Friday, March 4, 2016

My Five Favorite Decorating Essentials

Hello all and welcome to another weekend! It's our first without basketball games in about five months and I'm not sure what we'll do with ourselves. ;) 

Today I'm sharing what I consider to be some of the best basics when it comes to decorating. I think decorating and accessorizing can be hard. I struggle with surfaces like mantels, dressers and bookcases. Once I get them the way I like them they stay that way for a very very long time. 

As I looked around my house I found five "must haves" when it comes to decorating -- items that look pretty and will help you to pull spaces together. I had to laugh as I was taking pictures around the house because I've incorporated at least a few of them in almost every shot I took. 

My five key decorative elements are the following: 
1. Mirrors (I love a starburst mirror) They truly do help to brighten up a space. That whole reflective thing. :) 
2. Plants -- a pop of green is always lovely and they really help to bring life to a room
3. Baskets -- they look great and hold lots of stuff
4. Trays -- a great way to corral decorative items and make them feel more cohesive.
5. Vases/urns -- you deserve flowers every once and awhile and a pretty place to put them

I took this photo to show off the pretty sunburst mirror (that I LOVE) but then realized I had three of the other items here too -- plants, a basket and a tray: 
White board and batten wall treatment

I'm obsessed with putting my plants in baskets. Especially those on the floor. I always love the added texture with the green. :) 

I framed out this huge mirror myself years ago and I have loved having it since -- a large mirror will help to brighten any space. Of course I love the topiary plant and the baskets as well: 
Decorating a foyer or hall table

I believe your home can be beautiful and still be lived in -- baskets are one of the prettiest ways to stash things (especially those you use often). And they make it super easy to put items away. Amen to that because those dog toys are dumped out every. single. day.

Our living room has a couple mirrors and then the tray and a beautiful glass vase that I love:
Inexpensive slipcovered sofa

That drum table is from World Market and it's a favorite of mine. :) 

Sometimes I like to spread things out on a surface (like I did on the foyer table I showed you earlier this week) but I think it's so much easier to use a tray. It creates less space to fill and it centers everything nicely: 
Dresser with lamps and tray

The plants bring some life and height to the space. That large basket holds the fiddle leaf and adds some texture. 

This white pitcher from Target is one of my most used decorative items in the house -- and I've never used it to hold a beverage once. ;) It's my favorite flower holder:
Building cabinets up to ceiling

I love it in the kitchen but a big white pitcher with greenery or flowers would look great anywhere! Those baskets in the cabinets add some texture but also hold all of our extra table linens. And of course the crazy plant lady has a few in the kitchen as well. :) 

I use baskets in every room of our house -- this etagere holds a metal one that I keep office supplies in for homework and paying bills:
Wood and metal shelves in kitchen

And don't forget you can go vertical with your trays and baskets too -- the large woven tray above the shelves used to sit on the blue dresser (up in the post) but I think it looks even better on the wall. 

These five items are found throughout our whole house. They are the workhorses of decorative accessories. :) Using one is great, but combining a few of the five in one spot will help to create a space with life, texture and interest. 

If you are struggling to make a space work I recommend gathering a few of these items -- they'll give you a great start! Are there any decorative pieces that are your go to in your own home? 

Have a great weekend! 

Here are some posts that you may be interested in:
Kitchen etagere source and info 
Our crazy inexpensive slipcovered sofa


  1. Oh gosh, when in doubt; candles! I use them everywhere. They appear on my coffee table, mantel, dining table, counter tops... seriously everywhere! Some are on pretty candle holders, some in lanterns, some in jars on a stack of books. My favorite is a green terrarium I bought from Hobby Lobby and filled with white candles on my coffee table. Glass and candle light is a winning combo.

    1. Thats a good one! I don't use many because of our cats but I do love them. :)

  2. I agree with Jessica on using candles. When I look around my home, I have them on all over. I also use trays for holding magazines and electronic remotes (they just keep growing!). I do have a few framed pictures, but mostly in the bedrooms. Love all your recommendations!

  3. What brand/color of the paint on your foyer table? It is beautiful. It will work perfect with a Reno I'm working on!

    1. Thank you! It's called Admiralty but I painted over another color that I think changed it a bit. You can see more details here:

  4. I love all these ideas Sarah! One question - when you put the plants in baskets are you still repotting them in some sort of ceramic pot inside? Or do you use a plastic tray underneath? Any tips would be appreciated. I may be implementing that idea this weekend. 😄

    1. Sometimes I repot and sometimes I place a tray underneath -- either works! Eventually I like to plant them all so they have more room. :)

  5. We just had our last basketball game of the season today. It's amazing how fast this year is going so far! Great ideas and I use my white pitchers all the time too! I also love the idea of putting plants in baskets. If only I could keep mine alive... Enjoy your weekend!

  6. Those are great tips and you've displayed your favourites beautifully!

  7. These pics are too perfect! Love it! I'm obsessed with mirrors and vases myself. :)

    Mel |

  8. No family/friend pics. Home beautiful. Been looking for decorating ideas and every site no personal photos. Is that a trend now?

    1. We have photos all over our walls and house. :)


I LOVE your comments, thank you! (I read every single one.)

If you have a specific question I will do my best to answer you back here! Be sure to check out the FAQs tab at the top of the site and my Projects page for paint colors and DIY projects as well.

THANKS so much for reading!