Updated: Apr 8, 2021
Let's be honest; My house is a constant work in progress and if you're the type who actually likes to check things off the list at home, I envy you. One of the things I hear most from clients, friends, family members, my dry cleaner, that guy down the street....and really anyone who knows what I do for a living, is that they don't feel like their place feels cozy and finished. And 9 times out of 10, they're right.
You're space isn't just a couple of walls to store large pieces of furniture. It should, and I know I've said this before, really reflect who you are. Think of it like fashion: jeans and a t-shirt are just jeans and a t-shirt until you put on the right jewelry, killer shoes or sneakers and that leather jacket and then poof; you're looking like a million bucks. The same principles go for your living spaces.
If you're feeling undone at home, try adding one or two of these finishing touches and see if you're feeling a little closer to where you want to be.
A great area rugs is almost always the easiest fix. It'll help ground your furniture and define the area. Find something that pulls the colors from the space. Look at things like your sofa, accent chairs or the walls. If the space is already busy, go for a simple option, but if you have a ton of solid pieces, don't be afraid to be bold!!
What I Like About It: It's giving us a pattern without giving us a pattern. The soft two tone look is still interesting without being overbearing.
What I Like About It: It still feels light and bright, even with the deep, saturated colors. The great texture is an added bonus.
Next I would look at the windows. Unless you live on a cliffside and your only neighbors are the seagulls....INVITE ME OVER!!! Seriously though, you probably want some sort of window covering. Now, between draperies, roman shades, solar shades, cornices, valances, blinds, shutters and all of the other window treatment options out there, we could be here all day so I'm going to stick with draperies. Generally you can purchase them pre-fab and install them yourself. If your space is a little darker, go for something a little more sheer so you can close the drapes and still get some light in. If we're talking about a bedroom, try something room darkening or a blackout.
What I Like About Them: They add a beautiful texture without totally blocking out the light or feeling too heavy. Not to mention, they are 100% cotton, fair trade certified and you can throw them in your washing machine!
What I Like About Them: It's a classic pattern in an updated, saturated color pallet. These panels are room darkening, helping you grab every last Z possible.
*Pro Tip: When picking out drapery hardware, go bigger than your window so that when the drapes are open, you see the whole window. This will give the appearance of larger windows!
Now that we have those windows covered, the rest of the walls look super empty, no? This is where a couple of great pieces of artwork come in handy. Personally, I like to hang some large pieces here and there as well as a collection of smaller pieces as a gallery wall. Honestly, you probably have a ton of things hanging around the house that you can work with to create your own gallery. Maybe you're lucky and you have some super artistic kids. Frame a piece of their work and mix it in with other family photos and that porcelain iguana you picked up the last time you visited the islands. Think about how you can hang things that, maybe, aren't made to be hung. Keep it interesting and add a small mirror or some dried flowers or a clock. The great thing about this is you don't have to spend a ton of money on it and you can switch pieces out as often as you like.
What I Like About It: The frames are different but the prints all relate to one another as well as the space. The black and white really makes the greens pop!
What I Like About It: It tells a story and you feel like you know something about the person who lives here. Unlike the image above, all of the "art" is totally different but the frames and white spaces keep this from being a mess and make it look curated and cohesive.
Pro Tip: Use brown paper templates of each piece you plan to hang so you can map out your wall without poking holes all over the place. Tape the templates on the wall to make it easier to move things around until your gallery is just the way you want it.
If you've been following along with the blog (First of all thank you so much!!! You really have no idea what it means to me. And hello to all the new subscribers!), you wont be surprised that my last home essential item is going to be live plants. They are just so good to have in our indoor spaces. They have been known to boost your mood and productivity level, reduce stress and anxiety and clean the air by helping to remove toxins. Not to mention, it's good for us to have to take care of something other than ourselves.
What I Like About It: Devils Ivy - It's basically an indestructible house plant. It'll survive, no problem, in low light and requires very little maintenance. It's highly drought tolerant and doesn't require feeding. Not to mention the color variation is so pretty!
What I Like About It: Bromeliads - These are going to take a bit more finesse to keep alive than the Devils Ivy but they are still super tolerant plants as far as missed waterings and temperature fluctuations go and they aren't very big eaters. Also, I mean, who doesn't like some tropical vibes at home? Check out that flower!
I think this is a really good place to start but if you're feeling adventurous, you can also think about throw pillows for your sofa and table and floor lamps for ambiance. Mix up your book shelves with personal trinkets, books and framed photos. The trick is to stay true to yourself because the more of you that's in that space, the more like home it will feel.