We started a thread on this last July or so--- but it appears to have archived. So here's the link:
and here is a new tip fron Doug Wilson, designer on HGTV and other cable channels:
De-Clutter, De-Clutter, De-Clutter
by Doug Wilson
As a major consumer nation we are constantly packing our homes with "stuff". First remove everything from your room, yes everything, and assess what’s in good condition, worth updating, valuable, or has sentimental value. Get rid of everything else by recycling, selling or donating it.
You may not need all that furniture. If a coffee table will suffice, lose the end tables or vice versa. If you just needed that end table for a light, try using a floor lamp or wall sconces instead. Small ottomans can do triple duty as seating, storage and coffee tables. If a deep bureau is not necessary, consider shallower built-in cabinets and shelving.
Window treatments should also be kept to a minimum. Wood slat blinds that can be raised for light are a good choice. Curtains with no valance on a high-mounted rod will give you height and openness.
Go with any color you like on the walls but keep it in the mid tones or lighter. Stay far away from pastels unless it’s a baby room. Patterns on furniture, upholstery, and curtains should be in a small scale as not to jump out at you. This tactic will visually keep the decor pushed back from the eye to create more openness. In order to keep the room visually interesting, bolder color and pattern choices can be put into your throw pillows, wall decor/artwork and decorative items.
Another Tip: One consistent material on the floor gives you a more open feeling. Whether it’s wall-to-wall carpet or hard wood, choose flooring that goes all the way to the perimeter of the space to give the room expanse.
Co-CL for "The Stitcher's Niche"  and CL for "Remodel & Renovate" 
Avatar made with Portrait Illustrator Maker 
Stitchery WIPs: "Bath 5¢", "Walking to Town", a selection of 8 San Man snowman charts, 2 sets of curtain tie-backs using a DMC freebie chart and the DMC linen threads, a Kooler Design Studio chart form JanLynn called "Needlework Shop", "Tsunami Charity Sampler" from the fall 2007 Sampler & Needlework Quarterly, and "Autumn Leaves" from the December 2006 New Stitches