These 14 simple but inspiring design ideas will make your décor work twice as hard for you.

1. Put that corner cabinet to use.
Most corner kitchen cabinets are like purgatories for rarely used pots and appliances. If you could use that extra storage space, consider a pullout solution like the one shown here.

Read more about this kitchen here.

2. Consider a tile floor welcome mat.
This Victorian in Vancouver, British Columbia, is full of knockout design ideas that begin literally as you first step foot into the house. A mosaic tile inset acts as a welcome mat and a place to set wet or muddy shoes.

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3. Don’t feel confined to white kitchen cabinets.
Sure, white kitchen cabinets are everywhere, but don’t think you have to go along with the trend to have a stunning space. Here, a mix of maple and birch cabinets gets broken up by a bank of cabinets lacquered in Rocky Mountain Sky from Benjamin Moore.

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In the same home as the tile welcome mat, white oak cabinets painted in Benjamin Moore’s Black Beauty create a striking statement.

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And here, custom walnut cabinets join a gray tile backsplash and concrete floor for a rich palette that couldn’t have been achieved with white cabinetry.

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4. Try a wood-plank backsplash.
If you’re looking for a way to add a bit of rustic charm to your kitchen, consider reclaimed-wood planks, as was done in this farmhouse-meets-industrial space.

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5. Get groovy with your countertop.
Not a fan of countertop drying racks? Look into fashioning custom grooves in your countertop to help drain away water, as this custom bamboo countertop does.

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6. Use a mirrored panel to hide the TV.
Competing focal points is a tough challenge to tackle. In this living room, where the TV and the fireplace compete for attention, the designer solved the dilemma by hanging an oversize panel clad with mirror on rollers.

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7. Try brass in the bath.
Polished chrome remains the go-to finish in bathrooms, but brass accents can add an enhanced sense of luxury and sophistication.

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8. Hang a swing.
There’s a lot to love in Indian actor Irrfan Khan’s apartment, but the traditional jhoola swing captivates us most.

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9. Install an outlet in a drawer.
Bathrooms can get quickly overrun with clutter, especially if you have a lot of plug-in devices and chargers that don’t always make it back into the cabinet below. An outlet in a drawer is a smart solution that allows you to keep your devices always at the ready and out of the way.

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10. Go with a succulent centerpiece.
If you need a break from swapping in fresh flowers for your table centerpiece, think about using succulents instead. They look great, last for years and are perfect for the summer months ahead.

See more reasons to embrace succulent centerpieces

11. Know your gray paint colors.
Gray is one of the most popular paint colors for walls. But choosing a gray isn’t as easy as it sounds. Houzz contributor Becky Harris spoke to several design professionals to see which gray paint colors were their go-tos. Interior designer Carl Mattison favors Repose Gray by Sherwin-Williams, which was used for the walls in the kitchen shown here.

Discover more gray paints to try

12. Show off your trim.
If you’re looking for a statement wall treatment that doesn’t go as bold as graphic wallpaper, consider painting just your trim. Here, blue trim in Van Cortland Blue by Benjamin Moore contrasts nicely with walls in White Chocolate, also by Benjamin Moore.

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13. Embrace white and wood.
You almost can’t go wrong with this winning combination. A backdrop of white will give you a bright, energetic space, while generous doses of rich wood will bring warmth and character.

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14. Convert your garage into a movie theater.
OK, do you need to park your car, or cars, in the garage? If the answer is “not really,” then you’ll want to check out this garage conversion, for which the homeowners kicked their cars to the curb in exchange for a home theater. They even saved space for a hallway of tall cabinetry to handle the usual garage items that need a place to live.

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