10 Design Considerations For Decorating Success

April 10, 2016

The approach to creating a beautifully decorated room is always unique, but there are several considerations that always seem to be the same whenever we help a customer with their home.

Today, our team will be installing a living room transformation for a client of ours who gave us the task of creating a room that inspires her and her husband to feel more ‘at home’ and ‘excited’ to walk through their door each and every day. We are up to the challenge! 

Here are the 10 considerations that we used to help our client to pull together her dream room.    (Next week, I'll show you the final result of our transformation.)

Consideration 1: Determining a functional (but interesting) room arrangement

Good interior design always begins with the functional layout of a space.  Once a customer is interested in the possibility of updating a room or their home, our team schedules a home visit to take pictures, measure the space and discuss the wants and needs of our client. 

 Once we get all the information we need, our team begins to work with the room layout and discover its possibilities. 

Functionality is not the same for everyone and we always take into consideration our clients lifestyle, needs, and aesthetic. We generally propose more than a few layout options but always let our clients know what we think will work the best in their particular space.

Consideration 2: Comfortable and stylish furniture

Once we present our recommended room arrangements, the next step is selecting the major furniture pieces that reflect our clients taste, living style and home. We often begin with a room set that we custom create right on our showroom floor that best represents what we believe a client will like… no love.

Sometimes we hit the nail right on the head and other times we continue to work on the ideal room set right alongside our client bringing in alternative chairs, sofas, and sectional selections. We work on this with our client, until we get it right by their standard, not ours!

We also know that these furniture pieces are an investment which is why we stock our showroom with upholstered pieces that have texture, pattern, and color that doesn’t easily date itself. Who wants to live with a floral patterned couch or a sofa color ‘that was red hot when I bought it?”

Consideration 3: Find a few pieces that really inspire you

The client that we are working with today fell in love with this coffee table. Not only does it add a beautiful element to the whole room but will anchor the furniture that will surround it. Since there is so much to think about in your room, an inspiration piece can help create the mood and feeling of the room… and not to mention create more interest and fun!

The mood and feeling of your room will also be created by your choice of colors, textures and pattern you will then want to consider when redesigning your space.

Consideration 4: Don’t go overboard when choosing wall colors

There can be a fine line between too much color on your walls and not enough. From one vantage point in your room, you should consider avoiding more than two colors. And even with that, we typically recommend staying within the same color family to create an undisrupted visual flow. 

 Our client already had her walls painted a lovely shade of white which represents her love of light neutrals.  So there was no need to repaint her rooms to achieve her desired look.

But if your home is full of room-to-room bold color variations, we would typically recommend painting your rooms one (or two) shades that compliment your furnishings and allow your space to flow together in a more seamless way. You don’t want to have to furnish your home to match your walls!

Consideration 5: Lighting style and ambiance

Good lighting can truly bring a room to life. A poorly lit room can make it look small, dark and not very appealing. A well-lit room with light coming from different heights and sources can help make a room open, airy and welcoming. Consider replacing an out-dated fixture with a stunning modern one. 


Our client chose to replace an outdated fixture with a modern and bold chandelier that will hang right over her inspired cocktail table.

We will also place a floor lamp in her new seating area and table lamps in the darker corners filling her room with light sources from different directions.

The next set of considerations relate to creating layers that add comfort and visual warmth to a room. The layers that are often responsible for taking a room from blah to beautiful.

Consideration 6: Area rugs

For the most part, every hard surface in your home needs a rug… not only for comfort but to help you define and ground spaces. And even if you have carpet throughout your home, an area rug used to anchor a seating area can simply be considered an added layer of texture or pattern.   So many beautiful ones to choose in stock and ready to take home...

The rugs that you pick should complement the room not dominate it. Sometimes if you choose a rug heavy on color and pattern, you find yourself having to match everything else in the room to it.

It is hard to break away from a certain color story when your rug dictates your choices for the rest of the room. Instead, think about options that give you a little more flexibility.

Consideration 7: Window treatments

Window treatments that are older (many times florals and heavy patterns) can tend to date a home as well as dictate what you will do next when you want to update your home. 

Our favorite window treatments tend to be simple, functional and timeless. We often recommend simple panels that flank each side of the window. We like to see them hanging as high as possible with a soft puddle on the floor adding warmth and scale to most rooms.  Panels are fashionable as well as versatile and can be adapted for most any window throughout your home. 

 Our client that we are working on today already had these simple panels installed in her home. No change recommended here… we think they are simply beautiful.

Consideration 8: Mix finishes

If you open up a magazine and find the most beautifully decorated room, I would dare say that you would find multiple finishes within that room. 

Yet, this is one of the hardest considerations for our clients to get their arms around. There is no good reason why satin nickel, brushed steel, oil-rubbed bronze, black iron, hammered silver, gold leaf, silver leaf, copper, and other metallic finishes can’t get along famously in the same room. To create an effortlessly sophisticated and lived-in look, bring in various metal tones around each room in your home.

All you have to do is walk through our showroom and see the many examples of pairing both wood and metal finishes. Truly, mixing finishes gives you a timeless, unique and custom look.

Consideration 9: Pillows, throws & accessories

These small but mighty items in your home have the ability to pull all of your finishes, fabrics and colors together. And just as important, create a cozy and comfortable look. Without these textural (and interesting) elements, a room will often feel sterile, unwelcoming and unfinished. Accessories not only compliment but complete a room.

On today’s transformation, we have packed up a number of pillows, throws, and accessories and will blend these with the items with those that our client already has in her home and loves.

Consideration 10: Artwork & Mirrors

The finishing touch to a room often lies with artwork and mirrors. Mirrors have several great benefits by bring additional light and depth to a room. They are dramatic 'windows' that often reflect something beautiful already in your room. 

 Artwork is also an important way to treat those bare walls that otherwise will leave your room feeling undone. The basic rule of thumb when choosing artwork (other than loving the way it looks) is for it to be cohesive in the room without distracting from the other style elements within it.

Our client was drawn to this simple piece that we had in the store, and it will fit beautifully above her fireplace...it will also compliment the soft neutrals combined with lots of textural elements that we will be creating in her home.

Well, I can’t wait to show you the final result next week! It will be a good one.

Until Next Week,