My SYLVANIA craft room makeover taught me a few things that I wanted to share with you. Here are my top five decorating and lighting tips:

1. Combining up and down lighting

Most homes—especially older rentals like mine—don’t have enough built-in lighting. And one lamp will not do the job, even in small rooms. To brighten up your space without much effort, combine up lights (table or floor lamps) with down lights (pendants) and spotlights (under/inside cabinets and closets or hung over a piece of art).

Up lighting

Up lighting

Down lighting

Down lighting

FOR EXAMPLE: My small office/craft/guest room now has eight light sources: three up lights, two down lights, two spot lights, and one night light/flashlight. All of them use SYLVANIA LED bulbs, which are so energy efficient I can afford to have all of them on at once. With multiple light sources, I have more control over the level of light in the room. And SYLVANIA’S ULTRA Aline LED light bulb is dimmable, so my main light is now on a dimmer switch, giving me even more control.

2. Choosing furniture and accessories

Choose furniture and accessories that are proportionate to the room. When your space is small, don’t choose large lamps or chairs that will block traffic or lines of sight. Furniture stores are generally large open spaces, so furniture looks smaller than it will in your home. Measure and plan your space before making big purchases.

Too large lamp

Too large lamp

Smaller, translucent lamp

Smaller, translucent lamp

FOR EXAMPLE: I planned to reuse an old table lamp from my living room in my office makeover. When staging the room, I realized that the tall lamp was overwhelming. It blocked the window and my line of sight. I replaced it with a small, translucent bedside lamp. My office felt more open and airy immediately.

3. Selecting paint color

When choosing wall colors, look at the paint samples in the same lighting that is in your room. Most paint stores only have florescent lighting, so the color you choose may look much different at home. Take the swatch home and tape it to the wall—or buy a sample and paint a swatch. Then watch how the color changes in daylight or lamp light. Choose the color that best suits both lighting situations.

Test your paint color in different lighting

Test your paint color in different lighting

FOR EXAMPLE: I chose a pastel turquoise color for my office. I tested it on my walls, and loved the result. In afternoon light it looks baby blue. In morning or lamp light, it looks more green. Both hues worked for me.

4. Decorating your walls

Go big on the walls. Nothing makes a room look unfinished more than blank walls—or one small frame on a vast space. Add some pop with one large piece of art or a collection of smaller photos or art grouped together. Enlarge and brighten a room with a big mirror. Paint a mural or even go bold with an oversized clock. You can usually err on the larger side when it comes to decorating our walls. Remember to hang at eye level and properly light your art too.

Giant magnet board

Giant magnet board

FOR EXAMPLE: I designed a giant magnet board for my office wall to organize my supplies and display my favorite ephemera. It’s the focal point of the room and it cohesively organizes many small individual items (calendar, to do list, etc.).

5. Using vertical storage

If you don’t have enough storage (and who does?) take advantage of your vertical space. Everyone knows armoires, tall cabinets, and bookshelves are great for hiding and organizing clutter. What about hanging a magazine rack or spice rack? Or a pegboard with all your craft supplies? Why not move your office inbox to the wall with a file folder rack? Or mount a high shelf over the door? With the right reinforcements (ie. studs, wall anchors, or molly bolts), there isn’t much you can’t hang on the wall.

Vertical wall storage

Vertical wall storage

FOR EXAMPLE: I put small office supplies in magnetic tins, trays, and hooks on my giant magnetic board. I mounted a wall rack that holds all my ribbon and duct tape. I placed two over-the-door hooks on one of the closet doors to use as valet hooks. And I hung a magazine rack with file folders where I sort the contents of my inbox. Going vertical frees up space on my desktop and work spaces, and frequently used items are right at hand.

Check out all the SYLVANIA blogger room makeovers over the coming weeks on their Facebook page. If you “like” the page, you can enter the daily sweeps to win your own SYLVANIA lighting products and Lowe’s gift cards so you can perform you own room makeover!


This post is sponsored by SYLVANIA. I received monetary compensation for my participation, but my review and opinions are my own.