This post is for all of you who REALLY want to put together a room that’s cohesive and fun but aren’t sure how to go about doing that. I’m going to share with you my top secrets of how I do it!
First up you probably have some major pieces of furniture in your space that you need to work with, like sofa or chairs maybe a coffee table? If you can completely start from scratch, lucky you!! Then it’s really fun and a whole other ball game, but for this post we’re going to assume you have some big pieces to incorporate.
So we’ve got a bare room with a sofa and coffee table. How do we make it pretty? Here are my top tips!!
*Find something that inspires you and that you LOVE. This could be wallpaper, a piece of art, a pillow, a rug or curtains. You want something that has some type of pattern or design so that it has more than one color in it. This item will give you the basis for the rest of your space, a jumping off point. For example, my dining room. (BTW I totally learn better with examples so I’m going to give you some!) I already had the table and some mismatched farmhouse chairs when we moved in and the walls were painted a horrendous dark green from the previous owner. I waited a long time for the perfect inspo item (a year to be exact, that’s how long it took me to convince the hubs I wasn’t crazy and it would be fab-u-lous) to overhaul that room. It came in the form of a wallpaper mural. (and once it was up, I got to say *cough “I told ya so!” *cough) From the mural I chose a complimentary gray paint color for the rest of the walls and the pink rug was inspired by the shades of pink in the design. It was my jumping point for everything else.
* Think about the vibe/feeling you want the space to have. And what your style is. Calming, fun, bright, colorful, white, farmhouse, european? This will help you narrow down your direction when you have your inspo piece. I’m all over the map, I love antiques, mid mod, classic, vintage, farmhouse and color. You name it I love it in some form or another. Except shag green carpet, or green appliances.
*Once you find that inspo piece I like to highlight the colors that aren’t as bold. Choose a color that isn’t at the forefront of the design or pattern and run with it. Using my dining room example, having the rug with a similar shade makes that pink pop from the mural, it creates a great contrast from the rest of the darker colors. You want contrast with cohesiveness. Similarly the deep pink drapes I’m using in here (from Ikea) are the same shade as the pink that’s in a small pattern of the rug. The mural itself is moody and whimsical but dark, by making pink the focus it makes the whole room feel lighter and more fun. It’s also unexpected, and you know me, I never do what I’m expected to!
*Need more furniture in the room? Think about the space you have, traffic patterns and flow and how you use it. Is it a big entertaining area? You will want more seating. Try a side table that doubles as a stool or ottomans for a coffee table. Keep your personal style in mind and make your space work for you.
*Don’t buy matching anything (only exclusions would be set of side chairs, drapes, pillows or lamps, although lamps are fab mismatched too). By having mismatched side tables, accessory items, a random throw, a single pillow in the center of your other matching pillows on the sofa or chair it creates the feeling of a curated put together space that is much more personalized than if you were to go to the store and buy a matching complete living room set. I know it’s tempting because it’s WAY easier to do this but we want your home to look like YOU, not a furniture store.
*Accessorize. Your rooms are like outfits, it really isn’t complete and gorge until you have your jewelry. Things like rugs, pillows, table pieces, drapes, etc. It’s like the cake without the frosting, tastes delish looks pretty good but will bump it up to fab with the right sprucing. These things should be all about you. Pillows in complimentary colors to your inspo item and other major pieces you’ve chosen. Accessory items like pieces on the tables and shelves should be things that make you feel great and want to have around you. I have a variety of old books, geodes (who doesn’t love something sparkly!) vases, trophies. All personalized items I want to surround us with. This is where you can really have some fun if your base pieces (furniture) are more neutral. Which brings me too……..
*But what if I like all neutrals and I’m not big on color? Texture, texture and texture. This also applies with color too. Using different textures gives another layer to a space. Think smooth leather, wood is rough and rustic, velvet is luxe and warm, etc. If you want a creamy white pallette, play with lots of textures. It will give you that curated feel without the color. If you’re like me and love to use color you can still rock the textures. Our family room has leather sofas, a velvet chair, cowhide rug, zinc coffee table, furry throw and sequin pillows. These elements make it more interesting.
*Don’t feel overwhelmed! I know this all might sound like alot to take in and do, but a great space comes together over time (unless you have a designer to do all the work for you! More on that to come!!) I am very picky and particular and have a vision in my head of what I want for each room I work on so I work to find the pieces and elements that fit that vision. The dining room took the longest, but once I had the mural, it was a matter of finding all of the other items to fit that picture in my head. Some rooms took me only a week or 2 from start to finish. It all depends on what I’m after. So give yourself a break and take it one step at a time. Focus on each element then when it feels right move to the next. A well curated put together space evolves over time.
Some shopping tips:
*Hit up stores like Marshalls, Home Goods, TJ Maxx and Target for great pieces from furniture to lamps to pillows. Pricing is good and with the Home Goods stores they rotate inventory and always have a variety of styles of furnishings.
*Great rug sources are Rugs USA and World Market. RugsUSA always has sales, especially holiday weekends you can get up to 90% off with free shipping (I did a post on some fab rugs in various price points and styles here)
*Overstock and Wayfair are great sources for furniture pieces as well as accessory items. Check return policies to make sure you can return if something shows up and you don’t love it. Both of these are great sources and easy to shop from your couch!
*DIY where you can! Can you sew? Make your own curtains, there are tons of incredible fabrics out there and if you buy online you can typically get some amazing stuff for much cheaper, especially when you consider what you pay for premade curtains. How about artsy? Create your own artwork using your favorite colors! You can buy canvas from Hobby Lobby or Michaels pretty inexpensively (especially if you use their coupons), pick up some paint and away you go. 10x cheaper and totally custom! This piece can also be your inspo item (see tip 1)
*Give craigslist, garage sales or flea markets a shot. These are great places to find unique pieces for a steal. If you love the shape of something but hate the finish, just give it a coat of paint!
Now that I’ve shared all of my secrets with you, you can start working on your own space that might need a new look! Keep me posted on your progress! I’d love to hear how these tips may have helped you or your thoughts on them!! Follow along for more info, tours and diy projects by clickin on the subscribe over on the right! I won’t send you anything other than excerpts of posts when they go up, that means no junk mail!!