7 of the biggest home decor lessons I've learned from HGTV

‘Fixer Upper’/HGTVCheck out all that white.
  • For many of us, HGTV – or Home & Garden Television – has become the best place to get interior design and decor tips.
  • These are the seven biggest lessons I’ve learned from HGTV.
  • For example, adding an oversized mirror might take up space but actually makes rooms look even bigger.
  • Visit INSIDER.com for more stories.

Fixer Upper,” “Design on a Dime,” “House Hunters” … the list goes on and on of all the amazing shows HGTV broadcasts to us on a daily basis.

From my own extensive years of watching the network, I’ve learned a lot about my own personal style, and how much DIY crafting I can endure.

From shiplap to open shelving, here are the seven biggest things I’ve learned from HGTV.

Shiplap is the best thing you can add to a wall to add dimension.


Shiplap is a type of siding that Joanna Gaines was obsessed with on “Fixer Upper.” Adding shiplap to your home is easy because it’s simple to assemble and relatively cheap.

Read more: The design world is obsessed with shiplap – the rustic material that’s taking over America’s homes

Placing an oversized mirror will make any room appear much larger than it actually is.

Photographee.eu/ShutterstockA mirror can be an accent piece.

Need help making your space appear larger? A perfectly placed mirror might do the trick. Mirrors “brighten the room, create additional luminosity and add dimension to the space,” designer Celia Berliner told HGTV. And it’s true – turn on any show on the channel and you’ll see designers advocating for this simple fix.

Another way to conserve space is to make sure everything in your home has a function, like this combined shoe rack and bench.

AmazonEverything needs a purpose.

Minimalism is totally in right now, but it’s not exactly practical. Thankfully, the geniuses over at HGTV know that while it might look sophisticated to have barely anything visible, real people have, well, lots of stuff …

If you find yourself attracted to the clean lines of minimalism, a way to actually put it into practice is to make sure everything has a spot, and take advantage of multi-purpose furniture or concealed storage.

Shows like “Design on a Dime” prove that, if you have the patience, DIY is possible for almost everything.

TWP inc./Flickr/Attribution LicenceDo It Yourself is on the rise.

Not willing to part with some cold hard cash for a trendy new accent piece? A new backsplash just not in the budget this year? Fear not. Doing it yourself is not only cheaper, but can actually be a fun bonding activity.

Among the show’s projects are headboards and coffee tables, just make sure you don’t end up like one of these would-be DIY-ers.

Read more: 30 genius ways to repurpose everyday items you have in your home

Open shelving is a cool way to show off your fancy dinnerware, and will motivate you to keep it organised.

Astronaut Images/Getty ImagesNo cabinets in sight.

Open shelving is another Joanna Gaines staple. The designer has a simple do’s and don’ts list for open shelving. She recommends keeping it simple, sticking to white dishes, and mixing your materials (glass, wood, and metal).

If you’ve ever put on an episode of “House Hunters” for background noise, chances are you’ve heard the phrase “open concept” — and you desperately wanted it.

alabn/ShutterstockAn example of open concept.

Open concept floor-plans are exactly what they sound like – essentially the entire space is one big open room. All the different rooms flow together, and make a space seem larger than it actually is.

HGTV is a big proponent of this type of space – there’s even a show called “Open Concept.”

Painting everything white might seem scary, but it’s a great way to add more colour via furniture and accent pieces.

Magnolia RealtyA classic white-on-white Joanna Gaines design.

And the final tip from Queen “Fixer Upper” herself: paint as much white as you possibly can. Since white is the most neutral colour, it actually opens up a world of possibilities for the rest of the room, instead of limiting yourself due to a bold wall colour.

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