How to Decorate {The Secret Ingredient Every Room Needs}

Cozy Reading Corner from The Inspired Room

Welcome to The Inspired Room! Before I dive into my secret to decorating tip, I’m SO excited to be a part of this fun How to Decorate summer blog series, hosted by my friend Beth at Home Stories A to Z. I participated the last time this series graced the internet and it’s very fun to be a part of it again. There are 25 talented bloggers joining the series this time sharing all week long, so be sure and follow along and see what each of these bloggers have to contribute!

Today’s lineup is as follows:

1. The Inspired Room, you are HERE!
2. Four Generations One Roof
3. Beneath my Heart
4. The Creativity Exchange
5.  Finding Home

Today I thought I would talk about how to decorate with the secret ingredient every room needs. I know often when we think about decorating our home the first thought in our mind is getting a new fun accessory, hanging pictures, choosing colors, or maybe even adding a new rug. They are all a fun part of decorating!

But there is a little hidden secret to decorating even with those basic elements that will result in more than just a collection of pretty things. It is an important piece of the puzzle but you may not even realize it is missing if you aren’t aware of how significant it is. Recently we talked about How To Create a Meaningful Home. And while adding meaning is an essential element a home you’ll love, the puzzle piece I’m referring to today is perhaps a bit more designy although both are touchy feely :), so stick with me!

The good news is this design secret doesn’t cost any more money. It doesn’t require you to buy anything fancy from a designer showroom. In fact, it can be acquired from just about anywhere. Once you open your eyes to what you are looking for, you can find it at a thrift store. You can find it in your own garage. You can make it yourself. You can find it outside! Honestly, creating a beautiful home is not about how much money you spend. You just need to be aware of this one little secret, open your eyes to it, and then start having FUN with it!

So what is the decorating secret?

Layers of texture.

Did you guess it? When a room lacks layers of variation in texture, it can fall flat and feel one dimensional even if your home is filled with the cutest, craftiest or sadly, filled with the most expensive accessories. The key to a beautifully warm and comfortable home is adding layers of texture in every room. You can vary the colors and patterns as you add texture. The result doesn’t have to be busy or jarring, so don’t worry that fussy layers or bold colors or patterns are not your style.  Combining different layers is what makes a space interesting, no matter what your personal style of decorating is!

A good dose of texture is the key ingredient that finishes off a space. A room is best designed so your eyes are able to dance around the room, delighted by a variation of elements that work together beautifully.

This is the point where many people panic and get that deer in the headlights look in their eyes. I’ve seen that look before. LAYERS? TEXTURES? COLORS? That work together beautifully? Thus the whole concept of bed in a bag was born. That was a sad day. Not because bed in a bag is a bad thing (my profuse apologies if that was  your idea, it was brilliant, really) but because you don’t need someone to put together a room for you in a pre-assembled bag or collection. YOU CAN DO THIS.

There is no need to rush a room. You can take your time (check out my post on Decorating Slowly Over Time).

You can have a colorful home or an all white home (if you must) and still have layers of texture. White rooms are not the answer, nor is an explosion of every trendy pattern or color.

Your home doesn’t have to look like mine. It doesn’t have to look like any of the other bloggers on the tour. Armed with this secret ingredient, you can boldly and bravely mix and match until your home feels exactly like you want it to!

Are you ready for a few pointers on adding texture to your home?

5 Ways to Incorporate Texture:

1) Rugs.

Whether you prefer the simplicity of a neutral rug or the liveliness of a patterned colorful one, rugs are a great way to add texture. The rug itself is texture, no matter what kind you choose. But take it up a notch with the more obvious texture of jute, fur, animal skin or a beautiful wool or silk. You can layer rugs over carpet or other rugs, too, or decide to forgo rugs altogether if you already have beautiful wood or tile floors.

2) Accessories.

Mix up your accessories so you have a variety of finishes. Think about adding glass through display dishes, lamps or bottles, sparkle or shine with mirrors and metals, natural textures like sticks, plants, antlers or shells and rugged texture like baskets, nubby or silk throw blankets and pillows, and woven trays. Group some like textures together or mix them up around the room. No rules, just add layers of detail!

3) Furniture finishes.

Mix things up according to your own preferred style so you have a variety of wood pieces, painted furniture, upholstered pieces, shiny or metallic items. Use different textures even on the same piece! Try fun metallic or sparkly pulls on an antique wood dresser. Mix up texture even further by pairing up antiques with modern pieces, thrift store finds with new purchases and heirlooms with discount store deals.

4) Wall finishes.

Are all of your walls the same flat drywall? Go beyond paint color changes to add a splash of interest with wallpaper, wood or painted paneling, tile, wainscoting or other types of textured surfaces.

5) Window treatments.

You can add layers of texture at your windows too! Consider the addition of flowing drapery fabrics, texture on blinds, the softness of roman shades or sheers, or the chunkiness of plantation shutters. Beautiful windows with amazing trim and an equally amazing view can be left undressed and still be beautiful, but most windows can benefit from a little added texture!

Finally, play a little game of “I spy” with the photos of my own house in this post and see if you can spot mixed layers and textures.

Then walk around your home and see if you have the mix you want! If not, have fun going on a texture treasure hunt!

Decorating with Pattern and Texture - The Inspired Room

Thrifted Green Garden Stool - Decorating with Texture

Bamboo Stick Towel Rod

Birch Branch as Decor - Decorating with Texture

Entryway Dresser and Settee- The Inspired Room

Decorating with Texture and Pattern - The Inspired Room

Decorating with Texture - The Inspired Room Kitchen

The secret ingredient to decorating every room - The Inspired Room

Summer Dining Room White Plate Wall and Console Table

Elephant with Air Plant

Thrifted Ladder Hung as a Display Shelf

How to Decorate -The Secret Ingredient Every Room Needs - The Inspired Room

Now check out the other bloggers in the series (see our host Beth at Home Stories A to Z for the lineup!)

How to Decorate - The Inspired Room

Have you checked out my How to Decorate page lately? This page is filled to the brim with decorating ideas in many categories, as well as ideas that I specifically use in my home. Check it out if you need some inspiration! And don’t forget my Home Inspiration Galleries that round up some of my favorite posts here on The Inspired Room.

Sources: You might have noticed a couple of new items in my photos I haven’t even talked about yet! Not to worry, I’ll be showing you what’s new, how the rooms are coming together and where it all came from soon!

Meanwhile, be sure to follow me on Instagram and sign up for my 100% FREE email newsletter to stay in the loop on some upcoming very exciting news!

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Comments

  1. Melissa, you’re spot on as usual. Texture is so important in a room. My favorites, of course, are fabrics!
    Jann from Newton Custom Interiors recently posted..How To Line A PillowMy Profile

  2. I was excited to learn the secret ingredient and couldn’t agree more with you! This is the key to pulling off any room but especially a tone on tone room. Fantastic tips Melissa! I’m waiting for your book :). Thanks so much for joining in on the How to Decorate series!
    Beth recently posted..How to Decorate Series: Finding Your Decorating StyleMy Profile

  3. elizabeth says:

    so pretty! I see some new furniture in the front LR? ;0

  4. I am loving this series and this is such a great post. Love seeing your home.
    Marty recently posted..222nd Inspire Me TuesdayMy Profile

  5. Love this Melissa! So many great ways to layer texture in a space. Such a beautiful and warm home. Thanks so much for sharing all your fab tips with us!
    cyndy recently posted..Tricks for How to Zone in on the Perfect Paint ColorMy Profile

  6. Love this advice…we just sold our Catheys Valley Home =( but needed to down size. Now we are looking to build a smaller home…I’m going to pin this to help me as I prepare a new home…wished you lived next door.
    Thanks
    teresa recently posted..Family Reunion 2014- Talent show.My Profile

  7. Love the inspiration pics- you hit the nail on the head… texture really is key to completing a room!!

    Jenna
    http://pizzigatidesigns.tumblr.com/
    Jenna Pizzigati-Coppola recently posted..Newsletter: Get into a Summer Mood!My Profile

  8. Great post. Indeed, “texture” is the magic ingredient!

  9. Melissa, the little vignettes you created in your home are beautiful and definitely full of eye catching textures. Very warm and inviting! Love the pops of blue scattered about – so pretty and fresh. Thanks for sharing your home with us :)

  10. This is so true! I can’t wait to go home and rearrange my pieces and add more texture to the living room especially! This post just made my Tuesday morning a little happier!
    Amber recently posted..Cruella de Vil Decorates Your HomeMy Profile

  11. Great article. I really enjoy your blog!

  12. Jenny Bowman says:

    Your room looks great. I love the wall color in the room in the first photo with the chair. What color is it?

  13. CANDACE says:

    I was wondering where I can find the “Serve One Another In Love” print. I LOVE that!

  14. I need to keep this in mind. I don’t like lots of small things and I tend to clear away layers instead of purposely create them. It’s a work in progress isn’t it?
    Susan recently posted..The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (cue the music)My Profile

  15. The texture secret is something I’ve become more aware of in the last year. I’m still working on it around our house. I loved seeing how you’ve incorporated it around yours. Thanks for the tips and inspiration photos. Lovely as always!
    Jill recently posted..What I’m Pinning Lately {Screened Porches}My Profile

  16. Hi Melissa, Do you have a larger picture of the light gray wall with the starburst mirrors and gray cabinet? I am so curious to see how it all works in the room. I love that color, too. It’s so beachy and serene. What shade is that? Thanks!!

  17. I feel like my eyes were just opened! I’m decorating my room in the apartment I just moved into. Painted the walls yellow, moved in white furniture, and got a bed in a bag (sorry ;P) but am only using the comforter from it! I still need to add some wall decor, but I noticed a huge, HUGE difference just by added in the headboard I made myself that had a textured gray fabric. This totally makes sense now!

  18. Love this post! I totally agree with you and always have. Texture gives depth to any decorating scheme. That’s why loads of cushions are so important – and cushions are my passion! It’s also why I love quilts and knitted throws as the finishing techniques, fabrics, stitches and yarns all add different types of texure. Great post.
    Lucy Parsons recently posted..Making It: Multi-fabric Edging for Personalised CushionsMy Profile

  19. Sue Lambrix says:

    Beautiful pictures! Could you possibly tell me where the blue pillow on the white couch came from. It looks like it is felt and has tufted flowers.
    Thank you so much!

  20. This post is so helpful!! I have been struggling with trying to add texture into my space, and this seems to make is so much easier. I just feel like it should happen overnight when in reality it can’t. Thank you so much for the info!!
    Ally S. recently posted..Hodgepodge of DIY’sMy Profile

  21. Hi,

    It’s my 1st visit to your blog. I look forward to following along.

    I guess my tastes lean toward the “minimalist” style. So I might use a few bright accessories to add texture.
    Never thought of window treatments. Thanks for the idea.
    Justin recently posted..Vacation Home Design IdeasMy Profile

  22. Hi Melissa,
    I truly love your blog! Your simple ideas but specially the good taste of the images/photos which are soooooo inspiring! Congratulations!

    rosehortensia.com

  23. michelle says:

    can you share where you got the pillow that is in the chair?

  24. Hi Melissa,
    I am enjoying your blog so much. Thank you for sharing! Can you tell me where you got that neat wood and iron table, the one that is wide but skinny…has three pots sitting underneath it?

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