Rearrange the bookshelvesarchideaphoto/iStock
Organize 60 percent of books vertically and 40 percent horizontally on the shelves. This creates balance yet spontaneity (and shows off the back of the bookshelf if it’s lined with a decorative fabric). Stack horizontal books lower than vertical ones: If the vertical books are 12 inches tall, place three to four books horizontally up to four inches high. Add green plants to soften the bookshelf, but avoid flowers, which can look cluttered and distracting.
Create space with the right mirror placementBlair_witch/iStock
Mirror, mirror, on the wall: What is the best placement of them all? Centered at about 57 inches high, experts say. This is an easy, strain-free eye level for most people. To create the illusion of more space, mount a mirror opposite a window to bounce light.
Place a rug based on its sizeBCFC/iStock
The size of the rug—say, for under the coffee table—will dictate how you arrange furniture around it. With an eight-by-ten-foot rug, situate the sofa and any chairs so that the front legs of each are somewhere on the rug but the back legs are not. With a five-by-eight-foot rug, keep the sofa completely off, but still place the front legs of the chairs on it. In a large family room, use two rugs to create two separate living areas.