1 of 10
Paint It White -- or Paint It Black
They may seem as different as night and day, but white or black paint -- applied to all of the furniture in one room -- can reinvent a space. The colors unite mismatched pieces that otherwise can't live together harmoniously. Both shades take the focus away from surface imperfections, making furnishings notable for their forms. Painting items white instantly cleans them up and lightens a room. Black lends a polished look.
2 of 10
Befriend the Mirror
Here's an illuminating idea: Transform a simple coffee table or end table by topping its surface with a piece of mirror glass. Not only will the silvery glass obscure any unsightly nicks scarring the table's surface, it will also create pretty reflections of light, instantly brightening a room.
5 of 10
Divide the Space
Separate a large, undefined space into smaller areas with a sheer drape. Pale-blue sheerness creates a beautiful glowing color, almost like a painted wall. The transparency gives the room light and life, whereas an opaque curtain would close it off.
7 of 10
Don't have the width to fit a full-size table in a space? You may have the perfect piece right under your nose. After 40 years' hard service in various dining rooms, this table had lost a leg and acquired its share of scratches and nicks. But half of it had a second life ahead as this graceful console.
10 of 10
Mimimize the Vast Expanse
Need to pull together your living room or dining room? Wrap a ribbon of pretty paper around it. A chair rail grounds your furniture so it's not floating in an empty expanse.
You Just Viewed
Rely on Smart TricksReplay
- Brass Jewelry Projects: All That Glitters Is Not Gold
- Home Decor Inspired by Color
- From the Shar-chives: Kevin Sharkey’s Most Beloved Valentine’s Day Ideas
- Make-Ahead Office Lunch: Five Days, Five Ways
- Studio Visit: Purl Soho
- Our Food Editors' Food Resolutions
- Real Page-Turners: Our Favorite Bookshelf Organizing Ideas
- The Barest Simmer
- Decorate with Brass
- A Woodworking Couple's Labor of Love
- A Blueprint for Color
- Board Games: Kevin Sharkey's Cheeseboard Picks
- All Scooped Up: The 10 Best Ways to Eat Ice Cream in Winter
- New Year's Heave: Our 2014 Organizing Resolutions
- Healthy and Delicious: Cooking with Whole Grains