How to Style Your Living Room with Pillows, Accessories and Greenery!

Hey, thanks for swinging by Joy of Nesting! I’m Shiree and I’m super excited you’re here.



via Daily Dream Decor

This blog is about getting your home freshened up for a new year. It has my very best decorating hacks so stick around and learn and maybe treat yourself to some new home goods for 2-0-2-1.

Before you take my word on these decorating hacks for your home, let me tell you why you should listen to me. Again, I’m Shiree’, or sure-ay when you say it quickly. I’ve been an interior designer since 1999. I am a newspaper design columnist, have owned five design stores and have done numerous charitable events like table settings, designer show houses and home tours. All of these experiences have given me a well-rounded ability to design, decorate and style homes and stores, large and small.




I know you want to know the difference between designing, decorating and styling and suffice to say design is the big stuff and includes architectural elements; decorating is basically choosing paint, furniture, fabrics and accessories; and styling is pretty much just accessories. I think of styling (or merchandising) as what I did in my stores and what I do with hutches, bookcases and table tops. But the truth is, there are many definitions of these things and many design professionals disagree on them.




above via Amber Interiors

Now let’s get started.

  •  Remove all accessories.
  •  Set aside anything that’s shabby or poor quality to take to Good Will.

  • Now go through the closets and other rooms in the home to collect a plentiful variety of items for decorating. Gather way more than you’ll need. Don’t be shy about the items you choose. Include almost anything that pleases you. 
  • Grab any hardbound books. They don't have to be design books. They can be novels too, as long as the covers are in good shape and not noticeably old.      
  • Grab any nice baskets, only the ones that are obviously special.

  •  Assess all the potential items you’ve collected. You should have a large assortment of things like books, baskets, platters, plates, pots, vases, framed prints. Hold back on family frames. Those should go in the den, primary bedroom, stairwell and hallway,
  •  Next comes the fun part, shopping. I prefer TJ Maxx for this part because I can find really good designer pillows there. Their faux greenery isn’t too bad there either as long as you realize you’ll need to buy a better pot or container for it. As with lamps, don't skimp on the quality of the greenery.

At TJ Maxx look for the best quality pillows you can afford. Don’t buy ones that say things on them. Save cutesy items like that for the kids’ rooms. Make sure the fabric and the filling are high quality. Choose pillow fabrics that coordinate with your sofas and chairs and make the sofas and chairs look better, not worse, when placed next to one another. 




above via Laurel Bern

Don’t buy all small items. Make sure to include medium and large items too like big baskets, large mirrors, trays, even a cart for an empty corner if you have one. Buy things to go on the cart like a nice tray, books, alcohol bottles and highball or wine glasses. 

Invest in some really nice lamps. Go for classic styles and again, the best quality you can manage. Lamps are an area where you can really make a difference in the quality look of your home so don't skimp.

 Now gather all your things together, old and new and set up a staging area. I like to start Friday afternoon and finish by Sunday but if you’re really ambitious you might be able to finish on Saturday.




 Above via Robert Brown

If you want to take a deeper dive into accessory placement, go here for another one of my articles on home makeovers.

Something I’ve noticed in going into everyone’s homes over the years is that the homes that are tidy, shiny clean and well accoutered often look better than the ones that are otherwise better furnished.



I’ve written this game changing download The Functional Home Blueprint to get your home the help it needs for #homegame2021 to help you create beautiful places in your home for downtime and reconnecting with yourself and loved ones; to get organized and energized with my easy tools, container ideas and simple home office hacks; to carve out spaces for exercise, plus a bonus on my fave home workout equipment! Get the free download here.

That’s it for today! Bye for now. 

Shiree'


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