Five Things Every Well-Designed Room Needs

When you’re designing a new space, the choices are truly endless. Do you opt for a more modern look, or do you stick with clean lines? Do you invest in only brand-new furniture, or do you have an eclectic mix of both antique and modern pieces? And ultimately, how do you make it all cohesive and flow well together, not just in the room, but the rest of your home? No matter what design aesthetic you end up choosing, you might find these five tips helpful.

Proper Scale and Proportion

Scale and proportion are two elements of design that make a home feel warm and inviting. Scale refers to how an item relates to the size of a room. Proportion refers to the shape of an item and how it relates to other things in the room. Scale is simple: the bigger the room is the bigger your pieces should be. The smaller your room is the smaller your pieces should be. When it comes to proportion, the main furnishing item in the room sets the stage or the scale of all the other furnishings. For example, you don’t want to have a huge sofa with a little side table. So, make sure that the proportions in your room work well together for better flow and functionality.

Variation in Texture

Variation in texture will add interest and dimension to your room. This is especially important for neutral rooms, where almost everything shares the same color palette (think: a bright white kitchen, or a creamy beige family room). Textures don’t simply come from sofas or chairs. In fact, you can incorporate variation in texture almost anywhere in the room. For example, you might look to add visual interest with rugs, accessories, furniture finishes, wall finishes, or even window treatments.


The art that you use is almost like makeup for your face. So, it’s important to decide what type of artwork you like in the first place. Do you want a painting or a photograph? A sculpture or some other type of centerpiece? Once you decide on what type of art you’d like, then you can narrow it down to the style that works best for your interests and the room it will live in. After all, art is a means for expression, and if you find the right pieces, it can really make your space. Be aware of the proportions of the art, and how it relates to your room so that it complements (and doesn’t compete with) the rest of the items in the space.

Area Rugs

If your room doesn’t feel quite right, you might be missing the right area rug. Area rugs are what pulls everything together in a room. They provide comfort, cushion and warmth, while at the same time adding artistic value to the room. Designers say that a good area rug should be a minimum of six inches and no more than two feet away from the wall. In large living rooms, you can use two different rugs to create two separate living areas but still make it feel like a part of one main room.


While you can absolutely find good lighting on a budget, designers suggest that this might be an area where you splurge a bit. Lighting sets the tone of the room and can make it look more luxurious. Go for eye catching lamp shades in neutral colors. This will make your room look elegant and well thought out. Choose a style that works for both day and night and can create a wide variety of lighting effects.

It might feel overwhelming to have to design a space from scratch. But by focusing on the most important design elements, you can pull together a look that you’ll love and that works well with the rest of your home.