By Parade Magazine
1. "The simplest is to clean your house—it costs you nothing!" Berkus says. "You can't have a beautifully designed space if you can't see the furniture and surfaces in your home."
2. "I'm not going to say paint is an easy spruce-up. It takes time, it needs touch-ups, and you have to be very methodical. But it is worth it, and it isn't particularly expensive."
3. "There's something I call Moving Day, which I've done for the last 20 years. Look at everything in your home, then think about how you could combine things in a different way. Maybe you break up your night tables and use one in the family room; maybe the dining room sideboard becomes a console table for your television, with storage underneath. Move around what you already own."
What's the Biggest Design Mistake?
"I see it every day: People trying to create a home that somebody else tells them they should have," says Berkus. "I don't care if it's a magazine or a bossy friend—when somebody says, 'This is what's elegant, this is what's trendy,' if it doesn't represent you, you're not going to be happy. Take a beat and say, 'Is this something I want to live with or am I just buying it because I saw it on a TV show?' "
On Kitchen and Bathroom Renovations
"They're the most expensive rooms to renovate but they provide the most resale value for the home. I never build in anything that can be considered a trend in those spaces. They used to tease me at the Oprah show, 'Are you really going to do another white Shaker kitchen, with white subway tile and stainless steel appliances?' And my answer is, 'I can vary it a bit but I'm never going to err from classic materials.' When you can buy classic penny tile for 99 cents a sheet for your bathroom, it doesn't make sense to spend $70 a square foot on hand-painted tile. If you want to experiment in those spaces, do so through paint and the color of towels and accessories."
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