When I moved to Austin a few years ago, I had nothing but two overweight suitcases in tow. I spent months making trips to and from stores trying to equip my first home, and still it felt so empty. In some ways it was a wonderful having a blank slate without being restricted by hand-me-down furniture or decorations I had outgrown. But no matter how many hours I put in, it never felt done. Keep reading for four steps I took that finally made an impact, and to see how to bring this look home.

Have one statement piece of furniture – A piece like a green velvet sofa or an upholstered headboard can create a focal point for a room. Once you have this, you can build symmetrically out from this point using lower budget items. For example, in the inspiration photo the Kate Moss poster is flanked by two smaller frames. In a bedroom it could be two matching bedside lamps. I’ve always thought symmetry can make things look more expensive than they really are.

Downsize – My first home in Austin had multiple rooms and bathrooms, so even when I had perfected one corner of one room I still felt overwhelmed by everything that was left to be decorated. Downsizing to a one bedroom, and later a studio, made me appreciate the ease of small space living. If you are considering a move, consider this one of the greatest benefits of downsizing. You’ll inevitably be done sooner!

Hang decorative pieces – A home could be 100% furnished, but if there’s nothing on the walls it may still feel incomplete. If you’re impatient like me, buy large scale art to fill the walls more quickly. You can also hang objects that you already own. I’ve hung hats, plates, skateboards, rugs, even a tumbleweed. Anything can be décor if you think creatively.

Display something meaningful – Your home is furnished and you’ve hung art on the walls, and yet somehow something is still missing. Make sure you have some personal items on display, whether it’s family heirlooms or a toy collection from your childhood. They don’t need to be Instagram-worthy, match your color scheme or “fit” with the rest of your style – it’s these touches that will make your home feel uniquely yours.

*Sources: Photo by @rebfre, black & gold pendants Rejuvenation, Kate Moss print The Poster Club, green sofa Pop & Scott, leather ottoman cb2, gold mirror Overstock, banana leaf pillow Society6, candle holder Rum21, leather stool The Citizenry

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