My 3 Essentials for Any Room

There have been many days throughout my life where I've wondered if I missed my calling as an interior decorator. I have 14 Pinterest boards dedicated to home decor, and decorating a home is one of my absolute favorite things to do.

Choosing what to put in your home can already be an overwhelming experience, but add a desire for simplicity and minimalism to it and, if it's not a favorite hobby of yours, the whole process can make you want to go hide in a corner and never come out again.


Even after shifting to a more simple and minimalist lifestyle, my goal has and always will be to make my home a place that is cozy, warm, and welcoming for the people who come into it. While there are countless different ways to accomplish it, since my goal is always simplicity, I lean toward the things that I feel give me the most "bang for my buck," as it were, when it comes to creating that warm, welcoming feeling.

After a fair amount of experimentation, I now have three essentials for every room — even the bathroom — that help create that warm, welcoming feeling without making me go absolutely bonkers about the amount of stuff in my house.


While there is certainly a time and a place for white space and margin, few things make a home feel more cold to me than having totally bare walls, which is why my first essential for any room is to put art up on the walls. 

Even if it's just one well-placed photo, canvas, or print, adding beautiful art to the walls always makes the space feel more personal and lived in to me.

Personally, I like a combination of photographs — both of favorite places and favorite people — and other art like typography prints and canvases or work by a favorite painter. And I love a combination of bustling gallery walls filled with lots of beautifully coordinated pieces and walls with just one or two strategically placed photos or prints.

The artwork you choose to put up in your home tells a story about who you are. It tells someone the people, places, and words that are important to you. It tells someone the things you consider beautiful and want to see every day when you come home. And it can strike up some pretty wonderful conversations.


Marcus Tullius Cicero once said, "A room without books is like a body without a soul," and I'm inclined to agree. It really should come as no surprise, seeing as I'm a major bibliophile, but I truly feel no room is complete without at least a few books in it. 

And yes, I even feel this way about a bathroom.

The bookshelf is often the first place I go when I'm in someone's house for the first time, because you can learn so much about a person by the books they choose to keep in their homes and on their shelves (even more so for a minimalist!). But beyond shelves filled with them, books are a wonderful decorating tool to use in random places all over the house.

You can intersperse them with other items on a shelf in your office, place stacks of them on an end table, or stick a few in a basket in the bathroom. They're a great way to add color, interest, and even a bit of humor, and I always feel a little more relaxed and at home in a room filled with books than one without.


When I moved into a new home a couple of years ago, my mother gave me a ponytail palm tree as a housewarming gift. 

She's had a garden for a few years, but recently began to move that green thumb inside and become quite the plant lady. I told her I wanted to put more plants in my home and she delivered — not only gifting me the ponytail palm, but also passing on an African violet she'd split, a pothos plant, and eventually a prayer plant.

Before long, the house was blooming with all sorts of greenery and I absolutely loved it. I can't keep a succulent alive to save my life, but when it comes to those other plants, I've apparently inherited my mom's green thumb, and something green and growing instantly makes any room feel more welcoming and homey to me. It's almost like a sign that life happens in this space — beautiful, wonderful, changing, growing life. 

Now, of course, everyone has their own essentials — for their life, their closet, or their home — but next time you're preparing to decorate a room and want to keep things simple but cozy, put some beautiful art on the walls, some books on the tables or shelves, and top it off with something green and growing and I can almost guarantee, it'll instantly feel more like home.