If there's one thing that's true of interior design, it's that you can never get too much inspiration: from materials and fixtures to layouts and accessories, there's always something new to learn in order to make a home your own. But, don't be intimidated: an expert is here to help! We asked designer Elizabeth Backup for her three tips on creating a stylish space — and these simple guidelines can work for anything you've got. Read on for her advice, and remember it the next time you're facing an empty room.
Style Your Surfaces
You can make a big impact without spending a dime by thoughtfully arranging items that you already own. If you don't know where to start, the internet is full of inspiration! Find a few pictures of lovely surfaces and try to copy the look on bookcases, credenzas, and dressers.
Splurge on the Sofa
You really get what you pay for when it comes to upholstery: inexpensive sofas tend to look and feel cheap and don't last as long as pricier alternatives. If you're considering splurging on one item, start here.
If you're contemplating a new layout or you aren't sure if a certain piece of furniture will work in your space, get a roll of painter's tape and outline the dimensions on your floor. Live with it for a few days if need be, and see how you feel about the size before you make any changes.
Jenny Seyfried joins Demand Media as an editor and is based in the Santa Monica office. Prior to working for Demand, she served as an editor for multiple print and digital publications, including "Malibu Magazine."