Creating a curated and layered look is what makes a house look like a home. Learn more about the 5 finishing touches every room needs in this comprehensive guide!

Decorating is a process of layering the space. It’s turning a box into something cozy that functions well and reflects your personal style.

For many, the process can be overwhelming. Choosing and arranging furniture is exhausting for some just stop there. And that’s okay!

spring dough bowl on coffee table next to bouquet of white flowers in family room

But if you really want to add dimension, and personality and create a polished look, there are a few finishing touches that can really take your home to the next level. You can use the Table of Contents below to quickly navigate this post.

5 Finishing Touches Every Room Needs

Let’s assume you’ve got the basics in your family/living room (sofas, chairs, coffee table, accent tables).  From here, how can you transform the room from a space that you live to a space that you love?  Here are five finishing touches that you can add to any space to make your house a home.

neutral living room with wooden top coffee table with old books on top and a vase with olive branches next to santos doll with french wingback chair in background


Including accessories not only adds character to the room and makes it look lived in, but helps blend all of the furniture together into a cohesive unit.

Accessories can communicate so much about a room and can contribute so much to the overall feel.  Sometimes, they reflect the season.  Other times, they can communicate the decorating style.  Is the room modern?  Is it traditional? 

vignette of rustic vase next to antique book open on table with magnifying glass and single white rose

Accessories can also reflect the homeowner’s color preferences and personal taste. Maybe the accessories are something the homeowner collects. Or maybe they’re as simple as just something they fell in love with!

A word of caution, though. Never, ever buy something for no reason. Accessories should serve a purpose. Your accessories should serve at least one of the following purposes:

  • Be meaningful/sentimental
  • Showcase your passion or be something you love
  • Help tie a color story together within the space
  • Add texture or height to a space
vignette of two vintage silver trophy cups on an old leather book with small green potted fern in front and candlestick in back

There are several ways you can work to switch out your accessories to reflect your current style, season or mood.  Shopping is a fun way, but you can also reuse what you already have.  Find a fabric you love and recover your pillows.  Or try painting some of your accessories in your new favorite color! 

Learn the designer secret to instantly transform an object with little expense and little effort!

Displaying accessories is an art form unto itself! You can read my guide for How to Create Vignettes if you want to create eye-catching displays in your home.

Pillows & Throw Blankets

Throw pillows are a hard-working staple of designers everywhere. A new color or pattern on a sofa instantly gives a new look!

blue ruffle pillow in front of blue and white patterned pillow on belgian linen sofa with dining table in background

Adding pillows to your sofa adds color and texture, providing softness to your space. Plus, pillows help to personalize your space, taking a showroom sofa and really making it your own. These pillows can help tie the color scheme together. 

beige textured linen pillow in front of blue and terracotta patterned pillow on white slipcovered sofa in fall family room

Style your pillows perfectly! Get the Guide to Throw Pillow Sizes and Combinations

I’m adding throw blankets to this section as well for a similar reason. Throws are a great visual representation of cozy, but of course, they’re actually practical when you wrap yourself up in them. But beyond that, throws also help introduce other decorating details, like accents colors, and textures. And depending on how you style them, they can also break up the structure of the room with a more organic flow!

Living room sofa with white wool pom throw folded and blue decorative pillows on top and dining room in background

Learn how to Style a Throw for an effortlessly chic look!

Layered Lighting

Even if you have overhead lighting, it’s always nice to add table lamps, floor lamps and/or task lamp for the cozy glow that they provide. These additional lights also add another layer to the space, creating shadows and adding to the cozy feeling and finishing touches of a space.

wooden lamp on sofa table with blue beads around base next to cement goddess head with a fern in it

I usually start with table lamps or floor lamps because they don’t require any hardwiring. But with the new rechargeable lightbulbs, you can now add sconces anywhere without any wiring! I ordered these light bulbs for the sconces below that aren’t wired. I can simply use the remote control provided to turn them on whenever I want!

christmas living room fireplace with garland on the mantel and gold anthropologie mirror flanked by sconces

You can read more about The Art of Layering in my new guide!

Organic Elements

Live plants help to soften a space and add make the space feel more natural, versus manufactured.  If you lack a green thumb, there are several varieties of indoor plants that are easy to care for such as the  Peace Lily, Pothos or Kentia Palm .  The Fiddleleaf Fig is also very popular, although it needs more light than some of the other plants listed. 

olive tree in french urn in corner of dining room with antique dough bowl and bread paddles behind the tree and white drape

If you don’t have a green thumb, there are lots of realistic faux plants available now! Or you can try something else from nature, such as feathers, moss, seashells, branches, etc. The goal is to bring in an organic shape and texture.

antique round dough bowl filled with faux moss rocks on coffee table next to french candlesticks

Learn how to Secure a Faux Plant in a Pot so that it looks realistic!


Don’t leave your walls empty!  Show off your personality and style with wall art like paintings, pictures, maps or even architectural items, including mirrors.

white bathroom cabinet styled with french art jar of soap and vintage finds

Art doesn’t have to be expensive either! I love finding and printing my own pieces so that I can change them out seasonally, or just whenever I get the itch for a change.

Want FREE art for your home? You can find gorgeous images to print and download in my Exclusive section or read how to Find Your Own Free Art

Adding just a few finishing touches to your home can make all the difference! So make sure to find items that represent your style, your personality and your home’s color scheme and take your decorating to the next level.

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