A prominent item like a fireplace, artwork or mirror can serve as a eye-catching focal point for any space."With strong background design and interesting architectural elements contributing to the composition, your art and accessories won't have to work too hard," Cook points out in her book. "They can make the contribution they're supposed to make and not have to carry too much of the overall design on their own." Photo: Gregory Rec, Portland Press Herald, Getty Images / This content is…
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It's tempting to buy the coordinated, ready-made furnishings on the furniture showroom floor. Try mixing accessories with ready-made pieces from the store to add character to a room. It takes time, sometimes years, to achieve a warm overall feel, but the result is a home that is as unique as the people living in it. Photo: Lambert, Ullstein Bild, Getty Images
Move the furniture inward to create a warm, intimate seating arrangement for conversation. This is particularly important for entertaining in large, open-concept homes. The furniture should be arranged to allow for guests and family to circulate through the space. A large area rug can unify the furnishings. Photo: DeAgostini, Getty Images