real estate

8 secrets to designing a camera-ready room

Mirror, mirror
Mirror, mirror © Kasia Bialasiewicz/

Sure, you can see your own reflection in mirrors, but did you know they can also be used to amplify the light and make a room look bigger?

To make mirrors really brighten a space, place them on the wall opposite a window -- you can almost double the light in the room, says Lowell.

Do it on the cheap by hanging a grouping of mismatched mirrors on one wall, says Novogratz. Using different frames and different sizes helps the installation become "funky and quirky," she says.

Once you have the mirrors, you could use paint to create a flowing motif. Make the mirrors more uniform by repainting the frames in a matching color. Or try a built-in look by painting them to match the trim. You can even make the frames "disappear" by matching the paint to the walls.

Another quick and cheap tip for a high-dollar look is moving the furniture away from the walls.

"In great rooms, the furniture floats," says Lowell. It's not lined up against the wall.

Instead of putting furniture against the walls and using that to define an area, try using an area rug, he says. "Think of that really smart hotel lobby," and cluster conversation areas in a living room or den, he says.

Save "the walls for art and storage units," Lowell says.


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