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The Layers Every Professionally Designed Space Has

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Did you know I’m on Instagram? It’s one of the ways I stay in touch with those in my industry, my clients, as well as so many other interior design aficionados.

Often, people reach out to me with their design questions. I love this! It gives me a chance to learn about the design and decor difficulties they face. And it gives me a chance to share my knowledge with them and with all of you! So today I am tackling a problem that recently came in through my DMs.

This person had started updating the decor in their living room and reached out to me after returning a side table for the fourth time. “No matter what I do, what I add, what I take away, the room never feels complete. What am I doing wrong?” they asked.

This is actually a common issue I hear—how to make a room feel warm, cozy, and like home. There are four elements that you should consider when you are updating a room on your own. So let’s get into it.


When you are decorating a room, it is so much more than a piece of art on the wall or a standout sofa in the middle of the room. You can't just put down a rug and expect the space to feel like home. It is all about layers and how those layers work together.

Think about your foundational pieces—sofas, dining tables, beds—and then start adding layers. Accent pieces, lighting, wallpaper, furniture, and rugs are all elements that need to be brought into a room to fully complete it.

Every element comes into play. These layers come together to make it feel like a completed space that is welcoming.


When designing a space, I always look at scale before making any decisions. It’s a common mistake that happens when people move to a larger home—they have a large room, but the furniture they are using is too small for the room.

When you have high ceilings, and a large footprint, you need to make sure that the furniture is to scale so that it doesn't get swallowed up by the architecture of the space.

The opposite is true for small spaces—don’t purchase big, chunky furniture for small space with lower ceilings as it will overpower the room.

Think about scale when you are looking at lighting, furniture, rugs, and even the prints and patterns you're using in the textiles and wallpaper you'll be using.


Moments are intentional vignettes—a collection of things that come together to create a visual moment in your space. On a bookshelf, this could be a selection of books, a plant, and a tchotchke. On a side table, this could be a catch-all bowl, lamp, and a piece of art hung on the wall behind.

When you create these moments throughout your space, consider the visual sightlines and what you see from every angle of the room. Look for dead spaces in your room and think about what you can add that will not only fill up the void but also create a moment of beautiful things to see.


You need to be present in your space. When you walk into a room, your personality needs to be there. Find things that speak to you that can be used as accessories in the space—think about the elements you've collected through your life and have those elements be the final layer in your room.

Maybe you collect pottery or have images that you can print from your travels or have a beautiful piece that you picked up while antiquing. Your soul should be present in the space and these additions will help make the room feel more full and complete.

The Takeaway

There are a lot of elements that come together to make a room feel complete. If you finished reading and now you just feel overwhelmed, don’t! It's okay if it takes time to layer all these elements into your home.

You don't have to do it all at once but you need to consider these things when you are creating a game plan before making purchases for your space.

All my best,