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

Anatomy of a Well-Styled Room

Anatomy of a Well-Styled Room.001

The key elements are in place and now it’s time to add the finishing touches to your decor.  Where do you start with styling a room and what elements are needed to pull everything together?

Today I’m answering that question and outlining the key components to a well-styled room.

A Well-Style Room from Style at Home2

via Style at Home

The first step in to putting the finishing touches on the decor of a room is to have a plan.  Developing a vision for the space even before furniture has been purchased will go a long way to creating the space your desire.  Create an inspiration board with fabric and color swatches, photos of accessories you like and images that reflect the overall feel you want the space to have.

Next, clear the room of all your current accessories so that you are starting with a clean palette.  Take time to go through the things you own and decide which pieces you really want back in the room.  Use only the items that work with your design vision and that you love, otherwise the room won’t bring your ultimate joy.

Once all the key elements like furniture and window treatments are in place, create a plan for accessorizing.  Pull the existing items you’ve kept back into the room and begin placing them where you want.  Once that is done, take stock of the room and create a list of the new items you need to buy.  New pillows, a throw and even something a simple as a decorative tray can make a space come alive.

A Well-Styled Room from Style at Home4

via Style at Home

As you place accessories around the room keep these tips in mind:

  • Place accessories so that they enhance the focal point within the room, not compete with it.  Hang a dynamic mirror over the mantel instead of placing it on another wall within the room.
  •  Create groupings with your tabletop decor to add impact and interest.  And remember that smaller accessory items look best with grouped together versus scattered around a room.
  • Group items of different sizes to create visual movement.  Use books to elevate objects and create balance.
  • Spread collections around the room unless you have a dedicated display piece for them.
  • Accessorize so the eye has different levels to look at.  This includes accessories on the floor, walls and in even the lighting at the ceiling.
  • Incorporate a living element like a plant or flowers to add softness and a sense of energy.
  • A well-styled room is about balance. Don’t fill every square inch of space–leave spaces where the eye can rest.
  • Use color as a unifying element within the room.
  • Every accessory mix should incorporate a variety of finishes, textures, materials, styles and a touch of black to help visually anchor the room.
  • Add a corky element to delight, surprise and bring a sense of playfulness to the room.

Don’t rush the styling of your home.  The accessories and finishing touches are often the elements that take the most time but have the greatest impact of how the room looks and feels.

A Well-Styled room from Style At Home

via Style at Home

A Well-Styled Room-Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles

via Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles

“An empty room is a store waiting to happen, and you are the author.”

A Well-Styled Room from Better Homes and Gardens

Better Homes and Gardens
A Well-Styled Room from Sarah Richardson Design
Sarah Richardson Design

Every room in your home is different so look at each area for what it has to offer and make the most of each individual space so in the end you’ll have a well-styled home.

Anatomy of a Well Styled Room.001


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Favorite Posts, Pins and Product of The Week

Favorites Of The Week

It was a good week around my parts.  In addition to getting lots done and finishing up a Room-to-Room e-design project (which I’ll share soon), I spent some time catching up with my favorite bloggers.  So much great content this week so I’ve got lots to share with you.  Enjoy!



After reading this great post, I realize I need to step-up my wind-down routine at the end the  day.  Tiffany shares some great products and great rituals that I’m sure will inspire you too. #investinyourself

Favorite Posts, Pins and Products

I’m a big fan of designer Tobi Fairley and loved these simple tips for pattern mixing that she shared this week. #gobigorgohome

Favorite Posts, Pins and Products

Kristin’s bedroom refresh is just beautiful. #chinoiserie

Favorite Posts, Pins and Products

If you write a design blog or have an online shop, you’ll find these styling and photo tips helpful.  Marian always creates the most beautiful vignettes. #detailsmatter

Favorite Posts, Pins and Products



This is a favorite pin of the week because it just exudes happiness and because I’m excited to see the new Oh Joy! collection at Target.  p.s.  new collection will be released in stores tomorrow.

Favorite Posts, Pins and Products

This 4th of July tablescape is really stunning and would be so simple to pull together.

Favorite Posts, Pins and Products

I wrote about my love the Tiny Houses here and if I could get Anna White to build it, I’d be all in. The dining table, desk is just amazing!  You can tour her tiny house here and get free-plans to build your own here.




You can find any and everything on Etsy, even beautiful handmade blue and white #chinoisierie inspired lampshades.

Damask Blue and White Lampshade

Jump on this deal folks…blue and white jar for $14.96!  All there blue and white ceramic pieces are on sale.

Blue and White Jar

In my opinion, a girl can never have too many tote bags and this one is perfect for summer beach trips.

Ombre Tote

I so need this mug! It’s less than $20 and everything is 30% right now.  


Well, that’s a wrap for this edition of Favorite Things.

I’m off to enjoy the weekend.  And I’m excited is only going to be in the 80’s and the humidity is not going to be off the charts.  #southernlife

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12 Ways to ReStyle Your Home

Happy Monday my friends!  I hope you all had a great weekend.  

I’ve been busy the last few days getting ready for a visit from my mom. Since my mom’s back surgery in 2006 she hasn’t traveled much and it’s been about 7 years since her last visit to Atlanta.  My uncle and his family are making a trip to Florida and my mom decided to tag along for the ride.  They’ll drop her off here in Atlanta on their way and she’ll be spending a  week with me and my brother.  I’m so excited to see her and now that my brother is here, it’s going to be week of family fun.


Anyway, after spending the last few days cleaning, organizing and doing some restyling around the house, I thought I’d share some ideas if you’re wanting to refresh and restyle your home.


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