The Most Common Decorating Questions Our Editors Are Asked—Answered

When you're styling a new space, there are so many ways you can approach the design. You want to inject some personality and play around with current trends, but you also want it to be classic and stand the test of time. Even after months of thoughtful planning and pinning, it can still be a minefield of questions and intense decision-making. As MyDomaine editors, we're frequently quizzed on these topics, from How do I hang a gallery wall? to What kind of kilim should I buy for my kitchen? and they are all incredibly valid questions. So we polled the team and compiled a list of the most common queries. Read on to see if yours was answered. 

Will it Match My Floors?

I am often asked this question when people are buying wooden furniture for their hardwood floors, and while the answer is mostly yes, too many try to match their timber furniture to their hardwood floors. But I believe there's more beauty in contrast. Have light floors? Go with a dark dining table, and vice versa. When in doubt, go with marble or metal instead.

Crate and Barrel Marble Stainless Steel Dining Table
Crate and Barrel Marble Stainless Steel Dining Table $1,379
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How Should I Fill This Giant Blank Wall?

Filling a blank wall on a budget can be tricky, especially when exceedingly high ceilings are involved. In this case, I like using wallpaper or bookcases to fill them out. A statement chandelier or cluster of pendants can also break up some white space from the top down. 

West Elm Mobile Chandelier
West Elm Mobile Chandelier $299 - $399
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What Size Rug Should I Buy For My Living Room? 

You have two main options here. In an ideal world, all your furniture would fit on your living room rug. Realistically, this solution can get very pricey very quickly. As an alternative, make sure that at least the front legs of your furniture sit comfortably on the rug. Don't be afraid to push your furniture closer together either; not everything should be backed against a wall. 

One Kings Lane Vibrance Rug
Solo Rugs Vibrance Rug $1,115
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What Are the Dos and Don’ts of Styling Coffee Table Books?

Do: Color-code books or arrange books with similar covers together. 

Don’t: Overdo it. Too many books stacked perfectly will look too "done." The aim is to make the coffee table books appear neat and chic but also inviting for guests to sit down and take a look through them.

Do: Style a coffee table or bookcase with found objects, such as a statement vase, a sculpture, or a beautiful keepsake.

Do: Use trays to arrange books and items. 

Park Mirrored Nightstand
Pottery Barn Park Mirrored Nightstand $499
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How Do You Mix Décor Trends?

Introduce trends via small accents, such as throw pillows, a vase, or a table lamp first to test how it will work in the space. Consider layers, too. If you want to combine midcentury with tribal, an easy way to style the two trends side by side is to opt for a midcentury base (think chairs, dining table, etc.) and culturally inspired accents. It’ll also give you more flexibility to swap out these accents with another style when the room needs an update. 

Asher Cerused Vase
CB2 Asher Cerused Vase $60
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How Do I Choose Artwork to Match My Space?

Consider the color palette of the room. People often select art that is in line with a room's main accent color, but that can look overstyled and obvious. Instead, opt for a color that appears in a subtle way. If you have a navy sofa with a burnt-orange throw, look for art that picks up on that earthy color.

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How Do I Layer Throw Pillows in Different Patterns, Colors, and Textures?

Choose one décor trend (minimalist, geometric, monochromatic), and pick one to three statement throw pillows that are print-heavy and trend-driven. Next, balance these with throw cushions that adhere to the same color theme but are less chaotic.

Always choose uneven numbers so the space looks thrown together and not too calculated. 

Amber Interiors Bowie
Amber Interiors Vintage Batik Pillow $250
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What Should You Invest in for Your First Apartment?

What I learned from moving across the country is that you only need a bed and art for the walls. I know this sounds really simple, but it gives you the chance to build a truly stylish home over time. Side note: I've had the same art for five years; it still looks good.

Pink Lemonade II by Valerie Tovar
Valerie Tovar Pink Lemonade II $195
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How Do You Decorate With Roommates?

It all depends on the situation. If you and your roomie are moving into a new place together, sit down and talk about what you want the space to look like, your décor styles, and what you're willing to spend. Always decorate your own private spaces first before tackling common areas. My philosophy when decorating with roommates is to always communicate and always be kind. 

IKEA Lövbacken Side Table
IKEA Lövbacken Side Table $60
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What Dishes Do I Need to Buy?

When you’ve just graduated and are not quite into cooking yet, I always say invest in the essentials. I own one pot, one cast-iron skillet, and one pan. I don't cook much, so I don't need a lot. Only buy what you will actually use. If you're thinking of purchasing a juicer but you're always late in the morning, that's probably not the best investment. Purchase items based on your lifestyle, not what you think you should have.

Finex Cast-Iron Skillet
Finex Cast-Iron Skillet $150
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How Can You Separate a Small Space?

If you're living in a studio and want to separate your living space from your bedroom, consider hanging floating curtains from the ceiling or using bookshelves as a natural room divider. I can say I LOVE a good floating curtain from IKEA. 

IKEA Fönsterviva Panel Curtain
IKEA Fönsterviva Panel Curtain $15
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Should I Paint My Interior With Neutral or Bright Colors?

White, white, white every time. It’s classic, trend-proof, opens up the room, and goes with everything. If you’re brave and really want to push the color spectrum at home, we love this fresh hue; otherwise, you should probably read this first.

Benjamin Moore Simply White
Benjamin Moore Simply White $38
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How Should I Decorate a Small Apartment?

This is one of the most asked questions of them all. Why should you sacrifice style just because your space is limited? One tip for a one-bedroom is to create zones within the space to keep sleeping areas separate from the public. IKEA has affordable room dividers, but a sliding drape or screen will also do the trick. Another trick is to invest in multipurpose pieces: an ottoman that doubles as a coffee table, stylish storage that’s also a cute side table, or a dining table that’s also a desk.

Hideaway Side Table With Storage
CB2 Hideaway Side Table with Storage $499
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How Do I Style a Gallery Wall?

If there’s one thing you need to exercise when creating a gallery wall, it’s patience. Like all good things, it takes time. First, you should collect artwork that is within the same color palette or at least complementary to the hues of your interior. Then think about a theme; do you want them all to be abstract paintings? Perhaps you want to showcase your children’s drawings or throw unique prints together. It doesn’t matter what you decide on, just make sure the patterns and styles merge together seamlessly.

Always make sure it’s original and unique work, not generic. The cheap works might be cheerful for your wallet, but their mediocrity will show when you hang them all together. Map out the wall with a plan before you start hanging, too, making sure to consider the sizes, almost like putting puzzle pieces together. If you’re not confident, try out a professional service.

The Supremes
Art.com The Supremes $149
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