Rooms are like people: No two are exactly the same. Eclectic, traditional or contemporary; big, small, square or circular – there are a million and one ways to tackle a space. Despite the infinite differences, however, every room could benefit from the following five essential items:
- Natural Lighting
Sunshine is awesome. It’s free, it boosts your mood and can even warm your room. Every space in your house or apartment should have lots of natural lighting from windows that emit ample light into the space. Rooms lacking windows feel cold, dark and closed off from the outside world. Even a sizable assortment of lamps and overheard lights can’t compare to natural sunlight.
If stuck with a windowless room – or one with very little natural lighting – you’re not totally doomed. Keep the layout open, paint the walls white or very pale and invest in powerful lighting.
- A Focal Point
“Every room,” my mother always said, “should have a focal point.” Even if your room is a mishmash – an explosion of color – there should be one piece that sticks out above the rest: A conversation starter, if you will. Find an item you love, such as a vase, pillow, picture frame or piece of artwork. It should radiate, sparkle and pop. Organize the room in a way that, upon entering, people will see the entire space. The focal point should draw the eye naturally and immediately.
- Personal Photos
Nothing gives a room that cozy, at-home feel like some added personal photos. When I go to friends’ houses, I always love looking at their pictures; it’s like taking a temporary stroll through their past.
Photos show off the people and places closest to you, keeping them near, while also providing means for conversation. A guest might look at a photo of you standing in front of pyramid, and say: “You went to Egypt last year? Was it awesome? Tell me about it!” Such conversations might not occur otherwise.
Showcasing your photos also sparks creativity. There are so many framing techniques to explore: big, small, square, circular, colorful, neutral – the possibilities are endless. Give your room some frame variety, and also display pictures from different time periods.
No one likes to stand all the time, right? Plus, inviting guests to sit on the floor isn’t going to win you a Hostess of the Year Award any time soon. In fact, if you’re a fan of hosting events, seating isn’t optional – it’s a necessity.
I first appreciated the importance of seating when I planned a double-date game night at my apartment. I realized, just before my guests were to arrive, that I had only three chairs around my table – for four people. What was I going to do? Have someone sit on the floor? As it turns out, we all did.
Determined to avoid that situation in the future, I invested in three more chairs, and now my apartment is littered with stools, sofas and couches so that it’s cozy for everyone, even when my guest list is extensive.
- Tabletop/Flat Surface
What’s a room without a surface to put things on? You need a place to set your personal pictures and focal point, after all. Plus, counters, tables, dressers and shelves serve practical purposes, such as preparing dinner, eating meals, and providing easy access to perfumes, lotions and other toiletries. Without a surface, your room will be missing an essential piece.
Invest in these items today to make your space complete and your home cozy.