Five Things Every Room Needs

If any room in your home feels like it’s missing something, we have the checklist for you.

Studio 5 Design Contributor Lauren Oviatt lays out the five things every area needs to maximize comfort and functionality.

No matter which room you’re tackling and no matter how temporary or permanent your space may be, there are five things you can introduce that, when combined, make your room feel full, purposed and “done”, if a room can ever be “done.”

Alternate Light Source
This first idea is one of the biggest and guess what, it’s a no brainer! Well-appointed lights in a room are something that I am truly passionate about. Before you tackle anything else in the space, think about how it is lit! I recommend at least three light sources, if not more. Consider starting off by introducing a great floor lamp that can sit next to your reading chair or sofa. Ambient (mood) light is so key in creating a welcoming space when evening falls.

Tip: If you aren’t ready to commit to a lamp, at least install a dimmer to control your overhead lighting. It is $5 and easy to install. Google it.

Objects and accessories can only take you so far in decorating your space. In my opinion, every room needs and benefits from something green. After all, it is nature’s neutral. It only enhances the decor and there are options for every space and every taste. Consider adding a pretty tree to an empty corner, set a fern on your sofa table for an instant statement, or buy an orchid to place on your entry table to welcome guests. These accents reflect thoughtfulness and never go unnoticed.

Tip: Be sure to choose good-looking faux arrangements if you are going that route… but I challenge you to try your hand at fresh plants!

Large Rug
One of the most overwhelming design flaws I see in rooms is a rug that is the wrong size. It is common to see an under-scaled rug used in a family room, dining room or entry. I think people are taken with the idea of injecting great color, pattern or softness to their space but end up leaving the space feeling disconnected and slightly off. Add graciousness and visual space to your room by choosing a rug large enough to be anchored underneath ALL pieces of furniture. This will instantly set your grouping, which is usually the point.

Tip: If you are torn between rug sizes, at least make sure that the rug can fit under the front legs of the sofa and chair arrangment. Small rugs end up looking like a postage stamp… and it leaves your furniture floating.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, I LOVE drapery. I think a smart pair of side panels on a window in a bedroom, living room or den is an instant way to amp up your decor by adding another ‘layer’ of design. I think drapes and other soft window treatments reflect a designer touch and add dimension to a room that no other design element can acheive.

Tip: clean, simple drapes are in style right now, not the swags and heavy panels that plagued the 80’s. Also, if you’re hanging panels, make sure they touch the floor. Otherwise, they’ll draw attention for the wrong reasons.

On-Trend, Fun Pattern
There is no simpler way to add a fresh pop to any space than to inject some great pattern. This can be as simple as new pillows on your sofa or bed, a new throw blanket over the arm of a chair, or a table runner in your dining room. Adding pattern in a space gives your eye somewhere to travel and becomes an interesting feature. When covered with enough pillows, pattern may even distract from that old sofa you’ve been dying to replace.

Tip: When shopping for multiple patterns to use in the same space, try to match the colors but vary the patterns. Make sure the scale and size of the patterns don’t compete. Recipe for success: Large floral, smaller stripe, solid. (read: large, smaller, smallest.)

Lauren Oviatt is a designer with Oviatt Design, 826 West Shepard Lane, Farmington.

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