When you’re not a professional, even a job as seemingly easy as styling your shelf can seem daunting, much less buying furniture that you hope you spend the rest of your years enjoying. Talk about commitment.

The interior designers at Eloise Trading Company help their clients find the perfect pieces to fit each space — from moving a painting or arranging your built-ins to picking out the right chairs to liven up the room. No job is too big or too small for them, and we asked them for a few style secrets to help you make your space IG worthy.

1. Make it Neutral: Then add Pops of Color.

Your bigger pieces, like a couch, can be neutral; just not beige. Pick a solid and choose 1-2 pops of color and texture to make it interesting from there. Invest in quality upholstery in the items you know you’ll want to have for a long time, rather than spending extra money on trendy pieces (or companies) that will fall apart in a few years. Pick revolution fabrics that are pet, kid and wine resistant; especially if the neutral you pick is white.

Pro tip: Blue and white is a classic color combination that will never go out of style. Pops of pink or orange in the form of pillows, throws and even lamps or chairs will liven things up. And if you love bold furniture, chairs are a great way to get creative.

2. You Don’t Have to go Wild on a Rug.

There are beautiful $10,000 rugs out there, but many area rugs under $1,000 will get the same job done just as beautifully. When it comes to choosing a floor covering, you have two options — to fall in love with a particular rug and build your room around it, or to go a little more basic and compliment the furniture you already have.

3. Repurpose Furniture you Love.

Pieces with sentimental value are hard to get rid of, and difficult to fit into your space. Modernize them with new hardware or paint so that you can keep it in the family. Your great-great aunt will just be happy it’s not in the attic.

Need help figuring out what to do, don’t have time to DIY, or have an idea but need a second opinion? The ETC women can take care of it. Just ask.

4. Styled Shelves Are. Very. Important.

No, you can’t just cram a shelf with the stuff you love and hope for the best. Well, you can, if you want literally no one to enjoy looking at it.

Start with sentimental objects and build around those. Plates, boxes and books all make excellent objects to fill spaces and elevate other objects. 

If you have a couple of small things to display, group them all together to create an impact. Group similar colors together and try to create symmetry with objects close in size and shape. If you can’t find exactly what you need, make it yourself. Betsy, co-owner of ETC, once got some old books from the thrift store and painted them gold to create a riser to incorporate with her theme.

You have emotional attachments to your things, but whether you realize it or not, you’re probably also attached to the way they’ve been styled previously. Getting an outside (professional) opinion helps, because they won’t overthink things the way you do.

5. And What About Coffee Tables?

Opt out of the traditional table (which is forever covered in clutter) and go for an ottoman, which is both on-trend and practical. You can put your feet up and hide ugly toys. And when your kids bonk their heads on those soft corners, you’ll hear nary a yell.

Ottomans are a great way to incorporate the leather, tufting and nailhead trim without going overboard. Dress it up with a tray, throw and books to keep it stylish.

What Next?

Need more advice? Bring a photo of your room to Eloise Trading Company so they can help you figure out what works and what doesn’t. If they don’t have just what you need in the store, they’ll hunt the perfect pieces down themselves. Or, they’ll come to your home and help you achieve the look only a professional can.

This post was produced in partnership with Eloise Trading Company.

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