This One Rule Will Take Your Home Decor from Eh to Next Level

Growing up, I didn't watch Disney and Nickelodeon like other kids - I watched TLC. This was back in TLC's "Glory Days," before every other show was about wedding dress shopping or reality TV. Back when the original home improvement show Trading Spaces still ruled the airwaves. My favorite TLC show by far was What Not to Wear, hosted by Stacey London and Clinton Kelly. While they had many rules for putting together an outfit, one always stood out: Color, Pattern, Texture, and Shine. This rule is a great guide for putting together an outfit and I use it daily. But recently I've been thinking - this applies to more than just clothing. What if we applied it to decorating a room?

— Stacey London & Clinton Kelly

How often do you feel like something is missing from a room, but you just can't put your finger on it? Take a look around the room, checking for color, pattern, texture, and shine. You will probably find that one of these is missing, or maybe one of them is way out of balance with the others. These four things all provide visual interest to a room (or an outfit), so if you're room is feeling a little boring, consider adding one (or more) or the following.


I've talked about color quite a few times here on the blog, but seeing as it is the foundation to a room (i.e. the walls), it never hurts to talk about it some more. A good rule of thumb is to use neutrals to start with. This includes colors such as whites and creams, greys, black, tan and taupe, and even browns and navy blue. You'll primarily be using neutrals, so pick a few, and make sure they have similar undertones so they don't look weird together. Next you'll want to pick one or two main colors. You'll then want to pick up to three more colors (or shades of a color) to use as accent colors. A great way to pick these accent colors is by using complementary or split-complementary colors to your main color. (You can learn more about finding a color's complementary color here.) The dominant colors in the room should be a mix of neutrals and your main color, with pops of color here and there from your accent colors. 


Pattern keeps the eye moving. Plus, it's a great way to incorporate your accent colors by picking a pattern that has both your main color and your accent color(s). Don't forget, you can always add pattern in neutrals - pairing different patterns that are all in the same color scheme, black and white for example, keeps a room from getting stale. Wallpaper and tile are great places to add pattern, as is fabric. For more ideas on where to start with patterns, check out this handy guide from StyleCaster.


Texture adds a level of depth and dimension to a room that you can't get from anything else. The best place to start with texture is the fabrics - upholstered furniture like the couch or the chairs, throw pillows, blankets, rugs, curtains, and tapestries are all great ways to incorporate different textures. Check out this post for more textural ideas.


Anything shiny, sparkly, metallic, mirrored, glassy, etc. As long as it reflects light, it's perfect for adding visual interest to any room! If you add multiple metallic items to a room, it's okay to mix and match your metals. Like Stacey and Clinton always say, "It doesn't have to match, it just has to go." If you're familiar with the principles of the Chinese design philosophy Feng Shui, you might also know that mirrored surfaces are said to keep the energy moving throughout a room. Here are Elle Design's 7 ways to incorporate mirrored items into each room.

For more ideas on adding color, pattern, texture, and shine to your home, check out Pinterest.

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