Interior Design That Makes You Feel Good

Online and in-person interior design


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You’ve had the same things in your living room for a while and you’re just over the look….

Your main furniture pieces are still in great shape but if you have to stare at that red pillow you bought in 1995 for even one more second your head might explode.

So how do you change the look and where do you start?


Check out the 5 steps below to update your living room easily!!

You can make a huge difference in the look of your room with these 5 steps. This is perfect when you maybe have a sofa and two chairs that are in a neutral color because you can keep those items and still completely update the look of the room.

And, even if this isn’t you and you’re starting completely fresh….keep reading. This method is going to help you get the look you want for your home.


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//STEP 1//

Your very first task is to find some inspiration photos. There are several great places to get these:

  • Pinterest

  • Houzz

  • Google Images

I personally enjoy Pinterest the best but any of these are good options.

Whether you decide to DIY this project or hire a designer, this is the very first step. The point of this step is to get a clear idea of what you want! And don’t want for that matter…..

Maybe during your search you come across some throw pillows you love and you know that the geometric pattern on them is an absolute must have. And maybe you come across a yellow living room that makes you throw up in your mouth a little bit…, no yellow for you! See what I mean? This is a crucial step. If you don’t know what you like it will be hard to know where to start.

Now, don’t get discouraged if you look through inspiration photos and you just get overwhelmed. That’s ok! Maybe you look and you like EVERYTHING! Or at least you feel like you do. This is when you might need a little extra help.

For help identifying your style, take my style quiz. Need a little more guidance? Get a mood board made by yours truly! Click here to see what the hell a mood board is. This is perfect for you if you need help with style analysis and need some item suggestions to get you started on your design journey.


SO, let’s start updating this room of yours….shall we?


//STEP 2//

It’s time to pick a color palette! Another crucial step to the process. After looking at your inspiration photos you should have a pretty clear idea of what you like and don’t like.

You should choose around 5 colors to work with. This does not mean you have to choose 5 accent colors. I don’t suggest picking a color palette that looks like this:


Instead, mix your neutrals in with it to create balance and harmony. See below


Something else to remember is that you can use different variations of one color. For example…if you love the color orange but you think even sprinkles of it in the room will be too much for you to handle…try Rust! It’s orange but it has some brown mixed in. For blues you can start with navy then maybe add in some blue with a gray mix. You don’t need every accessory to be the exact same tone of the color—-just make sure there is enough balance. For example, if you decided on navy accent chairs, make sure to have something navy on the other side of the room. Then maybe have gray blue and navy ottomans (maybe a stripe or pattern) to join the colors together. This is called a bridge fabric and merges multiple colors together to create balance in a space.

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//STEP 3//

Ok, it’s time to start selecting actual items for purchase. You can start with any of the following items but I suggest starting with either a rug or a pillow. If you can find one item you really love, that will be a fantastic starting point. This should be an item that you see and think “wow, I cannot live without that!”

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Let’s use an example. Let’s say you LOVE this pillow….now what? So let’s think about the characteristics of this particular pillow. Find 2 to 3 things about it that you notice like…

  • Color (teal & white)

  • Pattern (modern—jagged print)

  • Pattern scale (Large)

Now, we’re going to keep these characteristics in mind as we begin searching for our next item. Remember to refer back to your inspiration photos frequently to refresh yourself on what you love and to remind yourself of the result you’re going for.

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//STEP 4//

Next up….rug!

**You can really do this in whatever order you want. For example, for a project I worked on recently, the client let me know that she had already ordered a teal sofa and a couple of glass and gold tables. Instead of choosing one item and expanding from there, I used the 3 existing items to inspire my choices moving forward. This is different for every single project. Sometimes I start with a piece of artwork or a small decorative accessory….just whatever inspires me or the client!

So, if you start with a pillow and then move to a rug…these are my suggestions :)

Remember those 3 handy characteristics we wrote down for the pillow we found? Let’s refer to those.

Color (teal & white)

Pattern (modern—jagged print)

Pattern scale (Large)

So let’s start with color. If you are new to decorating and are not super comfortable with color, I suggest pairing a neutral rug with your colorful pillow. Allow the teal pillow to be the star and choose something that won’t try to swallow it up. You definitely don’t want to have any competing colors!

For this particular project, I chose this neutral gray and white rug. The client knew she wanted a modern eclectic rug that was neutral but still had a pattern, so I selected this one and it was love at first sight!


There are several reasons I chose this rug. See below:

  • Color: Wouldn’t compete with the teal pillow as far as color goes

  • Pattern: Was a modern pattern just like the pillow

  • Pattern Scale: Smaller than the pillow scale. If the scale of the pillow pattern had been smaller, I would’ve chosen a rug with a larger scale pattern.

See what we did there? We referred back to the specific characteristics of the teal pillow and compared and addressed each issue.

**If it helps you, write these things down in a notebook or in your phone notes so that you can refer back to them when you’re shopping. Or, pin this article to a board!

//STEP 5//

Now, we need a bridge item! My favorite kind of bridge items are pillows! However, since we already chose a pillow to start this design—let’s go with artwork. This is my second favorite:)

So, what the hell is a bridge item?

This is an accessory that ties together all of the colors you have going on in a space. For example, if you have teal and orange in a room and would like to join the two together in harmony….find a piece of artwork that has both! This is an example of a room I worked on for a client recently.

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Recognize any of these items? :)

You’ll find the teal pillow we started with along with the rug. This project was so fun for me to put together—I still get excited looking at it. I love clients who love color!!! Now you’ll really understand why we chose a neutral rug.

I post this above to show you how we used the artwork and pillow mix above as bridge items to connect all of the color items together. This is also a great example of the “sprinkling method” where you sprinkle color throughout the room to create balance.

So let’s focus a little bit on the artwork here. Do you see how these items really connect all of the items together? If you take a look at this design you’ll see teal, orange, white and gray. Guess where you’ll also find all of those colors…THE ARTWORK! Without the artwork the look just wouldn’t be complete.

I so hope this post has helped you get started on your design journey.

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