I love styling my home, and then restyling, and then moving things around again and well…it’s a never-ending process.  But no matter how many changes I make, there are a few basic things that I always try to do.  It really doesn’t matter what decorating style I’m using at the time or what space I’m working in, because I always follow these 5 steps to create a beautiful space.


1.  Only Decorate with Things You Love

I know I’ve said this before but I really can’t stress enough how important it is to surround yourself with things you truly love because it will help create a space that feels comfortable to you.  Never buy something because it’s the right size, or the right color, or even just because it’s on sale, unless you really love it.

Surround yourself with things that are an extension of you….everything else is just stuff.

Closeup of vintage dress form with pearl necklaces and a pearl broach
{I LOVE this dress form in my bedroom because epitomizes my style. It’s a utilitarian object that I’m using decoratively and is a mix of masculine & feminine, casual & elegant.}

2.  Create Layers

I believe in decorating throughout a space, as opposed to in a space.  Have you ever been in a room where all of the furniture was sitting in the center of the room with nothing on the perimeter?  If so, then you’ll know that this often looks as if the furniture is just floating in the room! 

Instead, I like to envision a space as having layers from the outside walls to the center of the room, with each layer utilized and somehow connected to the other.  This doesn’t mean you have to decorate every single part of the room, but rather that you don’t forget about any large areas and ensure that the room has dimension.  Lighting, textures, plants, and patterns can all be used to create layers in a room and add dimension.

Remember that a room is three-dimensional and should be decorated as such!

3.  Keep the Eye Moving

One thing that helps to keep people’s eyes moving around the room is a concept known as rhythm.  Rhythm is what carries our eyes along at a steady pace and allows us to anticipate what comes next.  It’s basically setting the expectations for the room so you can better understand what comes next.  If rhythm is interrupted, or if it isn’t established, then our eyes stop scanning at a smooth pace and instead we look randomly around the room from one thing to the next in no particular order.  Not knowing what comes next can feel uncomfortable and jarring, which is why rhythm is important.

Rhythm can be established with a color theme that is used throughout a room, architectural lines that run throughout a room, or even an alternating pattern.  So as you mix an match styles, finishes, and colors, be sure to use them throughout the space for balance so that your eye can easily transition from one to the next.

In the image below, rhythm is established by the progression of picture frames as they move from the highest point to the lowest.  This progression helps move your eye along an established path.

4.  Use a Variety of Textures

For me, textures add to a room’s sense of comfort and add a great deal of interest.  Imagine for a moment a doctor’s office.  While there might be a lot of different materials used, they are likely to all have the same texture – smooth.  Alternatively, a room with a lot of texture can be cozy and inviting, even in the absence of color.  As you decorate, try to incorporate a variety of textures – both elegant and casual – so that you add dimension and interest.  Items that can add a lot of different textures include natural woven baskets, throws, chippy painted finishes, metallic accents, a variety of  wood finishes, glass and ceramics, and even patterned pillows, to name just a few.

Antique white fireplace with a collection of mirrors and flowers on the mantel
{via South Shore Decorating}
French style living room with lots of molding on the walls and ceiling wood floors and neutral furniture
{via Pinterest}

5. Include Something Organic

I use a lot of flowers and greenery and think plants add comfort and a sense of freshness; it’s blurring the lines between outdoors so that the space doesn’t feel completely manufactured.  Greenery or flowers are always my first choice because they add a natural sense of color, but not everyone has a green thumb.  In this case, preserved boxwood, feathers, seashells, wood, aged paper, and even candlelight  can all help to make a space feel natural and homey.

For an example of the impact that something organic can make, check out {THIS POST}.

There are of course many other decorating tips and tricks available, and decorating preferences play into which ones will work for you, but these are five that I generally follow whenever I’m designing (or redesigning!) a beautiful space.

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  1. Ty for another gdereat article.

  2. Great ideas. I believe I follow most of these. When we moved from our home of 35 years, I practiced the idea of using only what I loved. It freed me to get rid of the items that were just “stuff”. It’s actually simplified decorating seasonally and changing things up when I choose to.

  3. Most people I speak to about my decorating ideas/philosophy stare at me with a vacant look in their eyes! finally someone who speaks the same language!
    Thanks Kim!

    1. Tidbits&Twine says:

      Yay! I’m so glad that you said that because my goal in starting this blog was to connect with others who share my love for decorating and I’m so excited to see that goal being realized. We are kindred spirits in decorating. :)

  4. Finally someone who speaks the same language that i do!
    Most people I speak to about my decorating ideas/philosophy stare at me with a vacant look in their eyes!
    Thanks Kim!

  5. Your ideas and tips are spot on! I, too, try to layer a room. I am always changing throw pillows, plants and accessories to change my rooms, either seasonally or just when the mood strikes:):) Thank you for all these great tips. The room with the 2 mirrors is GORGEOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! be still my heart!!!!

    1. Tidbits&Twine says:

      Thank you, Pinky! That is a gorgeous room, isn’t it?!

  6. Kim,
    Love all your decorating tips. My fav and the one I live by the most is the Surround yourself with things you love. I think that is the biggest key to loving your style.
    Great post with great tips.

    1. Tidbits&Twine says:

      Hi Kris – I’m so glad you enjoyed this post! I think that’s my favorite tip, too. :)

    1. Tidbits&Twine says:

      Thank you, Marty!

  7. Perfection! I love love love every idea! The idea of decorating through a room is brilliant! This is a keeper post!!!!

    1. Tidbits&Twine says:

      Wow, Yvonne!! Thank you *so* much!! :)

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