The Best Decorating Tips from AT Commenters for 2023

published Dec 19, 2023
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A white couch in a white living room with colorful artwork and a colorful rug
Credit: Erin Derby

It’s almost the end of 2023, and we’ve been giving you, our loyal readers, decorating tips all through the year as we always do. At the end of each year, however, we turn the spotlight on you — specifically those commenters who spot great ideas in our house tours or leave some insightful tips of their own.

Check out our top commenter tips from this year — and don’t forget to drop your own decorating tips in the comments in 2024 for a chance to be featured next year!

1. Add a pop of color to your bathroom by painting the toilet instead of the walls. 

In November, Jacqueline Cipolla gave a house tour of her gorgeous studio apartment in Boston. Reader pinkiseverythingispink commented, “I’m in love with the teal toilet, and it looks like there is a sink of the same color.” As it turns out, you absolutely can paint a toilet with whatever color you please — and you might want to do the sink as well while you’re at it!

Credit: Layne Dixon

2. Use dimmers to keep overhead lights from being overwhelming. 

Bridgette Haulenbeek’s Chicago apartment has some gorgeous features — including this eye-catching Bocci chandelier. Commenter Suzzeecat was definitely a fan, saying, “I’ve never seen a chandelier that accommodates air plants — that is both creepy and amazing!” However, they disagreed with Bridgette’s tip about leaving bulbs out of overhead lights in order to keep them from being too bright. They said, “As for the tip to leave bulbs out of light fixtures, that is a pet peeve of mine, to see missing light bulbs, it just looks like the bulb burned out and the owner was too lazy to replace it. I prefer to adjust lighting by installing dimmer switches.” 

Credit: Erin Derby

3. Switch out cabinet pulls and knobs for a “luxurious” option. 

We wrote about some budget additions that’ll polish up your bathroom, from adding chic storage to wallpaper. Commenter Marisa Nova added, “My biggest ‘wow’ was changing out the cabinet pulls & knobs with a luxurious design. Cost more but 15 years later I still feel as if I am in a spa every time I look at them or give them a tug.” 

4. If you don’t have space for a dining table, consider buying an extendable one and using it as a side/coffee table when you don’t need it. 

AT covered living rooms that made space for dining tables, but if you don’t want to have a dining table full-time, commenter The Effective Presenter had another handy tip. They said, “We have used dining room tables with the leaf removed and the sides down as a sofa table [for] a large lamp, art, books, and when it’s time for a dinner party, voila! Pull out the table and round up the chairs and y’all have a dining room table.”

5. If you have deep-set windows, try using them as book storage. 

In this piece on small-space book storage, commenter MyMancHome offered up another idea. She says, “I have deep-set sash windows between bullnose brick and I essentially use the bricks as bookends, books slotted in the middle.”

6. Use a contrast color to visually “stretch” out a long, narrow living room.

We wrote a few tips on rectangular living room layouts, and commenter MeredithDAnderson added another for creating balance. They say, “I have a long, narrow living room, and I painted the end wall a different color. It makes it appear wider.”

Credit: Sarah Lyon

7. Make a faux plant look more realistic by adding some height. 

Contributor Sarah Lyon wrote about making faux plants look real with moss, and commenter ApartmentWho? added, “Pro tip: Add packing filler for added height under the moss, and cut two semi-circles with a hole in the middle (like a donut) out of cardboard for either side of the plant for the moss to sit on for a more even look that isn’t sitting near the bottom of the pot.”