simple decorating ideas

Dressing Your Room In Layers

I met with a new client last week and the words she used to describe what she wanted for her home was "casual elegance". This got me thinking about what those words actually meant. To me, it's a beautiful room that is well designed, but you aren't afraid to curl up on the sofa and watch a good movie. It has layers and character, and tells a story about the people who live there. Giving a room a story isn't as hard as it sounds. It requires some thought, but here are some easy steps to get you there. Accessories are the best way to add character to your room. Start with what you have. Family photos, souvenirs you picked up on vacation, books you love or even that bowl you inherited from you great aunt. Look around your house and gather things that mean something to you. I always ask clients to bring out what they already have when I'm accessorizing a room.  Below is a shelf detail from a study I recently did.  Everything belonged to the client.

Study Shelf Detail

Textiles give a room a welcome feeling and those could be pillows, throw blankets, rugs or window treatments. Most sofas come with matching pillows. Ditch those and get new ones that are in contrasting colors and textures. Pillows are easy to find and can be budget friendly, so don't be afraid to buy something that is bold.  The designer, Sarah Richardson, is a master at mixing fabrics for pillows.

Sarah Richardson


Art is also a great way to add a layer in your room. Think out of the box when hanging items on your wall. Plate hangers can turn your collection of antique platters into a unique piece of art. Ledge shelves, with art leaning on them, is another simple way to fill a wall with character. I have a shelf hanging above my desk and right now it's filled with things that mean so much to me - family photos, a print I picked up at the beach, a fun mug my son made at art camp and a pair of ceramic figurines that belonged to my mom.  Here's an idea I found on Pinterest and recreated it for my client's bedroom.  These are framed photos of their mountain cabin and bring back great memories each time they seem them.

Jennifer Taylor Design

If this sounds overwhelming, then think of your room like a beautiful outfit. Start with really good basics, then add a colorful scarf, sparkly earrings and the perfect shoes!

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A Place All Your Own

Finding a place in your home, just to call your own, can be difficult.  Even if you have the physical space, carving out an area that is just for you is sometimes impossible.  But, you don't need an entire room and the bathroom doesn't count!  Just a comfortable chair or a desk could prove to be that little slice of heaven in a hectic world. I work from home and one of our bedrooms is totally dedicated to my studio.  It's a messy chaos most days and I could never claim that area as my sanctuary.  I have lofty dreams of it becoming that one day, but even if I fill it with every cute basket out there, it still is my office and office = work.  The kind of space I'm talking about today is one where you can sit and pay a bill (and you don't have to search through piles of paper to find it), write a thank you note (those are still important) or catch-up on the latest Facebook news on your laptop.  All of these tasks require very little space, but a lot of creativity!  The key take away here is to think out of the box.  Look around your favorite room and see if you can find a place to tuck a comfy chair or small table you can use as a desk.

quiet 1





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