How to decorate a room in a serene style.

How to decorate a room

Let’s talk about how to decorate a room. Are you tired of decorating styles in which there’s so much to look at that your brain feels like it’s on sensory overload? Perhaps you prefer a “serene” or “zen” style, rather than a room that’s filled with a lot of decorative items?
For a tranquil look, and if you believe that less is more, know that you can achieve it by stepping back and looking at the big picture! If it’s simple and serene you’re after, here are 6 design tips:

After Before
How to decorate a room Previous view of how to decorate a room

Six designer tips for a how to decorate a room with a serene look:

1) Limit Art

The prior designer preferred a grouping of six pieces of art over the mantle. In the after photo, we used one large piece of art.

2) Outside mount drapes.

The before photo had eight window treatments (drapes). In the after photo, we used Four drapes as outside mount. This has numerous advantages, it’s less expensive, it can make a room feel wider, (and larger) and it allows a clean look.

3) Solid fabrics.

The ivory linen drapes feel light and less formal than the navy striped drapes. Our client preferred a light airy feel, which is less formal…. with no puddling and no dark fabrics.

4) Less is more.

Perhaps you prefer simple iron rods for the drapery hardware, rather than large wood poles? Perhaps you prefer a casual instead of formal? See the before and after window treatment hardware photos.

5) A matching pair.

Notice below that a matching pair of chairs create symmetry and helps to achieve a clean sophisticated style.

6) Consider comfort!

The client’s sofa (below) was uncomfortable for them, due to the small pillows that came with the sofa. We replaced them with custom-made overstuffed feather and down pillows, which provide back support. We also incorporated rich colors textures of linen and velvet!

how to decorate a room to be more serene

In the below home, the room was made more comfortable with the use of a large cocktail ottoman.

The Oakridge homeowners tell us they love being able to prop up their feet, yet still, have a tray to set down snacks and drinks! The art has a serene soothing look, with the reflection of water!

how to decorate a room for a relaxed atmosphere

For your living room to convey a soothing look, what some people call a “zen” space, know that large art and subtle window treatments can help you achieve the look.  Limiting accessories to a few large
pieces can also create a soothing serene look.
The room above was a room that was never used, according to the homeowner. But the interesting thing is, once we made the room feel more inviting, they said they do go in the room to enjoy a cup of coffee, a glass of wine now. It’s you have an unused space, perhaps it’s because you have other rooms that feel more updated, while your living room feels dated?  Often it’s a simple fix, which doesn’t require painting the room nor extensive remodeling! 

Summary of how to decorate a room:

At times it could be as simple as replacing pillows on the sofa or updating your artwork. Getting tips from a fresh pair of eyes can be helpful, to look at the room from an entirely new viewpoint. And last but not least, what is serene and soothing to you, might not be to someone else. If you love earth tones, then go with it! If you love gray tones, respect your favorite colors! A room will feel serene and soothing once you include pieces you love! 

About the Author


An interior designer in Greensboro, NC, Deborah features before and after transformations at

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