Because we're not living Pinterest boards and no one gets it right 100 percent of the time, I think we all have certain aspects of home decor and housekeeping that we ace, and other aspects that we struggle to get a handle on. I know I do. Here are 10 common issues that may be diminishing your home's sophistication along with some easy tweaks to help you self-correct.
Leaving the bed unmade
Rumpled sheets look, well, rumpled. A neatly made bed instantly pulls together the look of your bedroom (like the delicious cloud above located in The Marlton hotel in New York).
Not keeping windows clean
Between external dirt and pollution and internal smudges and dust, windows can quickly become dull, which in turn dulls the rest of your interior. But cleaning your windows regularly is a quick and easy way to keep your rooms looking crisp, bright and well-tended.
Living with bad lighting
Overly bright (especially fluorescent) lighting is harsh on the eyes and doesn't allow for any dimension in tone or mood. Conversely, not enough light and your rooms won't feel warm or welcoming. The good news is that lighting issues are easy to correct using a variety of floor and table lamps (and dimmers if possible).
The amazing Marie Kondo aside, for a majority of us, to live is to have some clutter. And that is perfectly okay — because having stuff doesn't have to mean piles of chaos. We can have a plethora of things and still have a sophisticated home. Check out these strategies for keeping the clutter in check or, er, hidden:
Ooof, this is a big one for me. Exposed wires are such a part of our lives these days and they just never look good. Luckily, there are practical ways to hide home wires and manage general wire clutter.
Not hanging artwork properly
Artwork adds so much beauty to any room, but if it's hung too high or too low, it can make everything feel off. A good rule of thumb is to follow Maxwell's pro tip for hanging artwork: hang art 57 inches from the floor. This is the rule generally employed by galleries and museums and is a simple way to get it right every time.
Leaving worn out or ugly hardware on your cabinetry
Not swapping out cheap window coverings
I'm looking at you vinyl blinds. This is especially an issue for those of us who rent. There are some really lovely and inexpensive alternatives to plastic mini blinds, so never feel stuck with landlord-issued window blandness (hanging curtains with an additional layer of sheers is another quick fix!)
Neglecting your textiles
Old, flimsy pillows and blankets and ill-considered rugs will quickly make an entire room feel lackluster. But a few vibrant and colorful throw pillows, one luxe throw blanket, and a properly sized rug will pay you back tenfold in terms of adding warmth and sophistication.
If you feel like your rooms are sterile or you're looking to add beauty to an unattractive corner, add in house plants. Greenery adds beauty and texture as well, so think about terrariums, orchids, fresh-cut flowers, or even a big bowl of fruit on your kitchen counter. Any form of plant life will add vibrancy and natural elegance to a room.
Re-edited from a post that originally appeared 10.20.16. — AH