Design Guide: 10 Components To A Beautiful Home

Design Guide: 10 Components To A Beautiful Home


Every designer you ask will have a list of key components they think are essential to the design and function of a beautiful home.  And while my list may differ from others, I think all designers would agree that each of the items on my list contributes in one way or another to how a home looks and feels.


I meet clients all the time that don’t have a good handle (or vision) of their design style.  They know if they like an item or not but they can articulate clearly the overall look for a room or the mood they want a room to have.  Once you define your design style you’ll be able to envision the decor of your home, down to the details.

Defining your style encompasses many different elements, from the colors and materials you like to the style of furniture and accessories that appeal to you.  And don’t worry, defining your style doesn’t happen over night. Your style can change throughout the years just like you do.

One of the ways that I have my clients convey their style to me is by going through design magazines and tagging anything that appeals to them.  Then I have them jot down a word or two telling me what they like about the image they tagged.  The word ‘cozy’ on a room photo with warm colors may convey the colors they like. The word ‘clean’ may be associated with a room that is streamline and clutter free which tells me a lot about how they want to a room to look and feel. Once you have a stack of tagged images you can look through them and begin to see the common threads in the design style that appeals to you.

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The focal point of a room is a lot like a statement piece of jewelry.  It’s an element that captures your attention, serves as a dominant statement and in some cases sets the tone for the rest of the entire room.

The focal point in some rooms may be an architectural element like the windows or a fireplace.  In other rooms it my be a wall decor arrangement, a rug, artwork or even a sofa.

Identifying or creating the focal point within each room of your home will give you the starting point upon which to build your overall design theme.

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We all know that the way furniture is positioned in a room can impact the way a room feels and functions.  Arranging furniture so that movement can happen easily in, out and within a room is critical to the overall design of a space.

When decorating a room think about the scale of the furniture and accessories to ensure they won’t swallow up space and make the room look visually cluttered.  For the Key Measurements You Need To Know When Decorating Your Home, check out my post here.

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In my book texture is one of the most important elements to design.  Texture provides visual interest, depth and dimension and its also one of the elements that makes a room feel inviting.  As it applies to design, texture is defined as ‘the sensations caused by the external surface of objects received through the sense of touch’.  But it can also be a ‘perceived sense of touch’–you can experience texture visually without having to actually touch something.

Texture can be introduced into your decor through the fabrics you choose, the materials accessories are made of as well as the style of your doors, windows and walls.

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Variety is definitely the spice of life when it comes to decorating a room.  You don’t want one-dimensional decor…you want a home that explodes with interest and personality.

While your style blueprint may dictate a particular type of furniture and accessory style, you want to decorate with a mix of materials and finishes in order to bring your decor to life.  Don’t be afraid to mix gold with silver, leather with velvet or glass with metal.

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Years ago the trend was to shop your favorite furniture store or catalog to decorate your home.  While it was easy, many homes ended up with decor that was cookie-cutter and uninteresting.  Just like mixing metals and materials, it’s a good idea to mix the age of items you decorate with.  Pair vintage and antique pieces with newer items to build the character within your style blueprint.

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If nothing else, your home should feel personal and reflect you and your family.  Personal touches like family photos, books, artwork and collected pieces should be used in every room in your home.

As you decorate, be thoughtful in the placement of accessories and keep these tips in mind:

♦ Arrange accessories in odd numbers in different sizes.  It’s been proven that grouping objects in odd numbers is more pleasing to the eye than even numbers.

♦  Objects that you place together when creating arrangements should have something in common: color, shape, theme, texture, vintage.

♦ Balance the art and accessories throughout a room. Don’t place everything on one side of a room.

♦ Scatter your accent color in at least three places around a room to create visual movement.

♦  Keep scale in mind with pairing accessories.  Small accessories clustered together or scattered throughout a room will look like clutter from a distance.  Use medium to large-sized accessories which will be noticed and seem more important as you enter a room.

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 I think every room would have a wall decor statement that stands out.  That could mean a single piece of art or a grouping of pieces that create a dominant visual impact.  Based on the layout of your room and the architectural elements within the space, your wall decor can serve as the focal point.  For creative wall decor inspiration, check out this post.

Design Guide: 10 Components To A Beautiful Home

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Most homes I go into lack sufficient lighting  and without the right lighting and the correct amount of lighting, your home won’t look as good as it could.  There are three types of lighting every room needs:

AMBIENT LIGHTING:  Ambient lighting includes chandeliers, recessed lighting, or sconces, all of which provide overall illumination to a room. And the use of dimmers with your ambient lighting will give you control over the light levels allowing you to easily change the mood of a space.

 tip: When wiring your rooms, include multiple circuits. This will allow you to dim some lights while keeping others brighter.

TASK LIGHTING:   This lighting is particularly important when performing specific tasks like cooking, doing office work, or getting ready in the bathroom.  In the kitchen, pendant and under-cabinet lighting can illuminate food prep areas. In a living room or bedroom, table lamps and floor lamps will provide task lighting.

tip: Even illumination is essential when planning your bathroom lighting plan. Make sure the same amount of light comes from the sides of the room as the top of the room. This will help prevent shadows and create the ideal bathroom lighting for applying make-up or shaving.

ACCENT LIGHTING:  Accent lighting can be used to highlight objects like art, sculptures, and architectural details within a room.   Classic track lighting and picture lights are the most common types of accent lighting, but candles also fall into this category.

For more lighting design tips, read my posts here and here.

Design Guide: 10 Components To A Beautiful Home

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Something natural is a little detail that can make a big impact.  A plant in a corner or a vase full of flowers or stems will give life and energy to your decor.

Design Guide: 10 Components To A Beautiful Home

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If you’re starting a new decorating project or looking to refresh your decor, keep these 10 components in mind and create the home of your dreams.

Design Guide: 10 Components To A Beautiful Home

Shopping TJ Maxx from the comforts of home

Are you aware that TJ Maxx has an online store?  That’s right, you can shop TJ Maxx from the comforts of your home.

The product assortment in the online store isn’t as extensive as what you’d find in your local store but the prices are the same. And I see items online that I’ve never seen in my local store which might give me another reason to shop online.

An if you can’t find your size (hello shoe department 🙂 or two of one item, the online store might have the item so its worth checking out.

When I checked out the online store the other night, I saw several items that peaked my interest.  Let’s go shopping shall we…

Shopping TJ Maxx Online

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Design Chat: Accessorizing Bookshelves and adding the finishing touches

I received an email from one of my blog reader, Megan who was looking for help with the wall decor and accessorizing the built-in bookshelves in her family room. The bookshelves and the walls have been empty for 3 years and Megan doesn’t know where to start with a decorating plan. She is also struggling with the sofa, which she’s not a fan of but others in the family are.

Here’s a look at Megan’s family room…

Design Chat--Accessorizing Bookshelves and Decorating Tips by ConfettiStyle

Design Chat--Accessorizing Bookshelves and Decorating Tips by ConfettiStyle

Design Chat--Accessorizing Bookshelves and Decorating Tips by ConfettiStyle

And here’s my design vision for Megan’s room…



The tan sofa, beige walls and white built-in shelves create a neutral color foundation for the room.  The area rug has different tones of red, browns and green in it so that should be the jumping off point for accessorizing the rest of the room.

Design Chat--Accessorizing Bookshelves and Decorating Tips by ConfettiStyle

The expanse of white shelving surrounding the TV needs a major pop of personality.  Beyond getting the right mix of accessories, I recommend that Megan either paint the backs of the bookshelves in an accent color or cover the backs with a grass cloth wallpaper.  Wallpaper would achieve two things–1) color and 2) visual texture which would really enhance the space.

When painting the backs of bookshelves, I usually recommend that you go a shade or two light or darker than your wall color.Design Chat--Accessorizing Bookshelves and Decorating Tips by ConfettiStyle



When it comes to decorating bookshelves, the items you decorate with are just as important as how you arrange them. Here are a few tips on accessorizing bookshelves and a graphic with accessory groupings that always work.

  1. Create depth ‘top to bottom’ and ‘front to back’.  Arrange items so the pieces are not at the same level or position of the shelf.  Your accessories should feel layered and not uniform.
  2. Vary the size, scale and shape of your accessories.  Decorate with a variety of items to create visually interesting arrangements.  And also keep in mind that if your shelves are adjustable you can create wider openings which will allow for larger decorative pieces.
  3. Create balance from shelf to shelf and side to side.  As you arrange items, step back to make sure the overall look of each shelf and each side of the fireplace feels balanced.
For more bookcase decorating tips, read my post 5 Ways To Style Your Bookcase.

Design Chat--Accessorizing Bookshelves and Decorating Tips by ConfettiStyle



Wall decor is one of the most important elements of accessorizing a room.  In many cases your wall decor will serve as the focal point for the room.  In Megan’s room, the wall decor will provide a dominate impact statement within the room so it needs to be dynamic.

I recommend a large piece of artwork flanked by starburst mirrors for the most visible wall in the family room.  A piece of art will add color and draw you in to the room.  Mirrors will add a graphic detail and enhance the light coming in from the opposite window.

To enhance the sofa, Megan should add accent pillows and a small-scale bent arm floor lamp at the end of the sectional providing much-needed task lighting.

Design Chat--Accessorizing Bookshelves and Decorating Tips by ConfettiStyle



The other decorative items I’d recommend is a console table behind the sofa, an accent chair near the built-ins and curtain panels for the windows.

 A console table will visually extend the partial wall behind the sofa and create an additional surface for a lamp and accessories.

The accent chair will provide additional seating and create a more balance space, filling the now empty corner.

Curtain panels will add softness and another pattern element within the room.

Design Chat--Accessorizing Bookshelves and Decorating Tips by ConfettiStyle



Unique accessories and colorful wall decor is all that is needed to bring Megan’s room to life.

Design Chat--Accessorizing Bookshelves and Decorating Tips by ConfettiStyle

Design Chat--Accessorizing Bookshelves and Decorating Tips by ConfettiStyle

Favorite Items from The Atlanta Gift & Furniture Market

Happy Monday!  If you’ve been wondering where I’ve been, let’s just say in the land of busy.  In addition to spending 9 days at the Atlanta Gift & Furniture Market, I’ve also been knee-deep in working on a design project and gearing up for another year as board president of a local non-profit.  Even though it’s only the 3rd week of January, I feel like Christmas was ages ago and the days are flying by at lightening speed.

To mark the return to a normal posting schedule, I wanted to share a few of the items I spotted at AmericasMart.  If you’re unfamiliar with the Atlanta Gift & Furniture Market,  you can read all about it here.


First up is one of my favorite lighting companies, Currey & Company. The company is best known for their stylish lighting but they also sell beautiful accent furniture and accessories.

The inlaid wood pattern on the Benedict Credenza grabbed my attention first and then I noticed the sleek brass hardware.  I envision this piece being placed under a wall-mount TV or as a buffet/bar cabinet in a dining room.

There were lots of beautiful lighting fixtures introduced at market but the two below really stood out.  The Frogmore Lantern is designed with an intricate leaf design and gold-leaf finish. #goldisheretostay  Can’t you just see this beauty hanging over a garden tub or kitchen island?

Retro designs are not my personal style but I loved everything about the Gino Chandelier.  The tapered cone design and matte black finish give it just the right amount of sexiness.  This fixture would look stunning hanging over a glass or marble top dining table.

Currey and Company from Atlanta Gift and Furniture Market--Jan. 2017

I’m sure many of you have come across products from Palecek before but probably don’t know much about the company.  The company is over 40 years old and has a foundation in manufacturing products using natural fibers, renewable materials and environmentally friendly hardwoods.  Their style is distinctive with products designed around simple details and organic shapes.

Anything in brass and leather is sure to grab my attention and this Alexander Chair did just that.  I loved the fresh, modern take on a classic directors chair and would use a pair of these chairs in a reading room or study.

Ottomans are one of my go-to accent furniture pieces and it was refreshing to come across this one covered in something other than fabric.  The Fritz Rope Ottoman is wrapped in natural and black seagrass rope creating the look of an upholstered piece.  A pair of these would be great in a sunroom or outdoor covered patio.

Palecek from Atlanta Gift and Furniture Market--Jan. 2017

Gabby Home is a product line that is known for stylish pieces and vintage designs. Their style offering ranges from contemporary and modern to traditional and classic.

I loved the lines of their Julian Coffee Table with gold trim detail.  And because I believe every room needs a touch of black, this coffee table would be ideal to add dram and depth to a living room.

I spotted lots of acrylic pieces at market so expect that trend to be around for a while.  The antique gold frame in their Johnson Dining Chair updated the classic acrylic chair design and elevated the style.

Gabby Home from Atlanta Gift and Furniture Market--Jan. 2017

When I had my store, Uttermost was one of my top vendors.  Uttermost has one of the best selections of oversized mirrors on the market and are also known for their accent furniture and lighting.  This market I came across several new accessory and accent lighting pieces in their line that I loved.

The acrylic and brass Balkan Tray was stunning and I’ve already got it tagged for a design client to use on a hallway console table.

I’ve been on the hunt a brass or gold tone pendant light and loved the rod design and gold-leaf finish on their Glam Mini Pendant.  They are the perfect design and size to hang over a kitchen peninsula.

And how about this chic gold and glass Natasia Accent Table?  Wouldn’t this look great in between two comfy arm chairs?  I could also see it being used nestled into a corner in a powder room to hold accessories and functional items.

Uttermost from Atlanta Gift and Furniture Market--Jan. 2017

If you want to make a statement with your bookshelf decor, then check out E. Lawrence.  In addition to their wholesale business they also have an e-commerce site that anyone can purchase from.  Unlike many manufacturers, E. Lawrence sells just one thing…beautiful decorative books.  Their product offering ranges from traditional leather-bound books to books with stylish covers.    Their newest collections included a quotation series (which I love) and lots of metallic finishes.

E. Lawrence Books from Atlanta Gift and Furniture Market--Jan. 2017

And finally there’s Go Home.  This is another company I purchased from when I had my store.  I love their eclectic mix of products which include furniture, decorative accessories, lighting and bar accessories.

The Collete Coffee Table is a great piece for a smaller space and I love the gold frame and design detail that supports the top and bottom shelves.

Among their decorative accessories, Go Home carries lots of great basket styles.  I loved this collection of Shumer Baskets which have a classic blue and white design and fun leather carry handles.

One of the industrial designs I fell in love with was the Rockwell Coffee Table which has a gorgeous finish and brass label pulls.

GO Home from Atlanta Gift and Furniture Market--Jan. 2017

I hope you enjoyed this mini tour around the Atlanta Gift & Furniture Market. This is just a glimpse at the thousands upon thousands of new products introduced during the show.  You can expect to see these pieces and all of the new design trends hitting stores soon and online shops soon.  I’ll be back next week to share more insights on the hot trends for 2017.

Along with checking the new furniture and decor introductions at market, I also shop for new design books. #bookjunkie

 Tomorrow I’ll share some of the new book titles that you’ll definitely want to add to your Amazon shopping cart.

Design Guide: Lamp Shades 101



So many of you have left comments to tell me how much my Design Guide series has helped you with decorating your home.  A few of your favorite design guide posts have included tips on  Styling a Sectional Sofa and Key Measurements To Know When Decorating.  And my Color Rules posts has helped you confidently decorate with color.

Today’s post continues to deliver tips and how-to’s for decorating and focuses on lamp shades.  I’m giving you an overview of lamp shades styles and tips on picking the right size shade for your lamp.

Lamps are a key element in any room design and can make or break the style of a room. Continue reading for my Lamp Shade 101 Design Guide…

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FIVE Spaces That Took My Breath Away

Have you noticed that surfing Pinterest is kinda like shopping at Costco.  You go in for one thing and come up with a cart full of items that weren’t on your list.  In the case of Pinterest, one beautiful image leads to another and the next thing you know you’ve been sitting in your chair for hours and your ‘pin it’ finger hurts.

My latest foray into the Pinterest black hole uncovered some really stunning spaces–space that took my breath away.

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Style Your Nightstand–Tips & Inspiration

Styling Tips For Your Nightstand.001.jpeg.001.jpeg.001

One of the things I am always look for on Pinterest are beautiful nightstand images.  I love getting a glimpse at a person’s lifestyle and seeing how they style and decorate different areas of their home.

As a designer, I recognize that accessorizing a small, compact area like a nightstand can be more challenging than a larger living area for some people. So today I’m sharing the ingredients for styling your bedside table like pro.

4 Fall NightStand 2014

Your bedroom is the most private space in your home and the items you put on your nightstand should be a mix of personal and decorative decor.


When it comes to pulling your items together, keep these style tips in mind:

 Layers!  Unless you take a minimalist approach to decorating, you want to position items to create a layered look.  Layers will add the visual interest and help create a dynamic statement with you collection of items.  Vary the placement of items on the table surface, front to back and side to side and keep the scale of your lamp in mind when positioning items.

 The Mix!  This is where style and function meet.  Accessorize with items you use on a daily basis (alarm clock, journal/book) along with items that are decorative.  Decorative items like small trinket trays, lidded boxes and containers can work as storage AND as a design statement. And personal items like books and picture frames will add a personal feel to the decor on your nightstand.

♦  The Background!  Even if you have a wall decor piece hanging over your bed, don’t forget about the wall space directly behind the nightstand.  Hanging a mirror or piece of artwork over your bedside table is a great to build up the impact for the overall vignette.  You can even lean pieces of art or other flat decor against the wall like I did at Christmas one year to enhance the layered look of your decor.

2014 Bedroom Decor (42) copy

 Softness! A soft element like flowers or greenery can add an air of energy and life to the vignette.

ConfettiStyle Spring Bedroom Refresh8

 Keep it Fun! And finally, as you go about decorating your nightstand, throw in an unexpected object to add personality and flair.


Nightstand Styling Inspiration

In addition to the tips above, I also wanted to serve up some visual inspiration for you. I went virtual shopping at Z Gallerie and put together two inspiration boards that pull all the elements together.

It’s no secret that I one of my favorite color combinations is black, white and gold and Z Gallerie as some beautiful decorative pieces that will work great in a bedroom.  This look is bold, dramatic and super chic!

Styling Tips For Your Nightstand.002


Shop the Black & Gold Nightstand Vignette:

Devon Table Lamp // Rey Mirror // Allium Sphere
Camille Tray // Acropolis Frame // Sawyer Nightstand // Emila Canisters //  Chanel Book


My current bedroom decor is a black and white theme and I’m working on a summer refresh to incorporate more blue and white.  This look is classic, elegant and has a calming feel.

Styling Tips For Your Nightstand.003


Shop the Blue & White Nightstand Vignette:

Let Me Go Artwork // Addison Table Lamp // York 3-Drawer Nightstand //Acropolis Bookends // Charles Table Clock
Gold Elephant Jewelry Dish //Glow Candle // Potted Phalaenopsis


Surround yourself with things you love!


Shelly Signature

Budget Decorating: Basket Decor

Basket Decor

If there’s one thing you are guaranteed to find in any thrift store you shop at, it’s baskets.  There is always a wide array of shapes, sizes and designs to choose from and for just a few dollars you can buy a great decorative accessory for your home. When it comes to decorating with baskets, they are one of the more budget friendly design elements you can incorporate into your home.


Basket Decor

Large baskets can be customized with a light kit and turned into stylish lighting.  African baskets are ideal for this project because of the beautiful colors and designs they boost.  Here’s a great DIY basket light tutorial.

Basket Decor

With a collection of flat baskets you can create a really stunning and impactful wall statement.  Combine different textures and weave designs to create lots of visual impact.

Basket Decor

Basket Decor

{it’s easy to paint baskets to create a colorful mix}

UpStyle plain storage baskets using paint and use them to hold item all around your house.

Basket Decor

Basket Decor


Let these beautiful painted pieces inspire you…

{painted basket DIY here}

Basket Decor


During spring and summer, baskets can be used to hold floral stems or branches to add an organic touch to your decor.

Basket Decor


Lidded baskets can be stacked to create a unique side table and give your added storage.

Basket Decor


Place houseplants in baskets so they blend effortlessly into your decor.

Basket Decor

Basket Decor

I use baskets all over my house for both storage and as a design statement and consider them one of my essential decorative accessories.

The next time you go thrifting you might want to take another spin down the basket aisle.

Shelly Signature

image source:  1) Lonny  2) unknown  3)  hgtv  4) Natalie Fuglestveit Interior Designs 5) Completely Coastal  6) Tracery Interiors 7) Far & Wide 8) The Inspired Room  9) Completely Coastal 10) BHG 11) Top This Top That



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