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How to Curate Your Home for a Magazine-worthy Look

When you walk into each room of your home do you smile? Does the room feel like it hugs you? Are you excited to show it off to friends and family? When you walk into a showhome do you think “my home is more beautiful than this”?

If you answered no, keep reading!

Before we get started, I want to stress that your home is an extension of your personality, so when it comes to decorating, don't be afraid to let your style shine through. Whether you're a simple minimalist at heart or a bold maximalist who loves to mix and match, there's no wrong way to curate a space that truly reflects you.


If you're looking to curate your home to look extra polished and put-together like the rooms you see in a magazine (or an interior designer’s portfolio), there are indeed a few tricks of the trade you can try - and I’m sharing some of them with you.

8 Tips & Tricks to Help You Curate Your Home Like a Pro

Break the Matching Bed Set Trend

I’m not a gambler, but I am willing to bet anything that you will NEVER open up Architectural Digest or Better Homes & Gardens and see a matching bed set.

And it’s for good reason. Matching bed sets can make a bedroom look too uniform and uninspired.

Curated Bedroom Tip: Mix and match bedroom furniture from different brands. Side tables, dressers, and beds that are different but cohesive make a room look curated, intentional and highly designed. This tip goes for your bedding as well: Layer different patterns and textures through bedding, pillows, throw pillows, and throw blankets to add depth and interest to this focal point.

Layer Decor

You don't have to be a maximalist to layer decor. By creating styled vignettes as focal moments throughout your home, you are highlighting a mood and telling a story that keeps your home welcoming and interesting.

Styled Vignette Tip: Use both soft textiles and unique sculptures to build out vignettes. For example, in a living room, you’ll want to add throw pillows and blankets to the sofa, which are both functional and beautiful. For the next layer artwork above the sofa to complete the vignette. Unique sculptural pieces can be paired with books, trays, candle sticks, and vases to create a vignette on a coffee table. Design this to create the mood you are hoping for in this space (eg: springy and fresh, warm and welcoming, edgy and artistic). Be creative and mix and match different textures, colours, and sizes to create a layered, eclectic look.

Ground the Space with Area Rugs

Area rugs can tie a room together and ground the space, making it feel more complete. Without them, furniture feels like it is floating aimlessly in a space and makes for an uncomfortable experience. Area rugs are also great for creating zones in open concept homes so they feel less like bowling alleys.

Area Rug Tip: Look at the different colours that make up your room and try to find a rug that has most of them in it. Rugs are a great way to tie a scheme together by pulling them into one focal point that others can relate to. Most importantly, choose a rug that is the appropriate size for the space, and place it in the center of the room with at least the front legs of all furniture (yes, all of it) on it. This is how you ground and define the space.

Incorporate Antique Furniture

In a world furnished with IKEA and decorated with HomeSense, there is a need to breathe soul into homes more than ever. In fact, you should never be the oldest thing in your home! Antique furniture adds character and story to a space. 

‘Old Stuff’ Tip: Incorporate at least one piece of furniture that can be a conversation piece in a room. Even in the most modern of homes, a well-built, hand-carved, uniquely detailed piece brings that ‘designer’ focal point into a cold space. Consider an antique dresser, mirror, side table, or chair that has a real story to tell.

Bonus: Old books make for great styling pieces on bookshelves and as stacked layers on a coffee table.

Shop Second Hand

Shopping second-hand is a great way to find unique, one-of-a-kind pieces that can add character to your home. Not only is this an environmentally-friendly way to shop, it also allows you to create a more personalized look in your home. It also means that you get to support small, local boutiques and thrift stores in your journey to find unique decor items that match your style, making for a fun Saturday!

Consignment Tip: Decor should always bring you joy. Every time you look at it you should smile. When you no longer do, it is time to swap it for something that does. Shopping second-hand allows you to affordably flip and update your decor more often so you always have something fresh to love. More importantly, consigning your pieces allows someone else to love them.

Display Unique Travel Finds

Incorporating your special travel finds into your home evokes positive memories into your every day and adds a personal touch that tells your story to your home. 

And no, I’m NOT talking tacky souvenirs!

Worldly Styling Tip: Rather than purchasing cheap, mass-produced tchotchkes, look for artwork, textiles, and other items that are unique to the place you're visiting. 

These items serve as conversation starters and remind you of the experiences and adventures you've had, while being functional as a part of your home styling (eg: textiles made into pillows or drapes, artwork to replace HomeSense pieces, sculptural pieces for your vignettes).

Layer Drapery Over Window Treatments

Layering drapery over window treatments adds a sense of luxury to a space. Textiles of this calibre soften walls, absorb unpleasant echoes, and create a ‘fullness’ that can’t become clutter. Layering drapery over window treatments is not only an aesthetic improvement, it provides literal layers of function through privacy regulating the temperature in your home.

Drapery Tip: Select a fabric that complements the colours and patterns in the room. This may mean choosing a simple line for a tone-on-tone sophistication or going bold to add a pop of colour in a big way. Regardless of what fabric you choose, make sure you choose enough of it. Drapes typically hang 1 inch off the ground (exceptions of course apply), and are a width of 1.5x that of the window. You want to hang the curtain rod at least 10” wider than the window/door on both sides and only a few inches down from the ceiling to create height and drama.

Note: Custom drapery is highly detailed and can be expensive. Always hire a professional to help!

Don’t Worry, Be Happy

At the core of curating your home to be an elevated version of ‘Where the Heart is’ is the idea of finding joy in the things that surround you. 

From the colours on the walls to the furniture you sit on, every element of your space should contribute to a sense of happiness and contentment. When you walk into your home, it should be a welcoming refuge that instantly makes you feel at ease.

And remember, if something doesn't bring you joy in that moment, it's time to let it go and make room for something that does. Whether it's a piece of furniture you no longer use or a decoration that no longer fits your style, passing it on to someone else who will appreciate it can be a liberating experience.

If you want to curate your home to give it a magazine-worthy look, the key is to embrace the old, the new, and the personal. Don't be afraid to mix and match antique pieces with thrift store finds, and add layers of decor to give your space that extra oomph.

The real secret sauce to masterful interior design will always be filling your space with items that spark joy and make you grin from ear to ear. Because when you strut into your pad with those you want to impress, it’s not enough that it just looks like a million bucks - it needs to make you feel like a million bucks too.

For more information, check out Unshelf Design today!

Blog provided by Unshelf Design


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