The way someone decorates their home is very personal — after all, everyone has their own design rules and preferences. Regardless of whether you prefer traditional or modern design, there are certain items that every household needs. Here are the ultimate go-tos that work for every home. Do you have one of each?
1. A splurge. Good news: The first piece of design advice is something you’ve probably been wanting to hear. Yes, if it makes sense for your budget, you should spring for that splurge item you’ve been trying to justify.
When everything in your home feels like a compromise, the whole look can be unsatisfying. But when you include pieces of true quality, that you truly love, they elevate the look of the entire space.
A piece of lighting you love is a perfect place to splurge. So are other items that will be central in your design, so that no matter where you stand, your eye will have a beautiful feature to take in.
2. Something modest. The flip side of occasionally splurging is that you should know when to go for something basic. After all, if every piece is stretching the budget, you’re probably stretching your budget too thin — which won’t leave you adequate room for that real splurge.
In this bathroom, the overall look is luxurious, but the vanity is actually a simple unit from Ikea. Installing the relatively inexpensive vanity left room in the budget for items like the accent tile mosaic and large vanity mirror, which become the focus.
3. A wood stool or table. For some people, there’s never enough natural wood. For others, it’s the last thing they would think to use. But wood is an essential material for adding a sense of warmth and life to a home, and it can be introduced in many places beyond dining chairs and kitchen cabinets.
Accent pieces like this classic Eames walnut stool help bring an element of wood off the floors and into the center of the room. In this space, the majority of what you see is clean white walls, elegant fabrics and personal art, but the organic element of wood is still there to keep everything feeling grounded.
4. Black and white art. While wood elements give immediate depth and warmth, black and white art gives a home a sense of sophistication. Whether you fall for a modern painted canvas or a timeless piece of photography, including a monochrome element not only extends the color palette to both extremes, but also adds an air of maturity.
5. Something bold. An orange ceiling may not be for everyone, but every home should have at least one bold and beautiful element that can’t be found anywhere else. Whether this shows up as a bright color, a striking wallpaper, a quirky vintage find or a mismatched piece of furniture, your decor should include at least one choice that feels like a risk. You know what they say: no risk, no reward.
6. An element of sparkle. One of the reasons great lighting tends to be a favorite splurge piece is because it has the power to add sparkle to a home, creating that photo-ready finishing touch. A little sparkle brings a sense of movement and life, as it changes when you walk, ensuring that your home never looks exactly the same from moment to moment.
To give your home a bit of sparkle, try adding these elements:
-Multibulb fixtures that keep the eye dancing from light to light
-Polished silver-toned metals
-Glossy finishes that reflect light (such as lacquered cabinets or sleek sateen fabrics)
-Sequins or small elements of mirror
7. Cloth napkins. This one may seem obvious, but to many homeowners (especially those who get most of their meals to go), cloth napkins sit on the “to-buy” list for years without ever reaching the top. It’s worth it to give yourself this simple luxury so that whenever you do get to eat at home, you can enjoy the comforts of really tucking in properly.
Plus, a beautiful fabric napkin brings an element of softness and color to your table, which you can change from season to season at a low price tag.
8. A great place to read. Designers get a reputation for filling a home with uncomfortable furniture and hard angles, but a great place to curl up with a good book or an iPad is essential to designing a home that gives you a chance to unwind.
Include one plush chair with a handy floor lamp and a stool tucked nearby to make sure that even if your other furniture is taught and mannered, when you really need it, you’ll have somewhere to sink in and put up your feet.