How to Style Your Home Like a Pro

April 16, 2021

There’s no magic in styling your home to look like it’s from the pages of your favourite magazine, but there are definitely some tricks of the trade to bring that elegant aesthetic to life. Whether you want to style and stage your home for sale, or want to raise your style standard, here are some tried and true tips for decorating your home like a pro.

Between your home’s current state and your eventual vision for the place, it must be clutter-free. Clutter is anything that you don’t love or use, eating up valuable space in your home and mind. The boxes of old trophies and yearbooks, the clothes that don’t fit but you’re keeping “just in case,” Great Aunt Ruth’s ceramic cat collection from her china cabinet – maybe the china cabinet, too. Oftentimes we hold onto things out of obligation. Evaluate every single item in your home and if you don’t love it and use it, get rid of it. This may seem like a laborious task, but the deeper you dig, the lighter you’ll feel.

Don’t feel like you have to toss everything. If possible, neutralize it. Old furniture can be repaired and restored by repainting or re-upholstering. This will save money and keep perfectly good items out of landfills.

Now, with what is hopefully a small but meaningful collection of furniture and accessories, you can start to fill in the gaps. This is where you can really have some fun. Since you’ll be buying new, make it count. Make it “front-cover worthy.” Look for bold colour, patterns and shapes. Mixing a few strong pieces against a neutral backdrop can bring amazing character and tells a story.

When arranging your furnishings and accessories, look for the natural focal points in the room. This could be an architectural feature, such as a window or a fireplace. Alternately, if a room lacks an obvious focal point, create one with a bold piece of furniture or art. Highlight these features with vignettes, such as a reading area by the window, or a conversation area in front of the fireplace. All you need is a chair or two, a rug underfoot to help define the area, and the right lighting to enhance function and ambiance.

Finally, the finishing touches can make or break a home’s style, so don’t overlook these fine details. If you’re aiming for a “magazine look,” consider current trends and stay up to date. An easy and cost-effective way of keeping up with the trends is with your accessories. Some coordinated pillows and throws in the latest hue, and pops of your metal of choice on a tabletop and bookshelf can be enough to usher the room into the modern day. When your tastes change, it’s a simple switch.

A beautifully styled home should look effortless, which ironically, can be a real task. Get inspired by your favourite furniture showrooms, decorating magazines and social media influencers. There’s no shortage of ideas out there, just waiting for your spin!


Toronto-based stager Red Barrinuevo is the property stylist on HGTV Canada’s Hot Market Series and the Principal Designer at Redesign4more. He is an award-winning interior stylist who was also named one of the most influential people in real estate staging this year by RESA Global. His firm is known for enhancing and creating stylish yet functional spaces through its creative home staging, interior decorating, and design services.

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