hanging art

Photo: iStock/KatarzynaBialasiewicz

Hanging Art

"I often see homes where the art is hung too high. People want to see your art at their eye level; they don't want to have to crane their necks to see it," says Janet Lee, author of Living in a Nutshell: Posh and Portable Decorating Ideas for Small Spaces. Even a difference as small as 3 inches can make an impact. If you're unsure, follow this general rule of thumb: the picture's midpoint should be between 57 and 60 inches from the floor. And if the frame is over a sofa, it should be about 6 inches above the edge of the furniture.
rug under couch

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The Floating Rug

It's a common misperception that pushing all the furniture against the walls will maximize the space in a room. "Don't do this!" says Lee. "When the furniture, especially the sofa, is along the edges of a room, with a small rug in the middle, it actually makes the space seem smaller." Instead, use this visual trick: Hide the rug's edges under the legs of a couch or other piece of furniture; this position draws the eye wider and makes the room appear bigger than it actually is.
cordless tv

Photo: iStock/imaginima

Lingering Wires

Before you start figuring out a way to hide all the cords and cables snaking around the perimeter of your living room or home office, first consider what each one powers. Molly Graves, co-founder of the professional organizing company NEAT Method, says many of her clients miss this important step. "Take inventory of which cords are used for what. You may be surprised at how many cords are plugged in—for long-gone phones, cameras and TVs." Once you've weeded out your unused cords, then you can work on concealing the remaining ones via crown molding or this handy trick.
long curtains

Photo: iStock/KatarzynaBialasiewicz

A Hovering Curtain

A tailored curtain should just touch, or "kiss," the floor but never hover above it, says interior designer Lauren Liess (think of too-short curtains like the décor version of high-water pants). For a slightly more casual look, you may want to allow a two- to four-inch break of curtain fabric on the floor. And for a romantic look, allow the panels to go even longer so that they puddle on the floor.