Lighting is extremely important and can make a significant difference. Use more than one light source in a room. Combinations of table lamps, sconces, chandeliers and accent lighting can give a room more character and improve the ambience. 

Try to use roughly equal amounts of warm and cool colors to give balance to a room. 

When hanging artwork on a wall space, over a mantel, or over a piece of furniture, do not hang the piece in the middle of the wall space above, but position it closer to the item below it. 

A chandelier will appear larger if it is hung lower. The bottom of the chandelier should be about 30 inches above a table or 60 inches above the floor, however it can be adjusted according to the height and scale of the room and the fixture. 

Don’t be afraid to use different materials to provide some contrast in texture. You can combine materials such as wood, leather, metallics, crystal etc., effectively.

If a ceiling is painted darker than the walls, the room will appear wider. Conversely, if a ceiling is painted lighter than the walls, the room will appear higher. 

When selecting an area rug, scale is very important. Too small a rug will look insignificant. Choose a rug that will anchor the space, one that is sufficiently large enough to sit under all of the furniture in the defined area.

Lighting is one of the most important elements in room design. When choosing lighting for any space, remember to consider these three uses: General Lighting, Task Lighting, and, of course, Accent Lighting. Use dimmers on all overhead lighting, as this will help you change the ambience as needed. 

Mirrors are an easy way to bring more light to a space and can be used as decorative accents. When using a mirror, check to see what will be reflected in the mirror. If the view is unsightly, you should substitute artwork instead. If the view is pleasant - the outdoors, a pretty room, or something decorative, then go for it. It is always important for everyone in a space to have something beautiful to look at.

When hanging a group of objects in close proximity to each other - such as a set of prints or plates - lay them out on the floor in an area roughly the same size as the wall area on which they will hang. Move them around until you get the optimal arrangement, then transfer them to the wall. 

Design Tips From The Expert