


If your dining area is particularly small, a circle table is most ideal as its edgeless surface allows for more room than a standard dining room table.

Are Extending Dining Table Sets Space-Efficient?


If you have a small dining area but want to maximize your surface area, go for square-shaped table; just make sure that the chairs fit underneath the table so they’re not taking up additional room.


If you have a narrow dining area or need to seat more people, an oval-shaped table offers the functionality of a standard dining table minus some surface area.

As always, measure your space before buying a dining room set. Also take the chairs into consideration when measuring a set, especially if they don’t fit underneath the table.

We hope our suggestions have been helpful and that you’ll find the right table shape for your small dining area. Which shape table has worked well for you in the past? Let us know in the comments!

arrange living room furniture

What Is The Best Way To Arrange Living Room Furniture?

JUNE 11, 2020 3 COMMENTS

There’s not one perfect way to arrange a living room since they vary in size and shape, but following these design principles will help you best maximize your space.

Start off by asking yourself some questions. Who uses the living room? What are the main activities there? Knowing these things in advance helps you decide how many seats and what specific furniture pieces your living room needs.

Take Measurements of Your Living Room

You’ll want to take measurements of your living room so you can determine if your furniture is to scale and possible configurations.

Make sure your furniture is the appropriate size for your space and that everything can comfortably fit in your living room.

Things to Do Before You Go Furniture Shopping

Determine a Focal Point

For optimum functionality, determine a focal point whether its a fireplace, TV, or window, and arrange your furniture around it.

In some cases, you can mount a TV on top of a fireplace or put a TV in the corner next to a window so you can get the best of both views.

Design Tips for Living in a Small Space

Then Arrange Furniture for Conversation

Even if your focal point is the TV, you should arrange your living room furniture for easy conversation so no one has to yell or turn their neck.

Have seats face each other and pull furniture away from the walls when possible to create a more intimate ideal for chatting.

How to Give Your Space New Life with Things You Already Have

And Create Balance with Symmetry

Balance is desired when possible so your living room doesn’t feel haphazard or awkward, the opposite effect you want to achieve.

How exactly do you achieve balance in a space? You might, for example, place two chairs or a loveseat across from a sofa.

How to Make a Room Feel More Relaxing

Lastly, after you’ve decided where furniture pieces are going to go, center your living room setup with an area rug to define the space.

We hope our tips for arranging your living room have been helpful. The best way to arrange your living room may not be obvious from the start, so take some time to move things around and play with the layout if necessary.

How to Move Heavy Furniture without Scraping the Floors

colors go with brown living room furniture

What Colors Go With Brown Living Room Furniture?


A lot of people opt for brown living room furniture, but choosing wall and accent colors can be a bit trickier.

Since brown is a neutral, many colors will go with it, and these are the most popular pairings you’ll see with brown.


An obvious and safe choice, the crispness of white goes well with a variety of browns from light tans to rich chocolates.

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Another easy color, grey is a cool neutral that will contrast nicely with warm browns and complement cool browns.

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Blue and brown make a beautiful combination. Use blue on your walls or work in blue accents to go with any and all shades of brown.

Top Ten Home Decor Trends of 2020

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Turquoise looks gorgeous with brown, especially warm-toned browns like sienna and rust. This bold color works well in a variety of spaces whether your style is traditional, contemporary, rustic, or glam.

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Green and brown go well together because they’re both earth tones. If you want your living room to feel more relaxing, opt for this color combo.

How to Make a Room Feel More Relaxing

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The key to using yellow in a room with brown furniture is to paint walls pale yellow and then add bright yellow accents for punch.

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Yellow may be too cheery for some, so the next best option is pairing your brown furniture with gold whether it’s soft gold walls or gold accents. Gold and brown living rooms feel particularly cozy because of their warm hues.

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Orange is a strong color. Vibrant shades are stimulating and better for decor than walls, but you could paint walls in more muted shade such as rust, which pairs nicely with brown living room furniture.

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Other Browns

You can also pair brown with other shades of brown for a monochromatic look that will go with a variety of styles.

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Which colors would look best with your brown living room furniture? Tell us in the comments!

French Provencal furniture less feminine

How To Make A French Provencal Set Look Less “Feminine”


With shabby chic remaining popular, there has been a renaissance in French Provencal furniture. However, despite its gorgeous design, this style of furniture hasn’t been for everyone… until now! Read on and learn how to make a French Provencal set look less “feminine.”

Darker Furniture

Opt for French Provencal furniture that is a wood tone or a darker color. Shabby chic is all about light and airy spaces, so choosing darker furniture will “ground” this otherwise ultra-feminine style. If you find a light French Provencal set that you like or already have one, consider painting or staining your set.

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Darker Walls

Another way to make a French Provencal set look less feminine is by painting your walls a darker color or having a darker accent wall. Shabby chic utilizes a light monochromatic color scheme to create a super soft look, so break that up by going for darker walls. If you don’t want to go too dark, grey and tan will also work- just stay away from shades of white.

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Rough it Up

Make your French Provencal furniture look less prim and proper by roughing it up some with the distressing technique. Simply sand down certain areas of the furniture with sand paper or distress your furniture as you’re painting it with chalk paint. If you’re not keen on on DIY distressing, choose a French Provencal set that is already distressed. You can also decorate with rustic accessories to help achieve a less-than-pristine look.

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Mix it Up

If you want your French Provencal set to look less feminine, avoid matching everything and mix pieces when you can. The picture below shows a French Provencal table with different chairs and an odd buffet. If you have a complete set such as a table and chairs or five-piece bedroom group, add furniture of other colors and styles to the mix. You may also want to consider splitting set across multiple rooms so each space is eclectic.

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Add Plants (Not Flowers, Through)

Bringing the outdoors inside is not only trendy but will help give a rustic look to a French Provencal set. Opt for plants that look more “wild,” and avoid flowers as they’re automatically feminine.

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It may take some creativity and experimenting, but a French Provencal set doesn’t have to look feminine. Start transforming your furniture with these tips!

Do you like the French Provencal style? How do you decorate around it? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!

decorating around wallpaper

How To Decorate Around Wallpaper


Whether you tolerate or cherish your wallpaper, it does present a decorating challenge (especially if the wallpaper is retro).

Despite what many think, wallpaper can be part of a stylish home, so check out our tips for decorating around wallpaper.

Draw from the Wallpaper Colors

One way to choose your furniture and decor is to draw from colors that are in the wallpaper. Use a color as an accent or a springboard from which you can explore both similar and complimentary color and tonal families.

In the picture below, a red accent chair has been selected to pick up on the red flower petals in the wallpaper. Other color options could be burgundy (same color family), brown (same tonal family), forest green (complimentary color), or charcoal (complimentary tone).

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Stick to a Largely Neutral Color Palette

When in doubt, the safest option when selecting furniture to go with wallpaper is sticking to mostly neutral colors such as black and white as well as shades of brown and grey.

In the picture below, a white sofa and black chairs and tables go with the multi-colored wallpaper because there’s no clashing of colors.

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Add Metal and Wood Accents

Both metal and wood accents pair well with wallpaper as they’re often earth tones and “ground” a room by adding character and texture.

In the picture below, a wood nightstand and a metal bed and sconce effortlessly go with the floral wallpaper and blue door.

Courtesy of Fabricum

Choose Traditional or Transitional Furniture

Unless you have modern wallpaper, it’s best to choose traditional or transitional furniture as these styles will pair well with the majority of wallpaper.

In the picture below, this transitional sofa with a track arm goes with the wallpaper even though the print is retro because of its simple frame style.

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Use Furniture and Decor You Love

One approach you consider taking is forgetting your wallpaper altogether and just using pieces that you love; this will lend a room to look more eclectic, which is on-trend with today’s mixing and matching.

How to Make a Room Feel More Cheery

In the picture below, the contemporary couch, the quirky floor lamp, and collection of various wall art altogether somehow look “natural” against the more traditional wall paper.

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Bring in Antiques and Vintage Items

If you love the looks of yesteryear, let the old wallpaper inspire you to incorporate some antiques and vintage items into the room as well.

Top Ten Home Decor Trends in 2020

In the picture below, the busy wallpaper and pieces with patina together create a rustic elegant look that’s quite quaint.

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Incorporate Mid-Century Modern Pieces

In the same vein, mid-century modern pieces also go well with wallpaper because of its simplicity and clean lines.

Although you may not want all of your furnishings to be mid-century modern, having a piece like the accent chair below can elevate the look of a room to a more stylish level.

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How do you deal with decorating around wallpaper? Do you see any of these tips working in your home? Talk to us in the comments!

Related: Design Tips for Living in a Small Space

small change huge impact home decor

Home Decor|Small Changes, HUGE Impact


You don’t have to overhaul an entire room to inspire oohs and ahhs. Try implementing these small changes that can make a huge impact!

Throw Pillows

One of the quickest ways to change a room is simply adding new throw pillows. They instantly elevate a room with color and patterns.

How to Make a Room Feel More Cheery

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Natural Light

Do away with your drapes completely or replace them with sheer curtains. Natural light opens up and refreshes any room in the house.

How to Make a Room Feel More Relaxing

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Your choice of curtains can help bring more natural light in plus tie everything together from crown molding to baseboard.

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Accent Wall

Painting a wall in an accent color makes a focal point pop even more and highlights other accent colors a room.

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Not only are they on-trend, but flowers also enliven a space. Get a small arrangement to stand on its own or be a part of a vignette.

Top Ten Home Decor Trends of 2020

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Small Decor Items

An easy way to establish a theme is by placing several small decor items on a tray. You can even change out the decor can seasonally for different looks throughout the year.

Spruce Up Your Home with These Spring Decorating Ideas

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Area Rugs

Area rugs are a great way to designate and tie a space together. They also give you more opportunity to play with colors and patterns.

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Just hanging up a single piece of artwork can add style and personality to a room; it can also serve as a focal point.

Design Tips for Living in a Small Space

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Metallic Detailing

Incorporating metallic decor adds a sense of luxury to a space plus texture for more visual interest.

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Having various textures adds visual interest and depth to a room. It’s easy to do; just gather a few different materials like flannel, wood, and ceramic.

Main Concepts of Shabby Chic Decor

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Accent Furniture

Bringing in a new accent piece like a chair or cabinet can change the look and functionality of a space.

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Just like a piece of artwork, a mirror can also fact as a focal point, plus it makes a space look larger and lighter.

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Vintage Items

A trip to the attic or flea market could prove to be a good style move as vintage decor adds instant charm and character to a space.

How to Give Your Space New Life with Things You Already Have

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Seasonal Decor

Changing your decor with the seasons gives your space a whole new look with just a few accessories.

How to Redecorate Without Leaving Your Home

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Add Color

One more thing that is small but makes a huge impact is a pop of color. Add an unexpected hue in the form of throw pillows, a chair, lamps, an area rug- anything!

Best Decor Advice for New Homes

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We hope our list of small changes with huge impacts will inspire you as you make minimal changes to your space. Which of these suggestions are you likely to try? Let us know in the comments!