Decorating my home comes relatively easily for me. I see a room, and I’m able to imagine color palettes, fabrics, furniture choices and all the details that will make that room feel like a million dollars. But most people aren’t this way. Lots of folks get stuck on all those details, unsure of where to start or really how to make it all work together.
If that’s you, here’s a simple tip: Start with one thing. Choose a paint color not based on trends or what you think you should do, but based on what you actually like and how you’ll use the room.
Feeling the decorating bug? Here are 10 more easy ways to make your home more beautiful without having to plan a whole room or spend a whole lot of money:
Bare walls are the bane of every decorator’s existence. Painting a room in a gorgeous color is just the first step. The next step is decorating those walls. What style you choose is entirely up to you. I personally love black and white photography and modern art, particularly by artists of color.
But this is about what you like. Whether you prefer conventional prints, oil or acrylic on canvas, or kitschier options like macramé, wall weavings, tapestries, mobiles, or display cubbies, wall decor is indispensable in making your rooms feel decorated, rather than just lived in. Choose whatever works best for your decor style and taste.
Quick tip: Try arranging art in groups. Two similar images hung together as a series, or photos hung in groups of three or five will have more impact than a single piece of art. If you do choose to use just one, choose a large-scale piece.
Like wall art, mirrors can help to complete the look of any space. Mirrors can transform the vibe of your entry, living space, bathroom or bedroom depending on its shape, frame, and size. Moreover, they can help a room feel brighter by bouncing light, or you can add LED mirror lights to make sure you have enough lighting. This is particularly helpful if your mirror needs to be functional, for makeup application or in a closet, for example.
The almighty throw pillow! It can leap tall sofas and travel at the speed of drying paint! OK, not really. But it is one a really easy way to change the look of a room, creating a cozier, more intentional vibe. It can completely update the look of a bare sofa or a lonely chair. Add them in a basket in the living room or on an entry bench to add to a wow factor. Choose colors and patterns to complement your existing decor.
Like embellishing cushions, throw blankets are one of my go-to accessories. You can place them on a couch, a chair, or in a basket to add a pop of color, pattern or texture, and they come in handy for Netflix binge sessions when you want to get comfortable. Try them folded and stacked, draped or hanging, but make sure it looks like it was done that way on purpose and not just thrown on the furniture — regardless of the name.
Vases & Bowls
So many of us only use bowls in the kitchen, or vases when we get a bouquet of flowers. But they are the kind of details that can make a room feel “done.” Add a beautiful, decorative bowl on your entry table so you’ll have a place to drop your keys when you walk in the door, and add a colorful vase to one section of your bookcase, instead of books, to interrupt the visual pattern. There are tons of materials to choose from, from glass to wood, ceramic, seagrass, and lots of recycled materials. Just resist the urge to use too many of these in one space.
Rugs & Mats
Even if you are like the vast majority of folks and your home is decked out with wall-to-wall carpet, you can still add an area rug or a mat to your space to make it feel more put together. You can opt for a natural material like wool, which will be on the pricier side, but also be more sustainable, or a more affordable green option like jute, sisal or recycled polyester.
Choose softer materials for bedrooms, and more durable materials for living spaces that will get more foot traffic. And when choosing a size, opt for a rug that is big enough to allow each major piece of furniture in the room to touch it. For example, in a living room, you should be able to place the front legs of the sofa and any surrounding chairs on the rug, so a standard 5′ x 8′ rug might be too small for the space, but a larger 8′ x 10′ rug might be perfect.
New Bathroom Towels
If you’re like most people, you think of towels as functional rather than decorative, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Invest in some new towels — perhaps in sustainable fabrics like organic cotton or bamboo — and actually consider the way the colors and patterns will look in your bathroom. You can invest in decorative towels, but those usually just collect dust and aren’t functional.
One way to create a clean, spa-like look in your bathroom is to choose an open towel display, like a shelf, and roll and stack clean white towels and washcloths. You’ll feel like you’re at a hotel every time you walk in the bathroom.
Books & Magazines
I’d venture a guess that most of us don’t buy books for their decorative value, but don’t sleep on their ability to make a room look amazing. Don’t have lots of books? Head to the thrift or consignment store and choose books in a specific color palette. Organize them by color on your shelves. Use a small stack of books to change the look of your coffee table or dresser, perhaps with a small decorative bowl or vase on top.
Books are an amazing, inexpensive way to add finishing touches to a room.
Plants & Flowers
I do not have a green thumb. Not by a long shot. But I still love the way plants and flowers can make a room feel alive and bring a bit of the outdoors in. If you have the time and skill to care for real plants, go for it! Real plants will help your indoor air quality too.
But if not, choose real-looking artificial plants, and be sure to clean them regularly so they don’t accumulate a layer of dust. And open your windows from time to time to let in some fresh air.
I am one of those people who feels like a room is incomplete — naked, even — without window treatments. Empty windows feel cold and stark to me, not to mention the fact that they let your neighbors see straight into your home. If you want to change that, add curtains, stylish wood or large-scale blinds or shades, to every window — along with a sturdy curtain rod that matches your decor. You can choose sheers to let lots of light into a room, or light-blocking curtains for rooms that need darkness during the day or better climate control.
Which of these tips will you try first?