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Carson Kressley’s rules for making your house ‘cheap and chic,’ do shop at Home Goods but don’t make six tacky mistakes

WHETHER it’s your home furnishings or high fashion, television design star Carson Kressley has come to know a thing or two about glamour.

Since first breaking out onto the style scene in Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, he’s hosted How to Look Good Naked and Get a Room with Carson and Thom.

Television host, fashionista, and design expert Carson Kressley gives his take on what's making your home look tacky


Television host, fashionista, and design expert Carson Kressley gives his take on what’s making your home look tackyCredit: Getty


Carson (far right) starred in the trailblazing Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, where he shared his advice and sense of style on all things interior design, fashion, and groomingCredit: Bravo

And he’s never been shy about giving opinions on what looks tasteful or tacky.

The 53-year-old decor god spoke to The U.S. Sun about decorating your home – and the first golden rule? Do not make a matchy-matchy mess of things.


“I’m a big mix and matcher. Whether it’s my house or an outfit, I like putting different colors and patterns together,” Carson told The U.S. Sun.

“The trick to this is having a design motif throughout so there is some stylistic consistency,” shared the former Dancing with the Stars contestant.

“You want everything to look like you’re going to the same party.”

Carson, who is known for his eclectic ways, says a common concept is the key to bringing a room together.


Carson’s own home features an eclectic array of curated findsCredit: Carson Kressley


As a regular judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race, Carson knows just what your home needs to look extra hauteCredit: Archant

“This can be something like sticking with the same trim or design motif,” he explained.


Carson loves shopping and collecting eye-popping items, but he cannot stand clutter.

He said: “For my home, my motto is ‘if you love it, it will work,’ but editing is really important.

“I have a lot of stuff, I’m a maxinista, but I make sure it’s organized into collections and grouped on trays or on bookshelves.

“This gives instant eye organization, otherwise things can look old lady-ish and cluttered.”


When in doubt, keep editing your space for elegance.

He said: “It helps to keep things focused on a theme or have a collection – say something sentimental – but sometimes you might need to move items around so they don’t contradict one another.

“It doesn’t take much for a room to start looking tacky.”

Carson’s list of design commandments includes telling a seamless story as the best way to elevate your space.


He likes to mix things up – but insists it’s crucial to stay clutter-freeCredit: Carson Kressley


He believes every space should tell a seamless storyCredit: Getty

Carson, whose own homes include an apartment in New York and a farm in Pennsylvania, pays ode to his love of travel and horses in the decor.

“My style is collected and I always invest in high-quality items like anchors,” he shared.


Carson advises people to splurge on essentials like a good mattress and headboard, a standout sofa, and a decorative table for the dining room.

These prime pieces immediately draw attention, and either make or break a space.


For the rest of your home, the fashionista said there is only one thing to add: Fun.

He said: “Your space should spark joy. That goes for home furnishings or clothing. It should all reflect you and your journey.”

Keeping up with Kressley also involves this one rule: Buy things you love.

He said: “It doesn’t have to happen overnight. I designed my home over many years and it’s never done.


The fashionista explained that it’s important to focus on this one aspect when decorating your space: FunCredit: Carson Kressley


His own style includes showcasing pieces and prints that hold meaning for himCredit: Carson Kressley

“It has its own life – if I travel somewhere and bring back a fun piece from somewhere like Greece or Africa, I’ll find a way to add it in.

“A home is always evolving – but it should always look organized and tell a life story through family heirlooms and travels.”


The best part? He knows how to make something look luxurious for less.

Because having a classy design doesn’t have to cost a lot of dough.

“Since getting my start in the design business, my motto has always been, ‘I’m going to make this cheap and chic – I’m on cable, I’m not rich,'” he joked.

“Everything I do is a mix of high and low.”

The former host of Carson Nation on the Oprah Winfrey Network is a big fan of frequenting stores like Marshalls and Home Goods, as well as antique markets, flea markets, and auction websites.

He insists he’s never pretentious about where things come from.


One of the current judges of RuPaul’s Drag Race – which just finished its 15th season – shared another transformative and money-saving tip: Painting.

He said: “It doesn’t require any skill and can completely reimagine your space for not a lot of money.”


Carson’s commandments include splurging on focal points – such as your dining room tableCredit: Carson Kressley


The always-put-together personality enjoys collecting treasures from his travels and incorporating them into his decorCredit: Getty

“Find a wall and add a pop of paint. You can also decorate your walls with inexpensive artwork or even framed pieces from your kids.

“Wallpaper is also a great trick. You can get creative and make something from a craft store.

“Just remember not to put everything in groupings – move them around – while keeping them in collections,” he added.


The equestrian enthusiast adds horse prints and accessories wherever possible – but always curates things into careful collectionsCredit: Carson Kressley


The host knows how to make things look chic on a budget – he especially loves Home Good hauls and budget vintage buysCredit: Carson Kressley


He says his home is a never-ending work in progressCredit: Carson Kressley


For an easy upgrade, Carson advises to add a pop of paintCredit: Carson Kressley


The Emmy-award-winning television personality showcases things that tell a seamless storyCredit: Carson Kressley


Carson says you don’t have to spend a fortune to live fabulouslyCredit: Getty


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