Sabrina Soto teaches the little things that make or break home decor

Soto encourages mixing up prints to create a look that’s all your own.

Even if your design aesthetic currently means your college futon coexists with your great aunt’s coffee table, there are ways to pull a room together stylishly. Just ask HGTV star Sabrina Soto, whose new book, “Home Design,” gives the low-down on layering to get a room’s flavor just right. Here, she walks through the finishing touches that give any space extra pizzazz.

The right accent pieces
“I think accessorizing can take a room from being OK to absolutely fabulous,” Soto says. “It’s about making the right decisions when accessorizing. You want pops of color, you want different textures, you want interesting pieces that tell your story, but you don’t want to overdo it.” Her two rules for polishing a room like a pro? “I always like to accessorize in odd numbers, and I never like to use things smaller than a grapefruit. I think too many little knickknacks become clutter.”

The right lighting
Soto says it’s the most important aspect of design — and sorry: Overhead bulbs aren’t gonna cut it. She suggests “two, maybe even three, artificial forms of light per room,” even in small rooms. “Lighting really does make or break a room, whether it’s a sconce, chandelier, recess lighting, even table lamps. You want to have enough light in a room to balance a space.”

The right fabrics

This covers everything from your window treatments to your couch’s upholstery to the pillows on top of it. Find a balance, Soto suggests, and feel free to ditch the matchy-matchy look. “It’s about mixing up prints but making sure that at the end of the day they still tell a nice story,” she says. And yes, you can mix prints! “There’s no specific rules, but you just want to make sure that the colors play well with each other. If you have two prints next to each other, you still want them still to have the same shades of colors. It’s like clothes.”

Steal this trick
To work around a clunky radiator: “Put a floating shelf on top of it and use it as a table. You could get a floating shelf at Ikea or Target for nothing. And I usually like to have it blend in with the wall, so I’ll paint it the exact same color, but you just want to make sure to use high-heat paint.”


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