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New Orleans interior designers answer 10 home decor questions 

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When hanging a piece of art above another one, how much room should be left between them?

"Leave 3 to 5 inches in between [each piece], depending on the size of the frame and the art, and depending on how many pieces of art you're using. If you're going for a gallery look with several pieces, 2 1/2 inches. It's about feel and proportion and balance."

— Troy Wilson and Karin Nelson, owners and designers at Nelson Wilson Interiors

How high should art be hung?

"Eye level is a basic rule of thumb, but it doesn't always apply. Generally, for an 8-foot ceiling, 64 inches. Twelve-foot ceilings may [require] stacked artwork so there isn't too much negative space."

— Troy Wilson and Karin Nelson, owners and designers at Nelson Wilson Interiors

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When decorating a shelf, how much space should be left empty?

"A traditional setting would have less negative space: a third or a quarter. A modern setting might be 50 percent. A very open shelving unit might be filled with very few items to show off the grid of the shelf. Scale and proportion contribute to the feel: A few larger pieces achieve a very clean look."

— Troy Wilson and Karin Nelson, owners and designers at Nelson Wilson Interiors

How high should curtains hang?

"Hang curtain rods 6 to 8 inches from the molding."

— Evelyne Clinton, owner and designer at Source Interiors

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How high should a chandelier hang?

"(The bottom of) a chandelier should be at least 3 feet above the dining room table."

— Evelyne Clinton, owner

and designer at Source Interiors

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How much room should an area rug cover?

"My standard is that an area rug should be 8 inches from each wall."

— Evelyne Clinton, owner and designer at Source Interiors

How many inches per person should a dining room table be?

"You should really allow at least 24 inches of elbow roomfor each guest."

— Betsey Nixon- Hazard, senior designer at Shaun Smith Home

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Should all the rooms be similar in color?

"Depending on the height of the ceiling, sometimes you can paint the molding and baseboards the same color and paint the ceilings a different color. But that works best with high ceilings. The house has to flow. The rooms can't be painted too differently."

— Evelyne Clinton, owner

and designer at Source Interiors

Is it OK to mix and match styles of furniture?

"Playing with proportions and using furniture from different periods creates a wonderful symphony of furniture pieces and fabrics that play off one another."

— Betsey Nixon-Hazard, senior designer at Shaun Smith Home

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How much space should a piece of art occupy above a bed?

"This is really a case-by-case basis depending on the style of the headboard, height of the ceilings and what overall look you are going for. We have hung a massive 7-by-3-foot painting over a bed in a modern loft with 16-foot ceilings and also a beautiful, small 2-by-1-foot 18th-century oil painting with a gilt frame over a bed in a house with 9-foot ceilings. It really just depends."

— Betsey Nixon-Hazard, senior designer at Shaun Smith Home

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