A simple arrangement of faux tropical leaves takes the place of a more traditional artificial florals. (Photo: Scott Gabriel Morris).

Sometimes the best ideas are unexpected ones. Surprise elements can often help inspire a creative look. Not sure where to start? Here are seven ideas.

1. Creative shelving ideas – From using actual books as shelves to reclaimed wood and even skateboards, a lot of choices can serve as a welcomed break from the traditional.

2. Tropical leaves instead of traditional fake florals – Gone are the days where silk or dried flowers are the only artificial options.

3. Removable wall stickers or wallpaper – Wallpaper remains more popular than ever. Not sure if you want to take the plunge? Opt for removable wall sticker art instead.

4. Global pieces – Tribal or global pieces can add interest to a space and serve as a conversation starter.

5. Metals – From hardware to accent pieces, these elements can help add both color and texture.

6. Decorative elements that enhance architectural features – Have a bookcase? Why not add a decorative ladder as a highlight?

7. Experimenting with lighting – Lighting can be a fun way to infuse character into a space, from chandeliers to wall features.

By Cathy Hobbs, Tribune News Service (TNS). Cathy Hobbs, based in New York City, is an Emmy Award-winning television host and a nationally known interior design and home staging expert with offices in New York City, Boston and Washington, D.C. Contact her at [email protected] or visit her website at cathyhobbs.com.