How To Design A Room for Variety

summer bold

By Quinn Kelly

Marriage & Family Therapist

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Quinn Kelly is a busy wife and mother of four boys as well as a marriage and family therapist. She hopes to encourage other moms with laughter and honesty and help remind them that the best part about motherhood has nothing to do with being the “perfect” mom or raising the “perfect” kids, but instead enjoying yourself and your children along the way.
If you like what you are reading and want to hear more from Quinn, follow her personal blog Sanctification and Spitup, which is also found on Facebook.

If you know me, you quickly learn (or observe 🙂 ) that I love accessories in clothing. I love knowing that I can take an otherwise plain outfit and completely alter its feel by the jewelry, scarf, hat, purse or shoes I choose to wear with it. And I highly enjoy matching the style of my outfit to my mood.

That way when I walk out the door, what I’m wearing that day represents ME. Some days I’m preppy, some days I’m boho, sometimes I’m romantic, and sometimes I’m goth. (Okay, not really. 🙂 ) But I like to mix it up when I can.

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So it only makes sense that just like in clothing, I love to utilize and change out accessories in room design. And today, I want to share with you one of my favorite techniques for creating a room that allows for variety in accessories (pillows, vases, flowers, frames, etc.) throughout the year.

Step 1. Choose a Design Element to Give You a Color Palette

There are several main design elements in a room that can give you color or pattern. To name a few, wall color or paper, furniture, pictures, window treatments and rugs are some of the main elements. In this technique, you are going to choose one main design element in your room that creates your color palette to work from. Ideally, the more colors this piece has, the more variety you put in the room throughout the year. So some people may pick curtains with a lot of pattern and color. Others may pick a crazy wallpaper (yes, wallpaper is back in style). Others may choose a bold patterned rug. I would say whatever most inspires you when shopping is a good place to start.

For my last house, I let this peacock picture serve as my color palette. It has various hues of blue and yellows and green in it. In my current house, I used this rug. Ironically, I don’t love the rug, but it matched my couches and allowed me to have several colors to work from. (Yellow, coral, orange, tan, blue…)

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rug

peacock

Step 2. Keep Other Design Elements in Room More Neutral.

Once you choose what item in the room will serve as your color palette, you can then keep other big things in the room more neutral in color, in order to leave way for you to create variety in your accessories.

So if you pick a rug with a lot of pattern and color then you would ideally choose pattern free curtains and couches or at least ones that are very subtle. Or if you picked a bold wall paper, then you might keep the rug more neutral. Obviously you can have more than one thing in the room with pattern and color like picking an awesome chair with color and pattern but as a designer once told me, you don’t want your room to look too much like fruit salad. Meaning, you want your color scheme to look intentional and like it is inspired from something. (Unless you are a person who loves bold pattern and contrast. Some designers prefer this look.)

In my specific room, since my rug is bold, my couches are more neutral. However, that doesn’t mean your couches can’t have color. I have picked blue couches that I had covered in a jewel-tone fabric because just like denim they still remain able to match a variety of color schemes. And I love their pop of color.

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Step 3. Vary Accessories Based on Time of Year and Season.

The final step is just choosing accessories that allow you to have fun and change the feel of the room per time of year or occasion. With accessories and little ones, my favorite store to shop at is Home Goods because I can normally find great prices on cool items that do not break the bank. Which is absolutely necessary because if I bought a decorative bank, it would likely get broken.

This brings up something important to discuss too. I’ve found that many moms of young kids do not decorate because they know things easily get destroyed or broken. Which is true! So I intentionally do not buy anything that I can’t handle the thought of losing. (Just a tip when decorating with little ones.)

Variety in Decorating

Now I’m going to show you how I vary my room throughout the year. As noted before, I used my rug to create my color palette, which provides me several different colors to accent with throughout the year. And obviously my decorating style may not be anything similar to your own. And that’s great! This is not meant to tell you how to decorate but inspire you to utilize variety.

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Spring

In this specific picture, I have decorated for Spring so I accented with wispy, light yellow flowers and pulled in yellow and coral for my pillows. Note, I keep nothing next to my glass lamp because Kai loves to break anything there.

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color pop

Summer

Here’s a bold look of color for summer with brighter accessories and some patterned pillows. Note blankets are a great way of adding color and warmth to a room despite the fact that no one where I live wants to look at a blanket in the blazing heat of the summer. So maybe blankets are better for Fall or Summer.

summer bold

Fall

At this time of year, I pull out the orange hues. And incorporate some pillows with more of a rusty orange in them. This is my absolute favorite look. I love FALL. As you can also see I changed my greenery and vase.

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fall pillows

Fun With Yellow

Here’s some fun with Yellow for a clean and bright look. Typically fruit would stay near a kitchen but our living room and kitchen are adjoined so this works.

pull out yellows for spring

Christmas

For Christmas, I keep my couch pillows neutral so that all my Christmas decorations don’t contrast. I would have pulled out all my decorations to give you the feel, but I decided you have great imaginations. And I did not want to climb in my attic. 😉

blank palette for Christmas Decorations

I have about 50 more looks I took pictures of, but I figured that at this point after looking at these pictures, you get the picture I’m trying to get across…accessories are fun. And I hope these ideas have inspired you to have fun using color, accessories and variety to make your nest feel fun, fresh and appealing.

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Cheers to Decorating!

Quin

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