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Lee Snijders' Decorating Tips

Not sure about decorating rules? Try these rule-busting tips from Lee Snijders, host of HGTV's Design on a Dime.

BREAK THE RULES: Nowhere in the design "rule book" does it say you have to paint all four walls in a room. By painting just one wall, you actually add depth to the room. Try painting the wall where the television stands or the wall the couch faces.

DESIGN CENTS: Painting is the cheapest way to redesign a room. A new color can change the tone of a room and you can easily do it yourself. Also, accessorizing with plants, hanging new artwork or including an area rug can refresh a room in under five minutes.

ACCENT ON COLOR: When choosing paint color, select the least dominant color in a single piece of artwork, a duvet cover or a rug to use as your wall color. It allows the artwork or other items to be the focal point of the room.

PAINT TRICKS: Turn a small space into a larger one by using different shades of the same color. For example, paint opposite walls a shade lighter or darker than the adjacent walls to give the room a sense of depth.

MOVE IN: Placing furniture away from the walls actually makes the room feel larger. Consider angling chairs and moving couches away from the walls to create a cozy conversation area for family or guests.

3, 5 and 7s: When accessorizing a room, remember to follow the 3, 5 and 7s rule -- create groups of three, five or seven items. Display objects of varying heights (picture frames, candles, etc.) in a pyramid shape. It helps highlight the objects in a room.

A TOUCH OF COLOR: When painting over a dark wall, be sure to tint your primer with a color a few shades lighter than your new topcoat color. This will help ensure a perfect finish and ultimately help you save money because you'll need less topcoat to take your walls from one color to the next. Lee recommends a general purpose, water-based primer, such as KILZĀ® Premium, for best results.

GO DARK: Darker colors actually make your room look larger. A dark, flat paint brings depth to an otherwise smaller room and light colors make a room feel more airy -- not larger.

EDIBLE WALLS: Paint kitchens the color of food to entice your guests to get in the mood to eat. Consider reds and Tuscan tones, eggplant, or caramel.

For more on Lee, visit his website:

Kristan Cunningham's Remodeling Journal


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