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Photo courtesy of Lewis Giannoulias Interiors. Photo by Eric Hausman.

Layers bring a room to life! Without them, even the most beautiful space will remain a soulless showroom full of things. It’s like setting a table with gorgeous linens, fine china and spectacular centerpieces and then skipping the food! After many hours spent poring over images of stunning interiors that nail it, we discovered ten small details that breathe life into your living space.

1. Framed Artwork

Bare walls suggest a temporary space. They say, “I’m not putting any holes in the wall because I might have to jet.” Don’t make your guests wonder if you’re on the lam! Framed artwork makes a space feel complete and creates visual depth that imparts a feeling of expansiveness.

Photo courtesy of Lewis Giannoulias Interiors. Photo by Eric Hausman.

Photo courtesy of Lewis Giannoulias Interiors. Photo by Eric Hausman.

2. Photographs

Photos are records of your experiences, so don’t let them languish on a hard drive: print them, frame them, display them. They will invite interaction, ignite conversation and evoke pleasant memories.

Photo courtesy of Lewis Giannoulias Interiors. Photo by Eric Hausman

Photo courtesy of Lewis Giannoulias Interiors. Photo by Eric Hausman

3. Pop of Color

Like a shot of espresso, color is energizing. There are so many ways to use it—all of them vitalizing. Repeat the same shade in a tonal range for a bold look, employ the spectrum for a cheerful and dynamic space, or let a single pop of color be the exclamation point in an understated room.

Photo courtesy of Kim Scodro Interiors. Photo by Werner Straube.

Photo courtesy of Kim Scodro Interiors. Photo by Werner Straube.

4. Fresh Flowers

Any natural element will add life to a room—literally, in the case of plants. Fresh flowers in particular take it a step further. They are the ultimate luxury: simple, ephemeral and sensual. Whether subtle or extravagant, flowers are like a little love note to your room and the people in it.

Photo courtesy of Kim Scodro Interiors. Photo by Werner Straube.

Photo courtesy of Kim Scodro Interiors. Photo by Werner Straube.

5. Personal Artifacts

Make sure your home is filled with things you love! A well-designed space is never complete without your personal history laced throughout. So put out the bookends you got in the flea market in Paris and put your feet up on that antique stool from grandma’s house. These objects will give your rooms a rich, storied patina and become meaningfully intertwined with your daily life.

Photo courtesy of Lewis Giannoulias Interiors. Photo by Eric Hausman.

Photo courtesy of Lewis Giannoulias Interiors. Photo by Eric Hausman.

6. Creature Comforts

Even the prettiest place can look sterile if it’s not stocked with some inviting amenities. A cozy throw draped over the arm of a sofa or a plush pile of embroidered pillows welcome you to settle in and get comfortable. They make your home a space for living, not just for looking. And rooms were made to be lived in!

7. Lamps

No matter how good your recessed lighting, a room needs lamps. A few lamps scattered around carve out intimate spaces and create a dynamic environment where light bounces off of reflective surfaces, illuminates corners and casts shadows.

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Photo courtesy of Lewis Giannoulias Interiors. Photo by Eric Hausman.

8. Books

Whether stacked on tables or aligned on shelves, books imbue a room with a sense of possibility. They are reminders of your child’s bedtime stories, your favorite recipes and blissful beach vacations. And their physical structures lend a kind of architecture to whatever space they fill.

Photo courtesy of Lewis Giannoulias Interiors. Photo by Eric Hausman.

Photo courtesy of Lewis Giannoulias Interiors. Photo by Eric Hausman.

9. Surprise!

A clever little niche that creates a shrine to the dog’s dish, a portrait where a mirror should be, a pair of baseball stadium seats in a terribly elegant entryway. Don’t take your décor too seriously. It’s the unexpected and often humorous touches that delight.

Photo courtesy of Lewis Giannoulias Interiors. Photo by Eric Hausman.

Photo courtesy of Lewis Giannoulias Interiors. Photo by Eric Hausman.

10. A Little Clutter

Nothing brings a home to life like living! High-end retailers plant newspapers, hooded sweatshirts and kids toys in their showrooms to give them a whiff of humanity, and you don’t even have to try! A little clutter gives a good-looking room an effortless quality, like wearing your date’s jacket over your evening gown. It’s the mark of a life well lived.

Photo by Kelly Allison.

Photo by Kelly Allison.


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