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Style & Living Sweet Home

Jennifer Welch Breaks Down the 3 Most Important Elements in Every Room

The Sweet Home designer is telling us exactly what to do when we're designing a room… and what not to do.

By Jennifer Welch
Jennifer Welch Wants to Be This Bravoleb's Interior Designer

This week, Sweet Home’s Jennifer Welch is guest editing’s Home & Design. The interior design pro is schooling us on Room Revamp 101, so be sure to check back for more great tips each day. And don’t forget to tune in to the Sweet Home finale this Saturday at 9/8c.

You’ve done your research, you’ve hired your contractors, and now it’s time to start pulling the trigger on furniture, rugs and lighting. Here's what you need to do next when it comes to designing your dream room.

1. Furniture

First and foremost, my number one rule is to never buy all of your furniture at the same place. So, like, don’t go to West Elm and buy a whole West Elm living room, don’t buy a whole Restoration Hardware living room. Mix it up! Buy your sofa from one retailer, get the coffee table at a different retailer, that’s what designers do! These brands are all highly recognizable — we all get their catalogs, so if you buy everything from one brand, someone’s going to walk into your living room and say, “Oh, you got all of this from Pottery Barn.” What I do is cherry-pick my favorites from each retailer and then blend them all together.

2. Rugs

Once your furniture is chosen, you need to pivot and focus on rugs. With rugs you have to ask yourself, “What kind of person am I? Am I a person who likes a lot of color? Am I a person who’s more comfortable in tonal settings?” If you’re a more tonal person, pick an earth tone and something with a little bit of texture to it. If you have pets and toddlers, get one that is darker and stain-resistant — don’t buy one that's, like, 100 percent silk or super expensive. Tip: If you have a high-traffic area, get an indoor/outdoor rug and put it inside. If you like color — and believe me, a colorful rug that has a pattern in it can really make an amazing statement in a room — the key is, you have to go on top of it rather subtly. Your paint and furniture should be tonal, and then pull one of the colors in the rug into the toss pillow and pull a neutral from the rug and get a throw blanket to match. And if you opt for a tonal rug, add pops of color and pattern in your throw pillows and artwork. Done.

3. Lighting

Next up: Lighting! Lighting is so important. It's the jewelry for your home, so if you put on an outfit and you don’t put on a necklace or bracelet or earrings, it’s not gonna look complete. The same goes for homes!

If you have a ceiling fan, take it down immediately. I mean, they’re awful. Get it down and put up a really fun chandelier. And don’t think this is a non-option if you’re renting an apartment — just take down the ceiling fan, store it, and put up a beautiful chandelier.

If you’re mounting a living room fixture, it’s going to need to be hung a little higher than normal, because the eye needs to be able to clearly see the television and the path of entry and exit as well. You want to think, who is the tallest guest I might have over, and, unless they’re an NBA player, you would say my tallest guest is probably going to be 6’2 or 6’3, so you’ll want to hang it a few inches above that.

And look at that… your room is ready to go!

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