5 Little Touches That Will Make Your Home Look "Finished"

Take your home decor up a level.

Even if you've lived in a house for years, it can still feel like your home decor is never truly "finished." There may be blank walls you've never managed to fill with art or cluttered corners you haven't found time to sort out. For many of us, our homes are a continual work in progress that evolves along with us. But some are more willing to accept the process than others.

If you've ever aspired to have a home that feels finished–one that's carefully considered and intentionally decorated—then these little decor tips are for you. Here are five simple ways to make every room in your home feel more complete.

2019 Real Simple Home: Living Room
Christopher Testani
01 of 05

Add a Variety of Houseplants

2019 Real Simple Home: Master Bedroom
Christopher Testani

Real plants can not only help purify the air in your home, but they also breathe life into your decor. Without them, a home can feel a little stale. Take a look at any home feature in a magazine, and you'll probably notice at least one plant or bouquet of flowers. The reason: Plants and flowers are the finishing touches that make a room look complete.

If you don't have a green thumb, start with a hard-to-kill houseplant. For extra oomph, consider investing in plants that sit at varying heights, like a pothos that suspends from the ceiling, a towering fiddle leaf fig, or a fern elevated on a plant stand. For special occasions, fresh flowers and greenery can create the same effect—without the commitment.

02 of 05

Curate Your Bookshelves

Room with built-in white bookshelf and black leather armchair
Turning a bedroom into a room that’s specific to your interests—such as a wine cellar or a library—is a risk. Once you start embedding wine refrigerators or bookshelves and customizing the space's structure, the room becomes less valuable, because the next owner may not want to spend money renovating that room. “If you insist on doing it, at least make it easy to ‘un-do’ later when you want to sell,” says DeSimone. Heather Weston/Getty Images

If your bookshelves are currently a hodgepodge of paperbacks, coffee table books, kids' books, and collectibles, giving them a quick makeover can dramatically change the look of the room. To start, consider organizing the books by color—it doesn't have to be a perfectly ombre rainbow, but grouping by color can make the display feel more deliberate.

If you have room for it, try placing a small stack of books horizontally to elevate a decorative bowl or object. Don't forget to mix in art, vases, or photos to make the arrangement look personal and styled, rather than haphazard.

03 of 05

Address Those Blank Walls

2019 Real Simple Home: Office
Christopher Testani

Even if you've had your furniture and decor figured out for years, many of us probably still have some blank walls around our homes. If you're like me, you may even have some art or prints picked out—you just haven't gotten around to framing or hanging them. Take some time to complete those projects. Often, a looming deadline, like hosting an event, can be a great impetus to finally tackle those tasks.

Too many blank walls and not enough art? Consider alternative decor, like mirrors that bounce light around the room or floating shelves to display favorite objects.

04 of 05

Play With Height

hanging plant in living room
Paul Hanaoka on Unsplash

Consider all of the unused space up near the ceiling. Something about a hanging plant or a suspended light fixture instantly makes a space feel decorated. Maybe it's the simple fact that you took the time to get out a ladder and install it.

Plus, having some objects set above eye level adds visual interest, encouraging your eye to travel around the space.

05 of 05

Create Vignettes

real simple home dresser
Christopher Testani

Time to think like a stylist! Take a look around your home and see how objects could be grouped into interesting arrangements on side tables, coffee tables, a mantel, or other surfaces around your home. Found objects, collectibles, small table lamps, vases, candlesticks, and plants are all commonly used in stylists' "vignettes," or a curated display that "tells a story." The best vignettes contain objects that are special to you and your family so that they represent your life.

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