*This post contains affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission on anything you purchase by following the links at no additional cost to you. You pay the same price – link or none. I have actually purchased these things at my own expense and use them in real life. If you do click – Thanks so much for your support.
Professional Decorating Hacks you need to know – Bring it all Together
Hopefully you’ve been following along with me in getting the professionally decorated look in your house and you’re ready to bring it all together. We have defined our color scheme with our printable worksheet and know how to use it in the correct proportions. Also, our main furniture and our accent and decor pieces have been selected.
All that is left is bringing it all together.
Furniture arrangement and grouping decor pieces are super important in getting the professionally decorated look you’re working towards. There a couple basic formulas professional decorated use in order to get the best results every time.
Arrange the largest piece of furniture directly across from the focal point of the room.
This varies from one room to the next, but almost every room has an architectural type of focal point. For instance, a fireplace or a large window is a common focal point. So, the largest piece of furniture would be arranged directly across (facing) the focal point.
If you don’t have a focal point that occurs naturally in the room you can easily create one. You can use a large piece of art in almost any type of room. Or, the TV is a common focal point in a family or media room. Sometimes you have a focal point you want to distract from (like a window looking out on your neighbors bedroom). In this case just create a more appealing focal point in the room and arrange the largest piece of furniture facing your preferred focal point. (We do this all the time in staging houses!)
Next, create either a U or L shape with your accent furniture. The largest piece should be represented by either the “little” bottom piece of the U or the longer side of the L. Both work well in conversational spaces like living or family rooms. Either arrangement works well in most shaped rooms. If you’re working with a room shape that this is not coming together for you email me. I’m happy to help!
Dining rooms are the exception to the largest piece facing the focal point.
In a dining room the dining table is the focal point – always. In the best case scenario the dining table will be centered in the room and centered directly under the dining chandelier. If the chandelier is off center you can easily adjust it with a hook moved to the center in the ceiling. If there is no chandelier simply place the table in the center of the room and use a taller centerpiece on the table to define the space.
Now that you have your arrangement you need to consider lighting.
Lighting is critically important to getting a professionally decorated look. You will never see a fabulous room that doesn’t have fantastic lighting. It is that important.
Ceiling lighting is present in most rooms of a house or apartment.
Unless the ceiling light is a chandelier and on a dimmer the ceiling lighting is not your friend. It may be effective and useful – but it does not give a great look. Canned light are better than ceiling fans or the boob lights you commonly see, but ideally even these will be on a dimmer.
The best lighting in a room comes from several different sources and is balanced.
Balanced means that you have a light source in several places within a room and at the same height and intensity. You do not want one bright floor lamp in a corner with no other light source in the room. To get the professional look you need to have multiple sources of softer light rather than one bright spot in the room.
Different rooms require different lighting needs.
And…there are many different types of lighting. It really is that important. But, for this post we are going to keep it simple. In a living or family room you want at least four light sources. Ideally one situated in each quadrant of the room. For instance, one lamp on each of two side tables and two floor lamps placed in the corners of the room furthest away from the table lamps. Your room will look extra special if you use lower intensity bulbs in more places rather than one bright spot in the space.
In a bedroom you want two lamps – one on each bedside piece. Or, if you only have one nightstand place a floor lamp in the corner furthest from the bedside lamp. Lower intensity bulbs work really well in bedroom spaces just as they do in living or family rooms. There are also some tricks to arranging art and decor pieces.
Wall art is absolutely necessary to get the professionally decorated look.
The largest piece of wall art should be hung on the largest wall space in the room. Remember creating a focal point if you don’t have one – or don’t like the one you have? This will do it!
If you don’t have a large piece of wall art you can easily create a grouping of smaller pieces that will all work together to give the feel of a large piece. You can be really creative here. I’ll post some examples and how to’s soon to help with this!
Don’t be afraid to leave a blank wall space. Nothing clutters up a room faster than too much stuff on the walls. The general rule is if the wall space is less than 3 feet wide you leave it blank. Now, this does not mean you have to have something hung on every space that is more than three feet wide. It simply means don’t stuff everything you can find up on your walls.
Decor pieces, those ones that you choose in your color scheme, are the things that are going to bring life your space.
They need to be purposely arranged. Even the most haphazard looking professionally decorated spaces are carefully arranged.
Decor pieces should always be arranged in groupings of odd numbers. It’s been proven time and time again that the human eye appreciates odd numbered groupings. Ideally you will have something tall or large, something medium in height and size, and something small arranged within a grouping.
More than 7 items grouped together rarely turns out well – so to be safe – don’t exceed 7 of anything. If you have a larger collection you want to display break it up into smaller groups and put them in different places in the room. Or, pack up some and change the pieces you do have displayed from time to time to keep things feeling fresh.
Decor items grouped together should always be placed on a “grounding” piece.
A grounding piece is an item that visually and physically “contains” a grouping – although it is not necessarily a container. Make sense? No? I understand!
A grounding piece can be a container. Something like a basket that holds a few decor pieces is an example of a container grounding piece. A grounding piece can also be a plate, tray, platter, place mat, or even a book lying on its side.
The thing you want to accomplish with a “grounding” piece is that it provides a visual place to hold the contents of your grouping. For instance, if you want to use 5 candle sticks, in varying heights as a grouping you want them all to fit on top of the tray you’ve chosen for the space. This gives the candle sticks someplace to belong. Without grounding pieces decor items often look misplaced and just thrown about.
Every room needs a piece of greenery.
We won’t get into whether or not it can be faux or it must be real. That is for you to decide. However, you must have one piece of greenery or floral in every room. I personally have several of these trees I use in my home staging company and we get lots of complements on them. I’ve even had one stolen….so someone really liked that one! Even a bathroom looks better with a small plant of some kind. It brings something organic to the space that you jsut need to get a professionally decorated look.
Wow! This a lot of info to handle all at once! But – you are on track to creating a beautiful room for yourself and your family. If you’re selling your house soon this is even more important so you can attract the buyer you’re going to be looking for.
These steps, and the ones that came before it, are a great way to get the professionally decorated look in your home. There is even more to it – like changing up the color proportions from one room to the next – to get the professionally decorated home you want.
Sign up for my free eCourse to learn even more. You can find the sign up right there on the right side. In the eCourse you will learn a bit more about each of the steps and even more about how to tie it all together from one room to the next. You will also get a couple pages of worksheets to help you keep track of it all as you get on with the planning and doing part. It’s a great way to get the professionally decorated look you want in your whole house.
Get the Pro Decor Plan
Get the step by step plan professional decorators use to give every room in the house the professionally designed look you want + free printables to keep you on track!