Bringing Balance to a room's decor using 6 easy steps

The Challenge Bringing a Happy Balance to a Room’s Decor

Cottage Home, Featured, French Cottage

the blog:

Some people make home decor seem easy. Others wonder just where to start and how much is too much. Is home decorating for the professionals only or can we confidently design our room’s decor like a boss? I’ve been there and here’s what I found.

There are questions to answer when choosing room color, furniture and accent pieces that will make sense in a room; that will bring balance to the room. There are rules to follow and times when you can break the rules. I’m participating in the One Room Challenge this year and will take you step-by-step in my process of decorating one of our guest bedrooms that will take the challenge out of home decor for you.

The Challenge Bringing a Happy Balance to a Room’s Decor

Six Easy Steps YOU can follow to bring balance to your room's decor

I have to tell you, I get pretty happy with the thought of changing a room’s decor. Decorating and creating is fun to me. I am particularly excited to create this guest bedroom. I’ve had in the back of my mind the direction I wanted to go. I love French decor and I’m working on incorporating the basics of French Farmhouse or French Cottage in all of my home’s rooms.

Six Easy Decor Steps YOU can follow to bring balance to your room's decor


First Step – Inspiration

Inspiration can be found every where! Pinterest is a beautiful, visual search engine where you can create a board – public or private – of images that draw your eye and imagination. When you’ve selected your design style narrow down the elements in the room that are attractive to you. A very helpful tool is creating an inspiration or mood board. You can print the elements you love or cut them from magazines. Put them together – this is when I stand back and stare. I do this a lot through all of the steps. Do you get the ‘feel’ you wish with this combination? Trust your feelings. Whether we realize it or not the colors and decor we choose have emotional affect from us and from others. The next step is color.

Using the Color Wheel and the 60-30-10 Rule in a Room's Decor

Second Step – Room Color Scheme

Here’s where one of the ‘rules in decorating‘ comes to play. Did you know that there’s a rule about percentage of color combination that helps visually bring balance to the room’s look? There is! It’s called the 60-30-10 Rule. Remember the emotional element to a room? Color choice definitely sparks emotion. There’s a reason fast food places use red and yellow! They want you to come to their place and to come hungry! There’s a psychology to color selection. Warm colors such as red, yellow and orange spark comfort and warmth but also anger. Cool colors such as blue, green and purple evoke calmness but can also trigger sadness. There’s a balance. Check out this Color Wheel to understand the emotions triggered by color – then select your room’s main color. 

The 60-30-10 Rule and Ways to Break  or Tweak It

  • 60% is the main color in your room. This would be your wall color and perhaps furniture color.
  • 30%  is the main accent color. This makes up about half of your main color in curtains and linens for example.
  • 10% is the secondary accent color that you will sprinkle here and there.

The Rule Tweaked

Go above and beyond. Keep to the 60-30-10 but add another 10 percent in color. This is what I’m doing and I’ll show you how later. You can break up the percentages even more. How about 30-30-20-20? Play with the percentages a bit. Did you know that the color Black doesn’t count! I’ve read that most decor professionals encourage adding black to your room’s decor. They consider it a neutral. Now, go back to your inspiration board, review your saved inspirations. Do you see this color scheme combination pop out at you. Write down the colors you were drawn to. I have paint chips of my colors to help me when looking at accent pieces to make sure the shades of color work together.

Decorating a room doesn't have to be intimidating. You can do it in six EASY steps!

Third Step – Furniture selection and placement

I remember when we shopped years ago for furniture. We visited Rooms-to-Go. They put together room sets and accent pieces that you could buy – the whole ‘room’. That made life easy. But, one of the things I’ve learned is not to be as my interior decorator friend calls it, ‘too matchy, matchy‘. Buying sets of furniture is easy, but can be boring. In my case the central piece of furniture is the bed. I purchased the bed off Craigslist a while back. I love the curvy lines and accents of French beds. This one fit the bill perfectly! The rest of the furniture I wanted to add needed to be functional and comfortable. Also, if the piece as it is didn’t work, paint does wonders in transforming furniture. I placed the bed just off center of the room and visually center as you enter the room. Then I worked around the bed to arrange the rest of the furniture. You want it to be comfortable, accessible and not too crowded.

Fourth Step – The Softer Side of the Room – Fabrics

Curtains for your windows and comforters for the bed along with pillows and chairs add to the 30 percent of the room’s color. Also, fabric style adds to the room’s style. Again, I love French decor so I selected curtains that have a Toile design. The great thing about these curtains too is that the toile is black. I didn’t know when I purchased the curtains (in 2013) just what the overall color scheme I wanted, but I knew it would be French and these neutral panels would accent beautifully. The comforter has the look of a hand-me-down. I love the look of a lived-in room. Use your paint chips when shopping for fabrics to make sure the colors complement well.

Bringing Balance to a room's decor using 6 easy steps

Fifth Step – Accent walls and Tabletops

Remember I said I stand and stare at a room for a while. I’m trying to visualize the look and the design I’m attempting to achieve. I imagine what I would need to add interest and balance to the room’s decor. You want that Goldilocks feel; not too much, not too little – but, just right. Some decor styles lend themselves to sparse or minimalist design and others to a more collected ambiance. Modern style tends to be minimalist whereas English cottage has a more collected feel in furniture and in accessories. So, in this room, I’m incorporating the 10% color.  I’m hanging artwork that complement the French Country feel and the balance of the room. On the tabletops I’m focusing on items that include that 10% color. I’ve chosen to add another 10%, I love giving that extra effort, in another accent color. This color makes sense with the rest of the colors I’ve chosen.

Sixth Step – Lived In Look – Make it Welcoming

To you, what would make a guest bedroom welcoming? That could include throw blankets, extra pillows, a bedside carafe, books or magazines and even chocolate. You can add a basket of toiletries. Use your imagination. What would make your guest comfortable. This adds to a welcoming feel and gives it a bit of a ‘lived-in‘ look as well.

One Room Challenge Guest Participant Logo



Well, these are my steps I follow in creating a room’s decor. As I decorate this guest bedroom, I’m participating in the One Room Challenge. Check out all the other amazing room designs shared and follow along. I’ll be sharing each week just what I’m doing for this guest bedroom!

One Room Challenge introducing my 6 Easy Steps in Room Decor

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