Decorating Lessons from What Not to Wear


Was anyone else a fan of What Not to Wear back in the day?  Stacey and Clinton sure knew how to put together an outfit.  The snarky commentary was a bonus.  But really, isn’t it amazing how they could take anyone from frumpy to fashionable in a matter of days?  And the best part was they let everyone maintain their own unique style, while keeping a few guidelines consistent in putting together outfits.  They called these golden guidelines “the rules.”  Any of you super fans like me out there remember the rules?  It was almost like a mantra: color, pattern, texture, & shine.  Add these in to any outfit in the right amounts and you’ve got something good going on.

So as a fashion enthusiast myself, today, I give you:

Decorating Lessons from What Not to Wear

(thanks for the inspiration, Stacey & Clinton!)

So, color, pattern, texture, and shine to make a great outfit?  I’ve found that the same is true for a room.  Every room needs some amount of these elements- no matter what your style is.  If you love one or two more than the other, that probably defines your style, but you still need a little of the others.

Its all about balance and contrast.

For example… do you love nailhead trim?  Sparkly light fixtures?  Silver and gold?  Maybe you have a “glam” style so you’ve got the shine covered but make sure to add in some texture and pattern for contrast.  Maybe something distressed or earthy? It will make the sparkle shine that much brighter. Make sure to consider color- add in a little black or deep wood tones to keep your shiny sparkly room from floating away.

Glam Room


Do you love bright color?  Do you find that you’re drawn to buying bright accessories, pillows, and pieces of furniture?  That’s great, but maybe consider balancing it with white walls.  And then make sure not every pillow or accessory is the same finish.  Have some that are shiny, some that are matte, some that have a textural earthy dull color and will contrast with your love of bright things.  This will make your love of color really come through in your home.




Do you love neutrals?  Do you find yourself drawn to the beige couch?  Oh and the beige rug or the white furniture and the white walls?  Well that’s all fine and dandy until you find yourself living in neutral land and it feels all blah and boring.

Here’s the good news: white and beige are colors too!  But don’t forget the other three element- pattern, texture, and shine.  I consider myself in this camp.  I don’t love a lot of glam and I prefer color in small doses. So to balance it out I make sure to have lots of pattern, even if its subtle.  I also make sure to have lots of textures going on.  And I consider my “shine” to be as simple as the few reflective surfaces throughout my home- the vases, the picture frames, mirrors, countertops, etc.  Its subtle, but its just enough (you can see my house here).  Here are some more examples of this neutral/textural style from one of my favorite designers.  See if you can find the color, pattern, texture, and shine in each picture.

Textural Home 2

Neutral and Glam

Textural Home

Neutral Home


I never realized I could learn so much from a makeover show, but seriously this concept of balance and contrast among four consistent rules is so helpful for me!  How about you?  Which of the four guidelines are you drawn to most in your home?  How can you (or do you already?) incorporate some of the other three in subtle doses?  I’d love to hear from you!



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4 Responses to Decorating Lessons from What Not to Wear

  1. Sarah January 15, 2016 at 7:58 am #

    I’m a neutrals gal too! I love touches of gold to add shine!

  2. Mila @jestcafe January 17, 2016 at 7:28 am #

    Emily Henderson designs are my favorite in this list!

  3. Nichole January 21, 2016 at 4:39 pm #

    I’m definitely a color girl. I love bright colors. Sadly my hubby does not. I’m so thankful for my craft room so I can go crazy with color!


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