A Quick Guide to Furniture & Décor

Where do you even start? You’ve got your inspiration figured out from our post on Organizing and Finding Inspiration but you’re still lost. What do you keep? What do you replace? Do you just say “to heck with it” and replace everything? Unfortunately the answer won’t be the same for everyone, but the process to find that answer absolutely can be.

When I’m working with a client who knows they want change but doesn’t know where to begin in their furniture and décor selection process, I always ask them the same question:
what can’t you live without?

It seems like a simple enough question. When you think about how you live in your space and about what you use the most, it’s interesting to consider if you’re using it because it is a convenience or because you really love that piece. It can make a huge impact on your decision-making ability.

That exercise can result in a good list of pieces that you don’t want to live without. The next step is to figure out how to pair those pieces with new pieces. Me personally? I love mixing old with new; you just need to make sure you balance it correctly, so it doesn’t feel like a hodge-podge of random pieces.

Another trick is to stick with coordinating colors. When you do this all your pieces work together regardless of the style because of the color scheme. They just “fit”.

If you want to get techy, take a photo of your furniture and upload it to whatever system you used for your inspiration board. I use Canva. And then as you’re shopping for pieces you can upload pictures of those and make sure it all meshes with your vision.

Here was our inspiration board for the kitchen:

With the living room just off the kitchen, we wanted to ensure we coordinated the two spaces. We used this as a starting point. No need to start from scratch!

Here are our final furniture choices:

We started with a bright orange sofa and a gold coffee table that we just couldn’t live without. By choosing the navy chair—a contrasting color—and a darker gray area rug to ground the space, we aren’t competing with the bold sofa choice but rather keeping it within one color theme.

You’ll also notice I did not stick exactly to my original color story because it’s important to remember that you don’t have to, it’s just a guide. You want to avoid being “matchy-matchy”. The inspiration is a starting point, and you evolve from there. By making sure we embraced a similar look (and stole a few of the items from the original inspiration) we created a cohesive look that will flow from one space to the next without feeling like you’re jumping styles too much.

Let’s talk Décor!

Décor is something that is incredibly personal to each of my clients. You have to decide how you want your space to feel. Magazine ready at all times? Functionally minimal? Extremely personal? Think about how you want others to see your space but also how you want to feel in it.

I’m a fan of the personal approach. I think décor and accessories mean more if you have a good story behind them. Not to say all your pieces need to have a story but it helps make the space feel more special if, at least, some of them do.

If you’re a big traveler, find pieces that you love while abroad and incorporate them into your space!

Are you more of an art collector? Consider having more prominent pieces on a cycle and trade them out so you have a fresh look all the time.

A good rule of thumb is to try to keep within your color story but know that if you go outside of it for a really special piece, it will fit because it fits you.

Most importantly find things that make you smile. Be happy in your space.