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We get so many design questions every month, we can’t help but want to share all of our great answers. It’s our job, after all! Read on for a selection of your toughest design questions from the past month, and don’t forget that we’re always ready to answer more over at design quickie.

Q: How can I minimize my ugly carpeting? I can’t remove it at the moment.

A: A layered rug will draw your eye away from the carpeting, and allow you to create a foundation for your space that you actually love. Even with hardwood, our philosophy is the bigger the rug, the better–but this rule is especially applicable for carpeting. If you have dark carpeting, a textured white rug (moroccan style, or shag), will brighten up your space and provide a luxe feel. If your carpeting is lighter, you have lots of possibilities when it comes to color and pattern. And don’t forget—raw hides are always great for odd-shaped rooms or corners like dining nooks.

Q: As it warms up, I want to update my table-setting for the season. What pieces should I look for?

A: While you probably already own basic tableware, patio season is the perfect time to mix things up a little bit! To update your tablescape without spending too much money, accessories are your friend. Look for fun serving pieces (like bowls and trays) in bold colors to brighten up your look. Mismatched candlesticks look great, as do funky objects like salt and pepper shakers, or even just little decorative pieces. These pieces don’t have to match, so they’re great to add to your collection over time. But, they still make a big impact on any pqarty-ready table!

Q: How high should I hang art and mirrors?

A: Typically you want the center of artwork or mirrors to be hung at eye level – approximately 5’ from the floor is a good rule of thumb. For gallery walls, give at least 3” between frames to give each piece ample room to “breathe.”

Q: What is a rug pad? Do I need one?

A:  For unlined rugs, rug pads keep the rug in place. They can also extend the life of your purchase — the pad cushions the rug and protects it from rough flooring materials and everyday wear and tear. Rug pads also give flat woven rugs a little extra softness. For extremely high traffic areas, carpet tape is another good solution (always test adhesive materials in an inconspicuous spot before committing to a larger area to make sure they do not damage your floors!).

Q:How do I find the balance between a cluttered and a styled shelf?

A: Be sure to mix pieces in different heights and try to form smaller groups of object on each shelf, allowing enough space so that each vignette has room to breathe. This keeps the space looking organized, but keeps the eyes moving around the vignette. With books, alternate between displaying books vertically and stacking them horizontally — and be sure to use the horizontal stacks to raise up smaller pieces of decor.