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Easy Decor Tips

Design 101: How to Decorate a Room in 10 Easy Steps

Whether it’s for a living room in your new home or for a small bedroom you’ve been meaning to decorate, gathering inspiration and dreaming up ideas for how to decorate a room in your home is always fun and exciting. When it comes to the actual designing part, though, it can quickly feel daunting and overwhelming. Where do you even begin?

For many people, the challenge often involves trying to do everything at once. You know you have to pick a paint color but should the furniture come first? In that case, should I start with a furniture layout for the space? But what about the art piece that I really want to hang up in the room? Maybe that will help me figure out where to put everything else? And so the cycle goes.

We like to think that designing a room is like decorating a cake—you can’t think about the frosting when you don’t even have your batter. Take the time to figure out the foundational details—floor plan, layout—before you get to any decorating.

Still not sure how to design a room from start to finish? Check out our step-by-step guide below that breaks down the process of decorating a room, from planning the setup to adding the final finishing touch. Trust us, you’ll want to pocket this for all your design projects from here on

Easy Decor Tips1. Assess Your Space

The most important first step with any home design project is to ask yourself the basic questions about the room you are designing.

Is it a public or private space?

How much time do you spend here?

How do you want the space to work for your life?

Your needs for your master bedroom are different from those for your living room and dining space, which are gathering spots for lounging and entertaining. But maybe you want a seating area in your bedroom. If so, do you see yourself using it alot? How will it play into your everyday life?

Taking the time to assess these general questions will help you determine what you need for a specific space and thus inform all the decisions to come, from your budget to the right furniture.

Easy Decor Tips2. Consider Your Needs

You know what kind of room you want, now think about how you’ll use it. Being clear about your needs is crucial, as it will help determine the furniture you need for your space. You don’t want to make purchases that are hard to walk back on later.

With more people working from home and families homeschooling, we’re also asking a lot more of our spaces these days. So keep that in mind along with who shares the space with you and their needs as well.

Do you need to work in a small play area for young kids in your living room?

Turn a spare bedroom into a TV room?

Have a cat that claws at anything upholstered?

Add an office in your bedroom?

Knowing how you want to use the space for will guide the pieces you put in it!

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Easy Decor Tips3. Decide On Your Style

If you know us, you knew this was coming! Bringing your personal style into your space is one of the most important parts in designing a room. But it can also feel challenging if you’re not sure what your style is.

Start by getting yourself inspired. Spend time browsing Pinterest, Instagram, and some design blogs, saving all the things you like. If you’re designing a bedroom, archive any paint color ideas, cool furniture shapes, and even bedroom storage pieces that stand out to you. This is all about information (and inspiration) gathering, so make it fun and leisurely for yourself.

Once you’ve gathered a handful of images and design ideas, look over everything you’ve saved and then edit your findings down to your favorites and the ideas that make the most sense for your space. For instance, if you love minimalism but have young messy kids, you know that the sleek all-white look won’t fly, but you can still consider white furniture that’s kid-friendly.

What you’ll end up with is a clearer sense of your personal style and aesthetic for the room you’re designing. If you don’t know where to start, browse all our Design Ideas or take our Style Quiz!

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Easy Decor Tips4. Come Up With Your Layout

Many people skip this step, but finding the right layout is incredibly important. Whether you’re working with a small bedroom or a spacious living room, planning out where furniture will go will make everything that comes after a million times easier.

Consider the architectural features of your room that could limit how you use the space. For example, you might have a big bedroom that can fit a full-size seating area but there’s only one wall where you can actually place a sofa. Or maybe your dining room has no windows, which means you’ll likely have to take advantage of the vertical wall space and invest more in light fixtures. You might also be at the mercy of outlets where you’ll have to put your TV.

Spend the time to plan out what you want and where you want to place things. And don’t be afraid of layout hacks, like floating your furniture. Getting creative with a solid layout is guaranteed to completely change how you think about and use your space in the end.

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cheap room decor5. Plan Your Budget

Now we move into the necessary not-so-fun part: Money planning. In simple terms, furniture is expensive, so deciding on a budget for your room and being firm about how much you want to spend is essential. If you’re not one for hard and fast numbers, give yourself a budget range.

A good jumping-off point is to think about what are your investment pieces and what are things you can skimp on. If you’re designing a small bedroom with limited storage space, do you want to budget money for a dresser? If you want to paint the bedroom, will it be one wall or the entire room? Can you measure and calculate how much paint you’ll need?

Use this step to come up with a rough outline of furniture, decor, and accent pieces and how much you want to spend on each.

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Easy Decor Tips6. Pick Your Color Palette

The last step in the planning process is to come up with the color scheme for your space. Whether you paint your walls or not, having a focused color palette is what will set your room apart.

Look back to some of the inspiration you pulled and see if there’s a common color theme. If not, do you prefer a more neutral home? Or do you like to have a few pops of color in any given room? Or are you all for color and ready to go full-steam with a bold technicolor bedroom?

There’s no right or wrong way to approach color, but if you’re a design beginner, we suggest sticking to a considered palette of two to three light neutral shades.

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Easy Decor Tips7. Lay The Foundational Furniture

O.K. Now things start to pick up. Using your room layout as a guide and following the rough outline of what you need, you can finally start shopping.

Begin with your foundation furniture, which are your investment pieces and the main designs that will take up the most room and set the tone in your space. In a living room, these are usually the sofa or sectional, TV stand, and armchairs. In a bedroom, it’s likely the bed and any bedroom storage pieces, like a dresser or armoire.

While shopping, be sure to stay true to your style, which you should now have a good idea about. Once you nail down the general foundational pieces, you’ll have a much easier time decorating the rest of your room.

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Easy Decor Tips8. Add Accent Pieces

Move on to your accent furniture, which are things like your bedroom nightstands, living room coffee table, office bookcases, etc.

Be sure to consider your space and the function of these pieces in the room. What’s the best floor lamp height for your living room? How many levels do you need your bookshelf to be? Would your bedroom feel cramped with two bedside tables actually? Or do you need to add a bench for a catchall that also rounds out the look in your bedroom?

Accent pieces are great for creating contrast in a room. Think wood nightstands if you have an upholstered bed, or go for a slim coffee table if you have an overstuffed sofa.

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Easy Decor Tips9. Mix Materials & Textures

Speaking of contrast, you’ll want to also keep an eye out for accent furniture featuring interesting materials and textures.

Think of them as the secret ingredients that ties a room together, be it natural-fiber accents, leather pieces and cowhide touches, or grainy rough-hewn wood furniture. Like your color palette, these details will help make your space appear more layered and give a room that “wow” factor.

Textiles are an easy way to bring in a diverse mix of materials and textures. For instance, you can combine plush velvet and light linen designs in a bedroom for a chic and airy pairing. Or you can lean into metals and mix brass with iron and steel designs for an industrial edge in the living room or bedroom. The key is to experiment with a wide mix of textures and materials.

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Easy Decor Tips10. Decorate With Finishing Touches

The last step is also the one most of us look forward to: Adding in the finishing touches. If your furniture is mostly neutral, you can easily bring color and texture to your space by curating thoughtful finishing touches. These usually consist of small decor touches like art, pillows, baskets, trays, rugs, and unique items that will light up a room.

No matter your space, be it your home office or a guest bedroom, opt for finishing touches that can easily be swapped out over time or seasonally. For example, you can liven up an all-white bedroom in the spring with bright patterned pillows and wall art, but you can also just as easily warm up the room in the winter with a few silver throws and graphic black-and-white pillows that don’t veer away from your palette.

Most importantly, remember to stay true to your style. Your completed room should reflect your personal style and design aesthetic!

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What Your Enneagram Type Says About Your Interior Design Style

You’ve probably heard about the Enneagram personality test from social media or co-workers and friends. It’s a trend that’s gained quite a following and there’s plenty of good reasons! Since the Enneagram is broken into nine distinct personality types you can think of it as a modern version of astrology. Even if you’re not a believer, it’s still fun to find out your type and share it with friends.

Not only is the Enneagram test used for determining how you perceive your environment, it also has tons of real-world applications. For starters, all kinds of companies use it to help to manage their business. It’s also a lot of fun! Plus if you really get into it, there’s a whole world of interesting podcasts (Do It For The Gram: An Enneagram Podcast) and Instagram accounts (@enneagramandcoffee) that can give you even more content.

Of course, our favorite application of the Enneagram is determining your unique style and putting it to good use in your home decor! Read on see our take on how each Enneagram type should refresh their home for spring.

1. The Reformer

The Rational, Idealistic Type: Principled, Purposeful, Self-Controlled, and Perfectionistic

Your Style: Classic, organized, symmetrical

Type 1 Style Tips:

The Reformer is a  perfectionist who needs their space to feel polished and put together. They’ll be happiest in clean-lined spaces with a Classic vibe and restrained styling. Craving order, this personality type begs for formal symmetry in their layout to keep visual balance. Their space should have ample storage to ensure an organized, tidy day to day, keeping clutter at bay.  The Reformer will benefit from using neutral color palettes to create a serene space that they will love.

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2. The Helper

The Caring, Interpersonal Type: Demonstrative, Generous, People-Pleasing, and Possessive

Your Style: Welcoming, warm, comfortable

Type 2 Style Tips:

The generous and people-pleasing Helper thrives in spaces that are designed to welcome and entertain guests in a comfortable manner. They gravitate towards warm and cozy styles that offer stability: for example, they love a mix of traditional and modern pieces that meet everyone’s taste. An Enneagram Type 2 delights in Modern Farmhouse spaces that are approachable yet fresh and contemporary. Their best color palettes are black and white, as these warm tones will provide maximum comfort for guests.

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3. The Archiver

The Success-Oriented, Pragmatic Type: Adaptive, Excelling, Driven, and Image-Conscious

Your Style: On trend, splurge pieces, pulled-together

Type 3 Style Tips:

The Achiever loves to excel in all things, interior design is no exception. They love on-trend spaces that reflect their high-level tastes. Stylistically, an Achiever gravitates towards a timely style like Organic Modernism, which is oh-so-cool. The look is pulled together and effortlessly chic, and usually includes a few splurge pieces, that The Achiever loves. While the Achiever is drawn towards trending styles, they’re also likely to try trends that have some sort of cultural collateral such as , to reinforce their style prowess.

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4. The Individualist

The Sensitive, Withdrawn Type: Expressive, Dramatic, Self-Absorbed, and Temperamental

Your Style: Eclectic, personalized, colorful

Type 4 Style Tips:

It’s all in the name with this one: The Individualist needs a space that stands out as much as they do. They need a home to showcase their self-expression. That means their style is less driven by current trends than by what they love. For type 4’s displaying eclectic wall art and collected feeling decorative objects is a must. Having a love of the dramatic, the Individualist is drawn towards bright colors, bold patterns, and layered styles.

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5. The Investigator

The Intense, Cerebral Type: Perceptive, Innovative, Secretive, and Isolated

Your style: Mid-century Minimalist, iconic design pieces, cool

Type 5 Style Direction:

The Investigator is an intense thinker who enjoys their space. They enjoy an environment that stimulates their active mind, filled with iconic design pieces, making a cozy escape from the world. Type 5 is happiest surrounded by bold architectural pieces so loves Mid-century minimal styles. The Eames lounge chair in this design is the perfect piece for them to relax and contemplate. The Investigator’s chosen color palette is reserved and stems from the natural treatment of materials such as leather, wood, and metals.

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6. The Loyalist

The Committed, Security-Oriented Type: Engaging, Responsible, Anxious, and Suspicious

Your Style: Traditional, leather, wood-tones, safe choices

Type 6 Style Tips:

The Loyalist craves security in their environment.  They can tap into that need by making a space that feels comfortable and protected. As such they prefer more traditional styles and steer away from trends. Type 6 enjoys Classic American design known for honest craftsmanship and quality materials. Solid wood and natural materials provide comfort to Loyalists and enhance their space with quality craftsmanship. Traditional palettes such as navy blue, crimson, and the warm tones of natural wood and leather suit the Loyalist best.

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7. The Enthusiast

The Busy, Fun-Loving Type: Spontaneous, Versatile, Distractible, and Scattered

Your Style: Minimalist Maximalist, bold, visually stimulating, a touch of glam

Type 7 Style Tips:

The Enthusiast is a fun lover. They love a space that reflects their spontaneous, out-of-the-box vibe and provides plenty of visual stimulation. Type 7  does well in a high-drama space and enjoys styles that surprise and create visual excitement. They thrive in a Minimalist Maximalist design where bold pieces are offset by iconic minimalist shapes. Their color palette should be high contrast either black and white or a few bold pops of color incorporated in art, decor, or a statement piece.

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8. The Challenger

The Powerful, Dominating Type: Self-Confident, Decisive, Willful, and Confrontational

Your Style: Glam and high drama, exudes self-confidence, saturated colors

Type 8 Style Tips:

The Challenger is a person who really knows who they are can embrace life’s little contradictions. This type enjoys a space that reflects their confidence and their ability to embrace conflict. Type 8 thrives in Glam spaces; this style beautifully combines classic touches and luxurious textures and material. Type 9 also welcomes bold colors to match their personality. The end result is a space that is beautifully decisive, dramatic, and delightfully on-trend. It exudes this type’s self-confidence.

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9. The Peace Maker

The Easygoing, Self-Effacing Type: Receptive, Reassuring, Agreeable

Your Style: Mid-century Transitional, comfortable furnishings, serene colors

Type 9 Style Tips:

The Peacemaker wants a space that reflects their welcoming temperament. As a personality that seeks to make all feel at ease, their space would do the same. This type shies away from trends or polarizing styles preferring spaces that are transitional in nature with a slight mid-century edge. The gravitation towards mid-century transitional design allows for a more comfortable space that anyone can enjoy. Type 9’s design aesthetic also incorporates soft and serene color palettes to further create a safe space for their family and friends.

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kid friendly living room

5 Tips for Designing a Kid Friendly Living Room

As a parent, designing a beautiful home can feel like a real struggle. You want a space that is safe and welcoming for kids, but you also don’t want to feel like you live in PeeWee’s Playhouse (no offense to PeeWee). The struggle is especially real for high-traffic rooms, like your living space or family room, which see a lot of daily use by both adults and kids alike.

If you’re looking to design a kid-friendly living room that balances style and function, you’ve come to the right place. We’re big believers in the idea that beautiful design and a home full of children are not mutually exclusive. We’re here to arm you with a few practical and stylish design tips that will help you make your living room the ultimate kid-friendly (and adult approved) hangout space.

Keep scrolling for 5 of our favorite kid-friendly living room design tips!

kids living room design1. Find a Forgiving Rug

First things first: When designing a kid-friendly living room (or any room, for that matter) a forgiving rug is a must.

Keep your family and your home happy by choosing a rug that’s durable, easy to clean, and free of toxic chemicals. Skip silk and synthetic fibers, which stain easily and can be expensive to clean, and opt for a wool or natural fiber rug instead.

We love natural fiber rugs because they come in large sizes at affordable prices, but if you’re not a fan, consider an indoor/outdoor rug instead. Available in a range of colors, patterns, and sizes, these rugs are made to withstand heavy wear. A great option for family homes or households with furry friends too!

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kid friendly living room2. Choose Fabrics That Do More

When it comes to a kid-friendly living room, your sofa, chairs, and pillows will all be subject to climbing, jumping, spills, and even become the canvases for various arts and crafts projects. Give your furniture a leg up on the competition by picking fabric options that balance comfort and practicality.

What to look for:

  • Durable Fabrics: For upholstered furniture (like sofas or chairs) look for fabrics with tight weaves and high rub counts. These are sure signs of durability and mean these pieces can take more wear and tear than your average furniture.
  • Leather: If you’re willing to spend a bit more, leather is a great option because you can easily wipe away spills. No need to worry about scratches, as these marks and scuffs will blend right in as your leather sofa develops a patina over time.
  • Patterns: Pieces with busy patterns or multi-tonal fabrics will also help to disguise blemishes. So, don’t be afraid to choose a chair, rug, or even pillows sporting a bold or graphic print!
  • Slipcovers are another great choice for your family’s home. When spills happen, simply pull off the cover and toss it into the wash.

Fun fact! It’s a common maxim that white sofas are an automatic no-no in homes with young kids. But, after designing many kid-friendly living rooms, we’ve found many parents actually advocate for white sofas. Why? Because unlike any other color, you can bleach a white slipcover and it’ll come out good as new. How’s that for low-maintenance!

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kid-friendly living room3. Cut the Corners

Create an “owie-free” zone by avoiding any furniture or decor with sharp corners and edges.

This is especially important if your kids are just learning to walk. Consider nixing pieces with sharp corners or anything made of glass.

Instead of a coffee table, try swapping in a large ottoman—or even two poufs—to keep your seating area totally void of sharp edges. Some options also offer interior storage and double as a comfy footrest.

If you don’t want to forgo a coffee table completely, consider a round option. This is a great way to eliminate sharp corners and still enjoy the function of a coffee table. If you go this route, opt for wood surfaces, which hold up to scuffs and scratches and are less sharp than glass, metal, or stone tops. Or, get the best of both worlds, and choose a plush ottoman with interior storage (which is great for easily stashing away games and kids’ toys).

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kid storage ideas4. Get Strategic With Your Storage

There’s no denying that kids have a lot of stuff. From toys to art supplies, to books and backpacks, a kid-friendly space should always incorporate plenty of low-maintenance, kid-approved storage.

We say, opt for enclosed or stashable storage which easily conceals clutter and helps keep your space looking neat with minimal effort. AKA you’ll spend less time cleaning/organizing and have more time to play with your family.

A credenza is great for storing toys and small knickknacks and can do double-duty as a TV stand. An ottoman, coffee table, or bench with interior storage is another great option. A few pretty baskets lined up against the wall are also great for stashing toys and clutter in a pinch (and look much cuter than plastic bins).

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Stylist Tip: While open shelving and storage options are lovely, they do require constant upkeep to keep them looking great. If you don’t want to commit to high-maintenance storage a great alternative is to opt for closed storage pieces.

living room design for kids5. Make Room for Play

All practicality aside, spaces designed for kids should feel welcoming for your entire family. Mix in some fun, colorful artwork on your walls to give your space a less serious note that your kids will appreciate.

Consider incorporating a play corner into your living space. This way, adults can supervise from a distance while kids have fun nearby.

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Stylist Tip: Choose a few nice frames and put up artwork by your kids next to your decorative pieces. Sometimes it’s these small personal touches that make gathering spaces feel perfectly relaxed for everyone in the family.

 

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