I recently had a reader who wrote in saying “I’m great with the big items like furniture but I suck with the minor details. My dining room hasn’t had curtains in 5 years and I don’t have any pictures on my wall.”
While big pieces are often the first thing we work on in the room (hello… the couch is big, it needs to be picked first!) a couch with nothing else in the room can be a bit of a let down. We need layers to add visual interest… pillows, blankets, rugs, books, boxes, chairs, pictures, candlesticks! You get the idea!
So here are my best tips for adding the “minor details” to your room! These are tips you can implement in an hour, a weekend or even a day! Quick things you can do a little at a time… because my first tip is to take your time. The best rooms weren’t thrown together in an hour but collected over time.
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While many people think they need to go pro, create a mood board, stick to it and be done… I say a mood board is a great jumping off point. Notice how my board for our new guest bedroom has great bones (all the big pieces) but none of the details are there? Start with the basics and then add layers! Picture frames with your post cards from Europe, the side table your great grandma gave you, a chair you spent six months saving up for. Add in the personal details… surround yourself with things you love and you can never go wrong!
Just make sure that added layers doesn’t turn into too much clutter! Of course only you can be the judge of how much is too much… but if it gets to be too much clutter try corralling it all with a pretty tray or decorative box! Putting all of the bills into a patterned container hides those messy envelopes while adding a fun pop to the room… likewise placing the remotes into a rustic wooden tote removes clutter from the coffee table while adding a touch of warmth to the space. As I always say… just put a lid on it! Take this box on my bed side table for example… it holds all my little odds and ends. Books, chap-stick, my diary… things that would be sitting out looking junky otherwise! A cute box is much better!
Try adding extra seating… small poofs, a slipper chair, floor pillows! Not only will these items serve as extra spaces to park small bums they serve as visual interest. They typically add an extra height level to the room (because they are low to the ground) and can be paired with another item! Try an patterned ottoman in front of you favorite chair or a pair of knitted poofs under a side table. My personal favorite? A basket of floor pillows! I have a pair of soft fuzzy floor pillows I bought in college on a whim… they’re so comfy and the best thing to grab for a fun movie night.
I am a big advocate for rugs… rugs on hardwood, rugs on other rugs, rugs on carpet… I even bought a small faux fur rug to throw over the hubby’s desk chair recently! Rugs add warmth, texture and pattern that is so important for a space! Try searching discount stores for that perfect piece… here’s a tip for a larger room. Try searching your local carpet stores for remnants. Most carpet stores have them and will bind them into larger area rugs for a small cost… then you have a large area rug for a fraction of the cost! Score! I found the rug in our living room at At Home for $99… however I have seen the same pattern rug in a remnant section! They had several size pieces available: a 5×6 for $30 and a hall runner for $15! That’s one heck of a good deal!
Every space needs variety! Make sure to use a mixture of patterns and textures to make your accessories sing! The golden rule of thumb in pattern mixing is the rule of three’s: one large geometric print, one medium print and one smaller repeating print! If you’re not an expert on mixing patterns (um hello… definitely not an expert over here!) try sticking to a simple color theme… a common color will tie all of your patterns together! Once you’ve picked out several patterns try adding textures… rustic natural woods, smooth leathers, knitted ottomans, glass vases, painted furniture and soft fluffy pillows all work together to add layers to a room! Try mixing as many textures together as possible for an eclectic look or pick two (like rustic and soft… think rough woods paired with thick knobby blankets) for a more cohesive feel.
Tip: Try adding pattern in unexpected places like the back of a bookcase! I added a pop of fun with wallpaper to these worn out bookcases to add life to my office… what use to be a beaten down piece of my childhood bedroom is now a functional bookshelf!
1. Take your time. The best rooms weren’t thrown together in an hour but collected over time.
2. Add in the personal details… surround yourself with things you love and you can never go wrong!
3. Too much clutter? Try corralling it all with a pretty tray or decorative box!
4. Try adding extra seating… small poofs, a slipper chair, floor pillows!
5. Rugs add warmth, texture and pattern that is so important for a space!
6. Try adding pattern in unexpected places!
Over time your room will start to feel less like the basic mood board we started with and more like the warm, inviting, memory filled home we were searching for! Do you have any tips for adding the “minor details” in your home?