May 11, 2023
10 Martha Stewart Home Decoration Hacks You Should Try
Decorating a room in your home can be a daunting undertaking, from deciding how
Decorating a room in your home can be a daunting undertaking, from deciding how you want the space to look to pulling it off without breaking the bank. Luckily, Martha Stewart is here to help. The titan of home design and décor has a seemingly endless roster of ingenious decorating hacks that are both easy to replicate and easy on your pocketbook.
After decades at the forefront of home care before it was even a thing, Stewart knows what works and what doesn't when maximizing the décor of a chosen space. Engaging her creative muscles is what it all comes down to, as she told San Francisco magazine in 2022. "Investigating new opportunities keeps one young and motivated throughout their life and career," Stewart said. "My motto, 'Learn something new every day,' is extremely important; it's not only about learning but also changing."
Whether you'd like to introduce some visual interest to a blank wall, repurpose a bunch of older dish towels, or spruce up your storage containers, Stewart has an idea for that. Read on for 10 of Martha's home decoration hacks worth trying in your own home.
Pens and pencils, markers, scissors, brushes — whatever you need to stay productive can also quickly turn into messy piles all around your workspace. Corralling them into containers makes perfect organizational sense and presents an opportunity to add some unique colors and designs via an easy-to-do craft hack.
Covering your cans, boxes, or other similar containers with French-toile fabric is a simple and inexpensive way to jazz up your desk, as Martha Stewart shared on Instagram in 2021. The word "toile" is French for "linen cloth" and generally refers to designs of the pastoral variety, like close-ups of gardens or other outdoor scenes. In the sample photo Stewart posted, some of the covered vessels feature black pen-and-ink-style drawings on white backgrounds, while others include colors like red and blue.
When incorporating the toile fabrics, keep in mind that more is often more when it comes to this aesthetic. Mixing and matching a few different patterns and colors will result in an eye-catching and interesting arrangement on your desk or work table.
The entryway or foyer is the first spot in your home that will make an impression on visitors. A pleasing color scheme and design should also welcome you and your family, signaling that you're home. If you currently have a plain or uninteresting entry space, Martha Stewart has a straightforward design hack that can truly transform it.
In her 2014 "Home How-To Series" on YouTube, Stewart demonstrated how a simple chair rail and creative painting could turn a drab entryway into an elegant-looking "faux bois" space. Faux bois, or fake wood, on walls is created when regular paint is transformed via a tool called a "rocker." The result is the appearance of what seems to be genuine wooden walls when, in fact, you've created the unique look of wood with just paint and the rocker.
For the project in her YouTube series, she opted for a bottom-half faux bois effect, only painting the lower portions of the walls and using the pre-cut, pre-painted chair railing for separation from the neutrally painted walls above. According to Stewart, this effect helped the space look "important."
Décor items like seashells, boat figurines, and decorative anchors imbue any room with a "by-the-sea" look and feel. Rope and netting are also simple, low-cost items that can help add nautical appeal to any room. In a 2014 segment from her TV show "Martha," home doyen Martha Stewart revealed a crafty way to dress up mirrors in a seafaring way.
Stewart used a special quick-gripping glue to apply sisal rope around circular mirrors. To create the DIY, she first glued the mirror onto a foam board, leaving a border where she could glue on the cord. Beyond stringing the rope around the mirror, Stewart also added a handle to hang it by, with a decorative "figure-eight" knot on each side. Small gauge wires were used to secure the knots. No matter how much or how little nautical theming you may have in a room, this easy-to-create sisal rope mirror will fit right in.
From artificial, pre-lit Christmas trees to smaller, tabletop varieties, there are more holiday-ready options than ever. But to really go outside the box, consider creating a wall tree. This adorable and easy-to-replicate idea shared by Martha Stewart on Instagram in 2022 is great if you're short on space or don't feel like dealing with the hassle of setting up and taking down a traditional Christmas tree.
To create the "tree," attach fresh or faux pine branches to a blank wall. Arrange them in size from smaller at the top to larger at the bottom. Leave a small bit of wall showing between each branch to make it look more whimsical. After the branches have been secured, you can decorate them as little or as much as you'd like, whether with small fairy lights, precious family ornaments, or simply nothing at all.
Adding an extra element of fun, a wall tree can be re-themed or reshaped for other holidays once it's been installed, from Hanukkah and Kwanzaa to Valentine's Day and beyond.
Candles have a unique way of bringing a little visual warmth to wherever they're placed. So many come in decorative containers or have been poured into interesting shapes, providing easy opportunities to zhuzh up even a small corner or windowsill. But don't count out plain white candles, which can be dyed in different colors and patterns to match or contrast with your surrounding décor.
On her YouTube channel in 2017, home design aficionado Martha Stewart shared a fun craft utilizing plain white candles and crayons. After melting beeswax beads in a glass bowl over simmering water, a vegetable peeler is used to shave off slices of crayons. How deep the color is depends on how many crayon shavings you incorporate into the beeswax. Next, dip your candles in as much of the coloring as you want and hold the candle above the bowl for about five to 10 seconds to allow the color to set. Then you can arrange the candles on a baking sheet or other such surface to fully dry.
When you think of the word "redecorating," it's easy to get swept up in thoughts of large-scale projects like room remodels, new color schemes, or even updated tile work or flooring. But changing up the look and feel of a room doesn't have to be a huge undertaking. An easy craft project, like painting your wooden kitchen tools, can actually change up a space more than you might initially think.
Just look at the stylish ombre effect of these hand-painted wooden kitchen tools that Martha Stewart shared on Instagram in 2014. Basic, plain wooden spoons and other serving utensils were given a chic makeover in a color-blocked, ombré color palette. When put in a storage container with the painted sides up, they'll provide a pop of color in any corner of your kitchen. You can paint the wooden tools to match your overall color scheme or go with contrasting colors to increase your kitchen's vibrancy. When painting, be sure not to apply any of the craft paint to areas that will come in contact with food or be used for eating.
Having a few houseplants in your home delivers a surprising number of benefits beyond their visual appeal. From improving air quality to increasing your overall sense of well-being, plants are a wonderful addition to your interior space. To increase the good things you're getting from them even more, you can elevate your space both literally and aesthetically by transforming old wire tomato cages into elegant houseplant stands.
Stewart shared the idea on Instagram in 2023. All you need to do is cut off the spiky "feet" of the tomato cages and then spray-paint the whole structure gold, which instantly imparts a "you must have paid a lot for these" look. To place your potted houseplants in them, simply turn the tomato cages upside down, so the smaller diameters of the ends will secure your pots in place when displayed. Using tomato cages at different heights for different potted plants will add even more visual interest to your space.
Traditional wallpaper is a big commitment. There's the cost of the paper itself, which can be high depending on the print or pattern you select. Then you need to factor in the price of removing any existing wallpaper, and the price of installing the new design. Opting for peel-off wallpaper is a lower-cost option for redecorating a room, and one that's easy to remove if you decide a few months later that you've changed your mind.
On Instagram in 2017, Martha Stewart posted about the benefits of using peel-off wallpaper, noting that it's particularly well suited for those who are "commitment phobes and renters," since the paper can be removed relatively easily whenever the need arises. The peel-off version can be applied strategically to create maximum impact in a small space, like for instance on only one wall in a smaller-sized room.
Even Martha Stewart needs a home "refresh" once in a while. During the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, the home care maven settled on a unique take on "wall art" to increase the visual interest in one of the rooms in her home. As she shared on The Martha Blog, some of her Wedgwood dinner plates were hung on a wall in a decorative pattern, mimicking a gallery wall.
You can use any plates you like to recreate the effect in your home. Be sure to use plate hangers with springs and vinyl sleeves to avoid scratching. The plate hangers used in Stewart's project have brass wires that can be flexed to secure the plates in place. Before hammering picture hangers into your wall, lay out your intended plate design on the floor to ensure you're happy with the arrangement. It'll be much easier to make changes this way than after you've gotten your fine china onto a wall.
If you've got a collection of seemingly random dish towels lying around that you don't know what to do with, this home décor hack might be perfect for you. On Instagram in 2022, Martha Stewart shared how to create a unique café-style curtain for a window using old dish towels cut to size, hemmed, and sewn together. She used semi-sheer linen towels in the same color family, but with different patterns. This resulted in a breezy window treatment that belies its simple origins.
To make the custom-sized curtain, cut each dishcloth up its middle and then hem those raw edges. Once you've decided on the arrangement of the towels, stitch them together and attach the finished curtain to hanging hooks and then onto a rod in the window of your choice. This project is a great redecorating trick if you've got an unusually sized window that might not be fitted easily with traditionally sized curtains.