Welcome to week five of How to Create a Decorating Plan.  This week, we’ll cover Step 5 – Decorating in Layers – Layer 3: Home Decor & Furnishings.  Now that you have the bones of your room and furniture planned, decor and furnishings are where you can really express your creativity and personality.  It’s where you can make each room unique and really tell your story.

Decorating Plan Home Decor

In this blog post, we’ll look at

  • Area Rugs
  • Artwork & Mirrors
  • Window Treatments
  • Cushions & Throws
  • Decorator Accessories
  • Flowers & Foliage
  • Lighting

Now I could write multiple blog posts on each topic, so this blog post will just be a brief summary of each.  You will find more information on these topics throughout the blog and in the Resource Library.

Area Rugs

Area rugs are a decorator’s best friend, particularly on hard floor surfaces such as floorboards and tiles.

buy the right rug guide to choosing a rug

Why Use Rugs?

  • A rug helps to ground or anchor furniture
  • Defines a space
  • Protects the floors
  • Absorbs noise
  • Provides plush padding underfoot

Colour, Pattern & Texture

  • A rug with a strong colour or contrast to the background (floor) can feel like an island floating in the middle of your room
  • The stronger the colour or contrast the more visually demanding the rug is
  • Is the pattern contrast bold or subdued?
  • Is the colour a stand out feature or does it blend in – where does your eye go?
  • Will you lose some of the rug pattern by placing furniture on top eg: coffee table?
  • The tighter or more varied the pattern, the better it will hide marks

Rug patterns:

  • Plain
  • Natural fibre (adds texture)
  • Geometric- stripe, trellis, diamond, border
  • Organic – damask, floral, vintage
  • Themed – coastal, children’s pattern

Rug Materials

When looking at different rug materials consider:

  • Softness underfoot
  • Stain resistance/cleaning
  • Durability – how much foot traffic will the rug get?
  • Price
  • Fading – will the rug get sunlight?

Further Reading on Rugs

Artwork & Mirrors


Wall art includes anything you hang on the walls – artwork, framed photos, paintings, drawings, prints, wall clocks, plaques and signs and decor such as boat oars or skis.  Decorating the walls is important as it can create a sense of height and help your eye travel around the room.

Canvas artwork by Finishing Touch Decor

When choosing artwork consider:

  • What size and proportion will work – You usually want a piece of artwork or group of artworks hung together to take up ⅗ to ¾ of the width of the piece of furniture it is hung over.
  • Buy artwork that speaks to you.  What do you love?  What makes you happy or feel something when you look at it?
  • What colours/themes will work with the overall vision for your room?

Artwork Styles:

  • Landscape or Portrait orientation
  • Still Life
  • Nautical/Coastal
  • Abstract
  • Florals/Foliage
  • Animals
  • People


  • Mirrors increase both light and space
  • Overmantel mirror balances and increases the impact of a fireplace
  • Use a full length mirror for dressing
  • How decorative do you want the mirror frame to be?

Classic Ensuite reveal wall sconces

Further Reading on Artwork & Mirrors

Window Treatments

Window treatments can take up a large visual space in the room.  Like furniture they need to be the right balance between form and function.

Plantation Shutters

About the Window

  • How do the windows/doors open?
  • What shape is the window?
  • What size is it?
  • Does it have room for stack backs either side?
  • How much space is above the window?
  • What’s immediately next to the window?
  • What other windows are in the room or can be seen from the room?
  • Are they matching windows?
  • What sort of window frame is there?

Window Treatment Function

Go back to what you need to work in the room.  Do you need:

  • Light control – blockout, diffusion or none?
  • Privacy – day or night, full or partial?
  • View – does the window treatment need to be open to enjoy the view or help to hide the view?
  • Ventilation – will the window treatment blow around when the windows are open?   Does it need to open all the way or just some of the way?
  • Insulation – do you need help hold heat in or block heat from coming in?
  • Decorative only (not functioning)

Common Styles of Window Treatments

  • Roller Blinds
  • Roman Blinds
  • Venetian Blinds
  • Plantation Shutters
  • Curtains (sheer & solid)
  • Pelmets & Valances

custom made curtains by pret a portiere

Curtain Heading Styles

  • Rod pocket, tie top
  • Eyelet, Tab Top
  • Pencil pleat, gather
  • Pleat – Double pinch, triple pinch, goblet, box pleat, inverted box pleat

Curtain Hardware

  • Decorative pole
  • Decorative pole with hidden track
  • Track – single, double, ceiling mounted.  Tracks should be hidden behind a pelmet.

Choosing the Right Window Treatment

  • Decide which is the best treatment – function and form
  • Choose colour, style, pattern
  • Do you want the window covering to be a feature (focal point) of the room, or to blend in?

Further Reading on Window Treatments

Cushions & Throws

Cushions and throws are a great way to add colour, pattern and texture to your room.  Mix and match or mix and clash colours and patterns to create a cushion collection and bring life to your room.  Use cushions and thrown anywhere you sit or on a bed.

Do you have a love hate relationship with cushions? They say you can never have too many cushions, but can you?

I’ve written a lot about cushions in the past (I’m slightly obsessed with them) so before you decide on a cushion or throw for your room, read these first:

Decorator Accessories

Decorator accessories are all the little belongings we pick up or collect on our life journey.  They can be special, personal, meaningful, practical, functional or just pretty to look at.  Home decor should be collected and curated over time to truly reflect your personality and life journey.  Periodically edit your pieces.

Coastal Home Decor

Decorator Accessories include:

  • Ornaments, Figurines & Statues
  • Coastal – shells, coral, driftwood, model yachts, sea fan
  • Lanterns & Candles
  • Decorative trays, boxes, plates and bowls
  • Decorator or coffee table books and bookends
  • Small clocks, photo frames and other personal or vintage items

Don’t buy all your decorator pieces at the same time so they all match.  That will look like a display home not your real home.  Buy what you really love even if that means you have to wait until you can find what you are looking for or until you can afford it.

Home Decor

Further Reading on Decorator Accessories

Flowers & Foliage

Every  home needs flowers or foliage to bring it to life.  Flower arrangements, indoor plants, a single bloom or a wreath all work well in your home.  They can be real or artificial.  Flowers and foliage add a touch of nature or a natural element to the room.  Something “organic”.  Never underestimate the impact greenery adds to a room, even if that’s not a colour in the main decorating scheme.

kmart hack rose gold spray paint

Further Reading on Flowers & Foliage


Lighting is an important part of your home’s function.  Lighting creates mood and atmosphere.  We all need light at night.

Bathroom Lighting

Lighting can be:

  • Fixed or moveable
  • General, ambient,  or focus (task lighting)
  • Light fittings range from almost invisible downlights in the ceiling to real statement pendant lights and chandeliers.
  • Lighting also includes free standing table and floor lamps.
  • You need to know your decorating plan for your room before you can plan the lighting, as the furniture layout will determine where you need your lighting
  • Lightbulbs come in a variety of shades, from bright white, to blueish, to yellowish. Choose the right colour bulb for your room.  There is a great article and video to watch on Beacon Lighting’s Globe Finder

Further Reading on Lighting

Decorating Plan – Step 5

Now that your floorplan, visionboard, action list and shopping list are full of ideas, actions and products, it’s time to finalise your plan so you can put it into action.

  • Add your home decor and furnishing items to your Shopping List and Moodboard
  • Look at your Action List.  Prioritize it. Allocate time & $ to each item
  • Put your shopping list in order, according to your needs and budget
  • Make sure you are happy with your vision board – add some of your intended purchases to the moodboard to see how they work.  Remember if they work together on the moodboard, they’ll work together in the room.

Next week, we’ll cover Step 6 – Styling & Pulling It Together.  Have a think about what decorating styles you like.  Make sure you subscribe to our weekly newsletter so you get access to the free resources and don’t miss a post.

How to Create a Decorating Plan