We are sometimes (frequently) guilty of falling down the design TikTok rabbit hole. And each time, as we scroll past gorgeously, neutral living rooms and hotel-worthy bedrooms, we find ourselves wondering: how do these TikTokers make their homes look this chic?
In an effort to figure out their secrets, we turned to some of our favorite TikTok designers—as well as a few other design pros with their own TikTok feeds—to find out the best tips and tricks to get that impeccably styled look we see on our dreamiest feeds.
Add the Perfect Lighting
First and foremost, good lighting is one key to creating great TikTok content. And while lamps and dimmable overhead lights are great, natural light is ideal. If you have great windows and a room with tons of light spilling in, make that space the star of your own home.
“My number one tip would be to have good lighting,” Asma Chhipa, founder of Everywhere Home, says. “Set up your background opposite to a large window and natural light.” And TikToker Caroline Kahn agrees, noting that almost anything can pop on camera as long as you have some good natural lighting.
“Use sunlight and shadows to your advantage,” TikToker Sania Faheem adds. “ I only make videos when I see the sun flooding in. It casts some nice shadows and adds warmth to your video.”
Use Accessories to Add Color and Interest
While neutral rooms are forever trending on TikTok, Faheem tells us that injecting color into a space is still incredibly important. “Even if you have a neutral home, you can add in colors with florals, coffee table books, pillows, candles, and throws to add some dimension to your home,” she says.
By adding interest with smaller accessories, Faheem points out that it’s also easier to keep up with seasonal or trendy changes. Try to purchase trendy pieces you can easily swap out, she suggests.
“I like to keep a neutral space but add little moments,” Faheem says. “Dramatic, veiny marble is very much on the rise in the interior world, but it can be very expensive. With home trends constantly changing, I would suggest buying a dramatic marble tray or bookend rather than using it as a kitchen backsplash or a big furniture piece like a coffee table or dining table.”
Strike a Balance on Your Shelves
If you’ve noticed that TikTokers love to show off their shelves, there’s a reason for it—it’s the perfect place to play with a chic vignette.
“It’s all about balance,” Kahn says. “In my shots, I like to follow the rule of threes and make sure each vignette I create has an odd number of items, as well as varying heights and textures, to get that balanced yet detailed look.”
Use Fresh Flowers Anywhere and Everywhere
If you’re looking to add something temporary or on a budget, Kahn gave us the perfect tip. “My favorite way to make a space pop when filming is to make sure the shot has some fresh florals,” she says. “Flowers always breath life back into a space that otherwise without people in it can feel a bit dead.”
Go for the Unexpected
While a lot of TikTok spaces share similar elements, Jennifer Matthews, the co-founder and CCO of Tempaper & Co, notes that there’s something to be said for doing something totally new and unexpected.
“Think out of the box if you’re looking to decorate a standout space that mimics TikTok or other social media platforms,” Matthews says, which the brand has learned on their own TikTok feed. “Unique, clever decorating tips and tricks tend to be the most popular on social media—like applying peel-and-stick wallpaper on your staircase for an extra pop of pattern and color in an unsuspecting spot.”
Ignore the Trends
While TikTok has been instrumental in helping certain trends take off, Chhipa says it’s much better to follow your own creative urges—you have to live in the space, after all.
“I don’t believe you should follow any aesthetic or trend just because it’s on TikTok,” she tells us. “Designing your space is such a personal journey.”
One thing Kahn is noticing these days is a lot of the same decor used across accounts, and she’s hoping this changes with the rise of secondhand shopping becoming so popular.
“I see a lot of repetition and creators that have a lot of the same pieces,” she tells us. “The best way to avoid this is to shop vintage—secondhand shopping is a great way to discover what styles you are drawn to and what you really like, rather than just liking what is trendy.”
Create an Ambiance
As you incorporate all of these elements into your space, it’s easy to get lost in the smaller, zoomed-in frames on your phone screen. But in reality, each element should create one chic and cohesive room, so don’t forget to step back and take in the full effect.
“It’s about the ambiance,” Kendall Knox, co-founder of Olive Ateliers and active TikToker, says. “Abundant natural light, flowy linens, and layers of one-of-a-kind objects make for standout, awe-inspiring spaces on TikTok. Telling the story of the object will always create curiosity and excitement.
While TikTok before-and-after videos often make it seem like a room came together in a literal flash, Kahn assures us that’s not the case—and it should never be your approach. Don’t compromise or rush through decorating your home just to ‘finish,’ she notes, as finding the right pieces will take some time.
Find Inspiration Everywhere
If you want to create a space that’s truly yours, Chhipa suggests looking for inspiration in the things you love the most and then translating that into your decor.
“Get inspired by the clothes you wear, the activities you do, and the people you love,” she tells us. “All of these characteristics about you will help you create a space unique to just you.”
Kahn agrees, noting that inspiration is all about pulling out the pieces that excite you—not copying a room exactly.
“My least favorite way to decorate a space is by copying a picture piece for piece,” she says. “Gather inspiration from Pinterest, Instagram, and magazines, but use that inspirational content as a reference, not a shopping guide.”
If you’re feeling frustrated that your home won’t ever quite reach TikTok levels of stylish, Kahn gave us some comforting words of advice: TikTok isn’t real life.
“What looks good in real life won’t always come across right on camera,” she says.
Faheem agrees. “TikTok doesn’t show the whole picture of the room,” she says. “I make things congested and overstyled for the frame instead of how you would normally style in real life. It gives viewers more visual interest.”