The best design elements in a room are usually the simplest. Sometimes a fireplace, a mantle, a window can become the central theme to the design of a room, and at other times a piece of artwork, fabric, or an area rug. It might also be a family heirloom, an architectural detail, or even the view from a window. Whatever you find as the inspiration or theme, be sure it has value and resonates with the person or persons who will often enjoy the space. Of course, this is much easier if you are decorating your own space. If it is for a customer, family member or friend finding something that is attractive to them is a quest that might take some time. But whatever the theme you choose, inexpensive and simple ideas can have a dramatic effect in any room.
Pick warm colors to make a room intimate and cozy

Once you determine a theme for your design, pick colors that are warm and inviting. Painting one wall an accent color different from the other walls is an attractive way to add depth to a room. This is especially effective in a long, narrow bonus room. Make sure the accent color is in the same group as the color of the other walls. If a fireplace is the focal point of the room, make this wall the accent wall as well. Do not allow other design elements to detract from the main focus. Accent walls also work well in a room with no natural focal point.

Create special areas to add charm

Work to create intimacy, coziness, and charm. A conversation area, a reading nook, a tastefully done desk area add a sense of intimacy and make a room more inviting to guests. Mark out a conversation area with an area rug. Make sure the rug is large enough for the seating and tables to sit on the rug. Area rugs not only give a room a sense of coziness, but many times provide the color palette for room. Using a minor color from the rug for the wall color will accentuate that color in the rug and make it more pronounced.

Window treatments add sophistication and depth

Window treatments are a major part of a room’s design. Natural light is a major attribute to any room and should always be played up and not down. Heavy draperies and sheers make a room dark and oppressive. If privacy is needed, use plantation blinds to allow light into the room during the day and closure to allow for privacy at night. Blinds also provide a sophisticated look from the outside as well. If windows are small, by simply raising the window treatments higher than the window, an illusion of height is created which draws the eye up, making the room seem larger.


Always attempt to get as much color as possible from changeable items, such as throw pillows, flower arrangements, and other less expensive items. Patterns and fads change, and the expense of changing draperies, flooring, rugs, etc. is cost prohibitive. Work to attain a timeless look, with colors that are endearing and beautiful.

The secret to redesigning a room is to find a theme and develop the elements around that theme. Repeat interesting elements several times in the room to give coherence. A tastefully decorated room will evidence a thread which runs throughout the room to which every element will exhibit a link, which in the end gives the room a sense of completeness and cohesion.