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.
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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.
Our wood grain Shaker cabinet fronts were designed for busy, high-traffic homes like ours. Clad with durable textured thermofoils, this line is compatible with Sektion, Akurum, Godmorgon, and Besta cabinets from IKEA. It's the perfect, practical way to add the warmth of wood to all the rooms of your home.
We have teamed up with Loloi to create a line of rugs that are as affordable as they are beautiful. This collection houses a great mix of traditional and modern rugs, in cottage-y colorways, as well as vintage-inspired beauties that you’ll want to roll out in every room.
We partnered with Stuga on a line of hardwood floors — The Ingrid is really livable, and the color is very neutral. It doesn’t lean warm or cool, it’s that just right in-between. We have really loved putting it everywhere in our house. It’s the best jumping-off point for design, no matter your interior style. In addition to being beautiful, Ingrid is really durable — we have three kids, and we always have a home construction project going on. Ingrid stands up to it all.
Looking for our favorite things? A place to shop our home room by room, or just catch up on what Julia's wearing / loving right now? Browse the CLJ shop.
Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here.
We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen.
Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.
The next project we’re checking off our 2023 project list is the mudroom! This used to be the laundry room until we built out a much bigger, better laundry room upstairs. So, in the meantime, this space has been exclusively Cricket’s room. Cricket will still have a special space here, but we’re transforming this dingy […]
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