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Decor Tips from Mark Montano

mark montano mirror

Photo by Mark Montano

We asked Mark Montano -- design guru, TV host, and king of the DIY (he just came out with his new book: The Big-Ass Book of Home Decor) -- to share five of his favorite home-design tips.

1. Embrace the not-so-perfect. “A little bit of a mess makes us more human,” says Montano. So go ahead and throw a blanket on the couch without folding it first (gasp!). And, by all means, skip the perfectly pressed bedding straight from a department store display – a rumpled feather bed is a heck of a lot more comfortable.

2. Don’t save the “good” stuff. Waiting for a “special occasion” to pull out the fancy china (and all that other beautiful stuff you registered for)? Forget it. “If you have it, use it,” Montano says. “That’s what it’s for.” If you get hit by a car tomorrow, at least you’ll know that you actually used that fabulous crystal bowl. Every. Single. Day.

3. Ditch ugly trashcans. Just because it holds garbage doesn’t mean it actually has to actually look like it. “I have a pet-peeve about trashcans,” Montano says. “I am the king of having a really beautiful vase in the corner that’s a trashcan.” Now that’s creative way to wait for trash day.

4. Don’t be afraid of DIY. Montano’s biggest piece of advice: “Jump off the creative cliff.” Try a project (his book has tons) this weekend -- and don’t obsess about whether or not it turns out just so. Instead, find a motivation (like creating less waste, saving money, etc.) and see what happens.

5. Find inspiration in everyday stuff. Before you get rid of anything, challenge yourself to think of a way you could repurpose it. Montano has created some seriously-cool modern art out everything from paint chips to magazine subscription cards (yes, really). His motto? Make the mundane insane. So use everything and keep your eyes open for free materials. “If I see a stack of coffee stirrers that are going to look great on a lamp, I say, ‘Please, they’re in my bag,’” Montano says. “Thank you, Starbucks. I just paid $9 for a coffee, you’re giving me a box of coffee stirrers.”

Mark Montano is the author of The Big-Ass Book of Home Decor, which is packed with 105 easy-to-follow projects. He has appeared on shows like 10 Years Younger, While You Were Out, and My Celebrity Home, as both a host and a designer.

-- Laura Schocker

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