No matter if you own or rent or have a sprawling house or a tiny one, I’ve learned that every space can benefit greatly from the same 6 things. I started realizing this after I noticing my recommendations to questions like “what would you do here?” or “I’m stuck!” or just simply looking at every room in our own home. If you’re wanting to take your room up a notch or feel like it’s missing something–here lies the answer.
I used to think trays were the most unnecessary accessory and now I just think they are the most underestimated. We use them in every room. On our bedroom nightstand to hold jewelry and change and headphones. In the entry to collect keys. In the kitchen to corral our speaker, candle, plant–also be so cute for salt, pepper, and mugs! In the bathroom for soap and lotion. And also in my cabinet to group my perfumes together. In our office, we have a large one that holds the stapler, a cup for pens, a small calendar and a candy dish. In the living room, on our coffee table. While a tray is maybe not necessary, they are essential for making all those cluttery things in your life look intentional. They give those things a home. A really stylish home.
Every, every, every room needs art. Every room. Even the kitchen could benefit from art. Although lovely, your family photos don’t count. Art is completely subjective, which is why it adds so much character and personality to a home. While every family can stand in a wheat field and smile for a photo–art tells a different story. We’ve never had someone walk in our home for the first time and not comment on or ask about the on the art on the walls. Hang what you’re drawn to, what you love and you’ll instantly feel more connected to your spaces. I also included my favorite mirror in this round up (I’ve never found a better 37″ round mirror for a comparable price) because in a dark corner–a mirror will save your space.
I’m going to say something completely serious and not exaggerated at all–If you don’t have a lamp in your living room, bedroom, family room–you’re life WILL change by adding one. Seriously. Your mood WILL change. You’ll feel more relaxed and calm at home. After the sun goes down, you’ll enjoy your home more. It’s true! I firmly believe every room needs at least 2-3 light sources and one of those should be accent lighting like lamps. We control ours with Alexa via Philips Hue bulbs (another thing that will change your life, btw) and right around dinner time, I turn on lamps and turn off overhead lights (if they were on) and it sets the mood for the rest of the evening. Bulb color (kelvin) and brightness (lumens) also make a huge difference–check out this post for our recommendations around that.
Ahh, the pinnacle of functional decor. Every room could benefit from baskets, whether it’s for storage or texture or both! In our home, it’s lidded baskets for shoes by the front door or laundry in the girls’ rooms. I love a wire basket for books or magazines (even on the kitchen counter for your cook books!). We keep a large basket in the corner of the living room that is intentionally left empty so I can tidy up and put anything left out by the kids in it for them to take care of before bed. I also love using baskets for indoor trees instead of planters.
Every room needs a plant. Because we have lots of little kids and a pet and live in winter town USA, we tend to go faux and guess what, they make me JUST as happy. A vase of a few stems in the middle of the dining table keeps it cleaner longer. Even faux help a room feel more alive. If you have a room that feels stale or empty, try adding some greenery!
Curtains can and will truly make or break your space. On the one hand, I thought our bedroom was pretty good, but when we hung curtains (#21) high and wide it completely transformed it for the better. It made it look sophisticated and elevated and finished. However, if you hang curtains that are too short (if you have 8′ ceilings, you at least need 95″ curtains) or not wide enough–we doubled up in our bedroom and hung them so the entire window can still be visible–it can make your whole space feel shorter and cheap. If you’re room is on the edge of being great, turn your attention to the windows and see if there’s an opportunity to elevate it there. I’ve also linked my favorite budget-friendly rod (#23) that we use almost everywhere! It’s simple, classic and no-fuss.