How to Decorate & Live in a Space You Love

Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and imagine your dream home…

Where did you go?

You may have gone to a mansion decorated with marble floors and antiques on the cliffs of Malibu, a tiny cottage overgrown with vines off the Isles of Ireland, or maybe even a tiny apartment packed with hundreds of books in a bustling city such as Tokyo or NYC.

What feeling do you get being there in your mind’s eye?

Now, as you come back to reality there is something that may disappoint you. Your dream home (at least how you pictured it in your imagination) doesn’t exist. At least not exactly. That feeling, though. That feeling doesn’t just exist, it’s well within the realm of reality and your reach.

Achieving and living in a space you love doesn’t mean packing up and moving, or even spending every cent of your life savings. With a few tweaks, you can have fun decorating the space you’re currently in, fall in love, and live in the 2.0 version of your dream home.

Keep reading for some major interior inspiration!

Color (Or lack thereof)

When you closed your eyes and envisioned your dream home, what colors did you see? Was the space neutral and calming to the eye, or were there pops of color throughout the entire space? Perhaps there may have been an entire wall painted sapphire blue, canary yellow, or firetruck red.

It can be a tad overwhelming to decorate your entire home in one go, so start here:

What colors do you see yourself gravitating towards during your day to day life?

At the end of the day, color is a personal choice and what inspires one person may make another person feel stressed, sad, or apathetic.

Use colors that make you feel happy, not just colors that are trendy or popular.


Art & Photography

In this tech heavy world of filters and selfies, it may seem like photography (and even art) is dead.

Have you ever thought about making your own gallery?

Your gallery can consist of a mish mash of photos from your travels, loved ones, memorabilia, postcards, and even a few art pieces (both original and prints). On the flip side, you can have a favorite photograph or artwork serve as a staple piece (you can read more about that below) that hangs above your fireplace or dining room table.

There is power in daydreaming (read Scout’s article on it here) and reminiscing of places you have frequented before, faces you’re familiar with, and even spaces that you have never visited / don’t exist in real life. You can get there by strategically placing art and photography throughout your home.

Happy daydreaming…


Staple Piece

Where do you spend most of your time inside the home? This is where your staple piece should be located.

For many it’s the kitchen or dining area because, as the saying goes, the kitchen is the heart and soul of the home.

For example, above you can see a mid-century modern dining room table with orange chairs as the accent color.

The rest of this space is in neutral colors but the orange theme carries on to the painting on the wall, the planter, and even a hint of orange coming from the flowers.

What you may come to find is that that your staple piece will dictate the flow and color scheme of the rest of the room.

Accent colors not your thing? You can decorate your space in a more eclectic way, but still be using one very important thing to tie a room together: plants!

Bottom line: Your staple piece doesn’t have to break the the bank or even be something you need to keep alive (RIP plants), but it should be something that you will adore and take care of. Seems only fair as this piece will inspire you day to day and help make any room seem more refined and put together.


Passion Corner

What do you wake up thinking of, fantasize about all day, and go to sleep at night with in mind?

Chances are the first thing that comes to mind is your passion. Many people ditch their passions to sit in front of the T.V. and Netflix (seriously, how many of you are guilty of this?), which is exactly why it is important to manage not just your time, but also your space to help you hone it.

“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.” -Oprah Winfrey

Whatever your passion or interest is, having a comfortable yet invigorating space to fully engage and get lost in is key. The second is accessibility.

Many people feel they work best in a cluttered space with lots of knick-knacks and objects to play around with, while others prefer an organized space to really dive in. A good compromise (in case you will be sharing this space with a loved one or roommate) is shelving and storage boxes to get the most use out of the space.

Perhaps your passion doesn’t involve collectibles or needing the use of a big space- if so, you can take a simple yet powerful approach.

This colorful piece of Hendrix rocking out may be all the reminder you need to pick up your guitar and practice your passion.


Chill Zone

No matter if your taste is more on the eclectic side with lots of color, or modern with clean lines and monochromatic colors, you need a space for a bit of R & R (rest and relaxation for those who have forgotten).

This means a space where you can unplug (no phones allowed) and unwind.

Again, color is huge.

When you think of a place to rest, a sunny yellow or bright orange may be the furthest thing from your mind and with good reason. Bright colors are there to energize, while more calming colors such as an icy blue, grey violet, or seafoam green will take you to a place of tranquility and serenity.

Sacred comfort is the purpose of this space so pillows, soft throw blankets, and objects that encourage relaxation should be within arm’s reach.

Candles are an excellent (and easy way) to achieve mood lighting and transport you to the place where you feel most relaxed. It could be strolling by the seaside, picnicking underneath a giant pine tree, or getting lost in a meadow of flowers.

Notice any common themes?

Yes! Nature.

If you are blessed enough to have outdoor space (no matter how small), it might be a good idea to make your chill zone outside. However, if noise levels are at an all-time high around your neighborhood, bring the outdoors and natural light inside.

For those who don’t have a green thumb, there is no shame in going with the second-best thing.

Run your bath and slip in as you’re surrounded by a tropical landscape in the comfort of your home (and with zero bugs in sight).

No matter what your taste is (maybe you don’t have one…yet), the first step on this decorating adventure is visualization. Close your eyes and go back to your dream home, jot down the colors and feelings that come up, and then get to work. Your home may not be as grand as the ones you see online or in magazines such as Architectural Digest, but it’s still your sacred space that you get to call your own every morning, afternoon, and night.

And remember this,

“Be it ever so humble, there is no place like home”.

by Adriana Ferrell


Featured Image from Tumblr, DIMORE STUDIO, Milan Furniture Fair, 2017



Adriana Ferrell

Adriana is a first-generation American teacher living in downtown San Diego. Her ideal day includes yoga, swimming in the ocean, dinner with friends, and a concert (although she is not opposed to staying in to Netflix with her boyfriend, their two cats and pup named Marigold). Adriana is an avid traveler, bookstore aficionado, and social justice seeker.

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