Tips to help make a home feel homey and complete

April 6, 2014 12:00 AM

Q: I’ve bought all the furniture for my space, but for some reason my home still doesn’t feel “done.” What are some of the key things to helping it feel homey and complete?

A: I get this question all the time (and am hired by many people to help them go this last “decorating mile”). You can amass all the main pieces of furniture, but the key to a well decorated and interesting room is all in the details. There are a few key things that help a furnished house feel properly designed and finished.

One of the biggest mistakes people make is to amass a bunch of accessories and “stuff” with no sense of purpose. While I am a proponent of avoiding anything “matchy-matchy” you do have to think of the space as a whole. There should be a color scheme that is evenly balanced throughout the room — a vase or tray that pulls a key color from a focal piece of art, pillows that coordinate with that scheme, and other small accents that spread that accent color throughout the room on different visual planes (i.e. the walls, sofa, tabletop, and floor).

Another important key is to add texture and variety. When everything in a room is flat, the room feels flat! Make sure you add a variety of textures — woven fabrics, thick braided rugs, velvets, soft blankets, pillows, and even wallpaper. Layers create a more homey, thoughtfully collected feel to your space. But don’t feel the need to put something on every single surface and wall. Sometimes restraint can be your best friend in helping to avoid a cluttered and unpurposeful look.

Also make sure you add in a few vintage pieces to rooms of all new furniture. It makes the design feel more unique than a space that looks like it was taken from a page in a catalog. Hunt through tag and estate sales, in antique stores and online on sites like 1stdibs.com, Ebay, and Etsy. Patina is your friend and contributes a “one of a kind” accent to your home.

And finally, buy only things you love. I know how tempting it is to fill your cart at fabulous discount and big box stores just to fill a void in your room, but don’t buy everything there. Save your pennies. That way, when you see something truly fabulous and unique that you could and would keep forever, you can afford it. It makes all the difference to have a home filled with beloved treasures and not just “things.”

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