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5 Room Decor Ideas: Guide to Functional Interior Design

By on August 7th, 2019 Reading Time: 9 minutes

We’re changing things up a bit! We’ve helped you along the ecommerce journey, now let us help you stay on top of your game. Check out our room decor ideas that are sure to boost your productivity, combine function with style, and leave some room for mindful rest.

So, whether you’re searching for room decor to spruce up your own home with or looking for new items to introduce to your store, finding the right products can be harder than you think. With so many room decor ideas around the internet, it’s hard to focus on one specific vision.

To help you navigate the endless streams of suggested Pinterest posts and ad banners trying to market you anything even remotely related to room decor, here’s a list of ideas you can start with:

Before exploring every idea in detail, let’s take a look at what you should keep in mind prior to cramming your shopping cart with items you probably don’t need. 

First and foremost, you need to understand your goal. Perhaps you’re looking to design a room from scratch—from furniture to wallpaper. In that case, start big and concern yourself with smaller details later on. There will always be time to find the right knick-knacks. However, if you’re trying to liven up an already well-loved space, consider small, but impactful changes.

Moreover, be mindful of your expenses. Avoid buying items that look nice on the store shelf, but won’t serve you any purpose. Make a list of products you want. If you see a particular item that exceeds your price range, but is a definite must-have, look for a cheaper version of it, or recreate it yourself. A lot can be achieved with some colors, a set of brushes, and a couple of hours of free time.

Let’s jump into room decor ideas you can use to spruce up your humble abode!

Bring in house plants

Terrarium

“In joy or sadness, flowers are our constant friends.”

Okakura Kakuzo, Japanese art critic

Be it a small succulent on the desk or a statement palm in the corner of the room, any plant is sure to bring you joy and bring life to your home. House plants add more character to any room and improve air quality and moisture. Plants are also proven to enhance productivity and cognitive attention.

Products:

Terrarium Planting container Terrarium Decorative Rocks Terrarium miniature figurines
Planting containers
Decorative rocks
Miniatures

More and more people are trying their hand at creating terrariums. They allow you to combine multiple plants in one display and generally require less care than a potted plant. Dwarf plants, ferns, air plants, succulents, peperomia, and carnivorous plants all work in terrariums. You can also add moss and lichens as decorations, just make sure that they don’t compromise the habitat for other plants. And be sure to group compatible plants in one container.

Decorate your plant container with decorative rocks or marbles. You can also use pebbles and seashells you’ve collected on your travels. To create a small fantasy world, use miniature figurines.

House plants Artificial plants Planters
House plants
Artificial plants
Planters

If you don’t wish to spend time creating a terrarium, delve into simpler ways to display your taste in flora. However, be cautious of what plants you choose. Plants, like any other living thing, require constant care. If you can’t find the time to water, groom and fertilize them, consider buying artificial plants—these are especially great as dorm decor. And be sure to complement your house plants with decorative planters.

Design ideas:

  • Explore your options—the world of flora is vast and immensely beautiful.
  • Have some fun with planters and containers—you can create a terrarium in all sorts of display boxes, fish tanks, small greenhouses, and other reservoirs.
  • Decorate your plant containers with twigs—coat them with color or tie some wool strings around or in-between the branches to jazz them up, or leave them as they are to give a more rustic feel to the composition. The same goes for moss and lichens.

Tips and tricks:

  • Be sure to have everything you need for gardening already prepared—get a planting container, your plants, some gravel or small stones for drainage, and coir brick.
  • Use tongs to place your decorations, moss, and lichens. This way you won’t damage the items or compromise your plant arrangement.
  • Get yourself a small watering can, a mister, and proper gardening scissors.

Take care of your plants:

  • Provide your plants with nutrients, occasional dusting, and trim. Be sure to mist tropical plants, and, most importantly, repot all plants when necessary.
  • Use your fingers or soil moisture meter to check the humidity of the soil. This way you’ll know if it’s time to water your plants.
  • Pay attention to changes—brown leaves indicate a lack of nutrients, but white spots on leaves are most likely scale insects that need to be eliminated.

Use vertical space

Wall art

Nothing is ever really lost to us as long as we remember it.

Lucy Maud Montgomery, Canadian author

Take advantage of vertical space and create a gallery wall. A truly exciting display is acquired over time, instead of bought in bulk for decorating purposes. It’s a visual representation of your interests, memories, and goals in life. Think of it as a mood board to showcase your favorite moments, greatest ideas, and biggest inspirations. It’s also an elegant upgrade to the quintessential dorm decor element—the photo wall.

For a clean and formal aesthetic, arrange the wall decor in a grid. This layout works nicely in dining rooms or as office wall decor. To make it look extra classy, stick to a single format and frame color. A unified theme for all featured pieces will make the collection more put-together.

If, however, you want a more personal style, go for a salon-style arrangement. This composition allows for more variety in both the content and format of the wall decor. Mix up posters with photographs or canvas, add an odd three-dimensional item or two, play with the colors and shapes of your frames.

Products:

Custom posters Custom framed posters Custom canvas

Consider ordering custom pieces—bring your own ideas and designs to life with personalized posters, or canvas.

Display boxes Custom clocks Mirrors
Display boxes
Clocks
Mirrors

Remember to mix up artwork with functional items. A clock is often a  great design element, while mirrors create the illusion of a bigger and brighter room. Display boxes might not seem like a conventional design element, but they allow to create a three-dimensional look to the wall. They can be used to display all sorts of items, starting from little ornaments that can’t find a place anywhere else to a hefty collection of tickets, postcards and other mementos.

Design ideas:

Start with what you have:

  • Develop your favorite photos with friends and family.
  • Gather the most meaningful concert, flight, and other tickets.
  • Cut out any newspaper mentions of you or your favorite idols, events, and places.
  • Use the paper sleeves of your favorite books or show off your favorite album art.
  • Display beautiful magazine covers or create inspirational collages.
  • Create a mural.
  • Frame your diploma and other certificates.

Delve into your interests:

  • Get yourself a copy of your favorite artwork either as a poster or a canvas.
  • Showcase your favorite places with a print of a scenic landscape or a chic-looking map.
  • Boost your creativity and productiveness with inspirational quotes.
  • Highlight your love for music with a framed page of sheet music, the soundwaves of a meaningful song, or the track listing of your favorite album.

Tips and tricks:

  • Set your biggest pieces in the middle and arrange the smaller pieces around it.
  • Arrange the images so they create a specific focal point. It could be a color combination, an image, a texture, etc. Avoid leading the eye towards windows.
  • Create sets of matching wall decor combining two or more panels.
  • Protect your wall art from direct sunlight, otherwise their colors will get washed out. This especially applies to watercolors.

Personalize your work station

Work Station

Be steady and well-ordered in your life so that you can be fierce and original in your work.

Gustave Flaubert, French author

More often than not, getting (and staying!) productive during work seems like a task on its own. Although there are some distracting factors that are hard to prevent, your surroundings are well within your control. Studies show that, when done right, a person’s work environment is a great productivity booster. So, whether you’re creating your own home office or looking for office decor ideas to spruce up your study corner, remember that a well-thought-out design will help you in the long run.

Products:

Pegboards Whiteboards and Blackboards Bulletin boards
Pegboards
Whiteboards / Blackboards
Bulletin boards

To save up room, take advantage of vertical spaces—use pegboards instead of cabinets, hang up notice boards and whiteboards or blackboards for reminders, to-do lists, and other quick notes.

Custom mugs Custom phone cases Custom stickers

As for your desk area, jazz it up by customizing small everyday items—start with a custom coffee mug. Don’t forget about your phone—give it a unique look to showcase your personality. Use stickers to give your notebooks a personal touch or put them on your computer for all to see.

Design ideas:

  • Separate your working area visually by designing it in a contrasting color scheme. Consider using another wallpaper or, if you prefer office wall decor, adorn this particular area with motivational posters
  • On the other hand, tie it in with the rest of the room—be sure to include some common threads such as similarly colored desk decor or matching textures.
  • Keep it simple and minimalistic—it will make you feel more productive.
  • Decorate your workspace with functional ornaments.

Tips and tricks:

  • Pay attention to the corners of the room—it might be the case that they have just enough space for a desk.
  • Invest in alternative furniture that has double use or at least get something that packs away easily, so, if the need arises, you can pack up your workspace and delegate the are for something else.
  • Install organizational systems that you feel comfortable with—prioritize functionality over design. If you have limited space, consider exchanging the usual cabinet drawers for pegboards.
  • Most importantly, remember to set up proper lighting. If you can manage it, use natural light as much as possible. Studies find that natural light improves productivity and alertness, as well as prevents you from feeling drowsy.
  • Get yourself a standing desk. It is proven to increase productivity and generally helps avoid work-related injuries, for example, back pain and headaches.

Separate work from leisure

Reading nook

A library is a good place to go when you feel unhappy, for there, in a book, you may find encouragement and comfort.

E.B. White, American author

Amidst all responsibilities and hectic social life, there’s hardly any time for mindful rest, especially when there’s no place where to enjoy some leisure time. A dedicated space for peaceful activities such as reading a novel, catching up on the latest episodes of your favorite show or pampering yourself, serves as a reminder to take a breather.

Products:

Custom throw pillows Custom bean bags Salt lamps
Salt lamps

Coziness is of the essence. Fill this space with comfortable furniture, lots and lots of pillows, and a salt lamp, essential oil dispenser or incense.

Design ideas:

  • Go nuts with pillows—make it a space of absolute comfort. If it ends up doubling as a quick place for a nap, you’ve done it right.
  • Create an oasis and surround yourself with house plants. Think of it as your safe space away from all the noise of the city, university, work and social life.

Tips and tricks:

  • Think of places around your house that would be perfect for a small getaway—perhaps you can repurpose a broom closet under the stairs or fill up an empty corner.
  • Utilize your windows—get as much natural sunlight as you can.
  • Keep everything related to your leisure time activities nearby—a small collection of books, a pair of knitting needles and yarn, or creative tools for restful doodling, journaling or arts and crafts.

Accessorize in style

Room decor accessories

It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, British author

To finish everything off, sprinkle some smaller decor around the place. Display any memorabilia from your travels or that remind you of your loved ones, customize them to fit your aesthetic.

You can also create ornaments yourself. Perhaps you’re an avid knitter or have dabbled in pottery—use your creations to decorate your living space. Not only will it cost you less than store-bought room decor, it will also give your home a more lived-in feeling and showcase both your style and craftsmanship.

Lastly, add more books! Many bookworms will vouch that there is nothing more beautiful than a full and organized bookshelf. Even a small stack of books creates a more sophisticated atmosphere, so take a look at this list of the best coffee table books and get inspired.

Products:

Candles Books Accessories
Candles
Books
Accessories

Trinkets can be both decorative and functional. Get something that allows you to showcase your custom jewelry, bring attention to your already chic stack of books with ornamental bookends, create a statement piece with picturesque candles. 

Design ideas:

  • Follow a color palette. Mixing up gold and rose gold might work out, but adding silver, black, and other colors might end up looking too scattered. The same goes for the fabrics and materials you choose.
  • Set a common theme to match your items—get inspired by elements of art styles (e.g. Art Nouveau florals) and movements (e.g. Art Deco patterns), or specific artists (e.g. Mondrian’s color palette).
  • Scatter your knick-knacks around the room to tie in different areas together.

Tips and tricks:

  • Recycle old items to create truly unique room decor—put some wiring in a camera and turn it into a lovely desk lamp, or apply heat to a vinyl record to create a tray.
  • Repurpose everyday items into decorative pieces. For example, a mason jar is a great starting piece for a custom-made candle or, if filled with fairy lights, a light source.
  • Match your accessories with a specific color palette by giving them a new coat of color. The easiest and most effective way is to spray-paint them—it ensures full and seamless coverage. If you wish to block out a section of the item, use painters’ tape.

Get to decorating

The first step in room decor should always be understanding your goal—wasting money on products you won’t need will only result in more clutter. When that’s settled, think of your budget. Consider repurposing items you already have to save some money, or, if the cost of materials justifies it, give a DIY project a go.

Keep in mind that room decor can be practical and add value to everyday life. For example, house plants make any environment more lively and fresh, artwork motivates and inspires you, comfy furniture and pillows provide a space for rest, while small accessories remind you of your own creative spirit.

So, instead of barging on a quest to recreate a Pinterest-worth interior, give it your own spin, your own personality and your own designs. In the end, it’s your space and you should feel welcome in it.

Gundega makes sure to know at least a little bit of everything. And to pet any willing cat in close proximity, even though she's allergic.

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