Home Decor

10 Functional Decorating Ideas For Improving Your Home

Modern living room design. 3d rendering concept

Decorating your home can be a daunting process, but it’s an opportunity to make your space more functional. For smaller homes, utilizing every space and piece of furniture is crucial. While some decorations will be easier to implement, other tasks will involve more time and money. To help you budget and plan, think about whether you want to decorate over a long or short period of time. Consider how every piece of furniture and décor you purchase can improve the use of your home.

Here are 10 key decorating ideas to add style and functionality to your home.

1. Decorate blank walls with shelves

Creating more surface area for storage is very easy to do, while also adding style to your home. Blank walls can be styled by adding floating shelves, such as Zero Center Shelf. Including them in your kitchen or living room will allow you to store more objects, such as:

  • Books
  • Ornaments
  • Plants
  • Photographs
  • Crockery
  • Spices

To save on floor space, hang shelves on or above furniture, like couches and benches. You can install shelves that suit your décor style and made from various materials, such as wood or plastic. Try using a black wooden shelf if you want a minimalistic style.

Once your shelves are installed, you can style your belongings on them. Arrange books in height or alphabetical order. Add ornaments and plants to break up the space. Keep in mind that it’s not only a way to organize your belongings, but also a way to show your personality.

2. Spruce Up Your Space With Plants

Adding plants to your home will create greenery and freshness. Plants are known to purify the air, which may have health benefits, such as reducing stress. Additionally, purchasing plants that absorb humidity will help with any moisture issues you may have.

Starting out with plants can be daunting, but investing in the right ones for you will make caring for them easier. Try starting out with these beginner plants:

  • Snake plants
  • Peace lilies
  • Devil ivies
  • Monsteras

Styling plants is fun and can bestow unique personality to your space. Decide whether you want your greenery grouped together in one area, such as in the living room, or spread around your house. Some styling ideas to get you started are:

  • Hanging them from the ceiling
  • Creating a dedicated plant shelf
  • Placing them along your window ledges

Plants also create a lived-in feeling that will make your space feel more energetic. Experiment with different plants and different styling techniques until you find one works perfectly for you. Every plant owner kills plants, so don’t stress too much if one dies.

3. Brighten You Space With Lighting

Everyone benefits from having good lighting in their homes. Installing extra lights to a room with poor lighting will make it more inviting and easier to use. You can do this by simply adding lamps because they don’t require any electrical work. Lamps come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Find one that suits your aesthetic, such as an industrial lamp. Some types you should think about utilizing are:

  • Standing lamps
  • Desk lamps
  • Ornamental lamps
  • Clip on lamps

Consider adding a Himalayan salt lamp to the rooms you want to make it feel cozier. Salt lamps emit a warm pinky-orange glow that is very soothing. Apart from looking nice, it’s suggested they soak up moisture and boost moods.

Keep trying different types of lights and placements until you find the perfect lighting setup for you.

4. Design A Functional Path

Don’t forget to style the exterior either. Creating an eye-catching and functional path will help guide you and any guests to your front door. Bigger front yards allow you to design a unique path layout. Consider what material you want to use to create your desired look. Mixing different types will create an interesting and unique design. Try using these path materials:

  • Tiles
  • Gravel
  • Concrete
  • Brick
  • Paving

Matching the path to the aesthetic of the house is an easy way to tie your house and garden style together. For example, try using a brick path if your house has brick accents, or line the path with the same tiles that border your front door. Consider using concrete if you prefer an industrial look.

Look at your path, and the garden surrounding it as a chance to show the outside world your personality without having to enter inside.

5. Place A Rug Or Two

Including rugs in your home adds a variety of benefits while also being stylish. Create a cozy and welcoming vibe in your living room by placing a rug under the couch. Purchase one that ties in with the colors and design of the room. Some added benefits of rugs are:

  • They control sound
  • They protect wooden flooring
  • They cover imperfections
  • They add warmth
  • They stop furniture from moving
  • They increase safety for young kids

Try layering rugs to fit your floor space while creating a unique look. Decide whether you want a patterned rug to add character to an otherwise minimally colored room, or a single-colored rug to emphasize the details that already exist in the space.

6. Get Creative With Storage

White hanging shelves with numerous plants and framed taxidermy insect art such as butterflies, beetles and dragonflies

Fill your house with furniture that adds both style and extra storage. For example, place a chest with a flat lid in your entrance to create a place to store shoes that can also be used to as a seat when putting shoes on. Whether your space is big or small, there are endless storage options that will benefit you.

Try incorporating these storage solutions into your home:

  • A desk with drawers and built-in shelving
  • Chest of drawers in the living room to function as a TV stand
  • A bed head that has built in shelving

Next time you browse for new furniture, consider how it could be used as storage, or double as something else. Keep in mind that every object you have should have a functional use.

7. Hang Curtains And Blinds

Curtains add personality and functionality to every window. Choosing the right curtain can block out sunlight and provide privacy to your home. Different materials offer different benefits. For example, installing sheer curtains won’t block out all the light from the sun, but they will offer privacy and filtered light. Some additional benefits include:

  • Controlling the temperature: In very hot weather blinds can stop heat from entering your house, and keep the cool air in. You’ll save money because you won’t be pumping the air conditioner as frequently.
  • Noise insulation: Thicker blinds will block outside noises. You will need this if you live on a busy street or near a train line.
  • Adding value to your home: They make your home more inviting and elegant. Installing good quality blinds that suit the style of the room will increase the value even more.

Ensure the color and style of the blinds match the surrounding décor and look good from the exterior.

8. Upgrade The Porch Railing

Porch railings become damaged and worn over time. Leaning against the railing may result in serious injuries if it gives way. There’s a chance it looks out of place if it’s the original railing and the rest of the house has been renovated. For example, your white wooden railing might not suit your dark-brown porch.

Try designing a porch railing that will suit the exterior of the house and add character to your porch. There are a lot of different styles, such as:

  • Chippendale
  • Turned baluster
  • Wrought iron
  • Cable
  • Glass

Installing the railing that suits your house the most will complete the look of the exterior, while also increasing the safety.

9. Utilize An Organizer

An easy way to organize your papers is to include an organizer in your home. Organizers are made from wood or plastic and have different areas and compartments for you to store your belongings. Try placing it in an area you frequent regularly, such as the kitchen bench or office desk. An organizer will act as the one place you put all of your papers to avoid losing them. Some things you should store in them are:

  • Important documents you need to access quickly
  • Mail
  • Shopping lists
  • Notes
  • Bills

Once you no longer need quick access to the papers, you can file or discard them. Having these papers easy to access will save you time and stress, because you’ll know that you placed every important piece of paper in one spot.

10. Use Peel-And-Stick Window Film

It’s easy to add extra privacy to your home with peel-and-stick window film. They can be used in a range of different ways to add aesthetics to your home while benefiting you. Add them to windows around your front door to avoid strangers looking into your home. Sticking them to a shower screen will increase privacy in the bathroom and create the illusion of more space.

Some other benefits of window film include:

  • Protection from UV rays
  • Reduction of glares
  • Saves energy

Consider sticking window film to areas of your home where you want more privacy and areas where there’s increased heat.


Decorating isn’t solely for the eyes. It can add functionality to your space. Every time you decorate an area, consider how it can be used to benefit your life. Adding shelves is an easy way to increase surface space for storing books and ornaments. Remember that to keep your space warm, add rugs, curtains and window film. Investing in plants will increase the air quality inside while also adding a drop of color. Don’t forget to consider exterior decorations either. Utilize the path and porch railing designs to portray your personality.

Nate Berkus
Nate Berkus, a distinguished interior designer with a Bachelor’s in Design and Environmental Analysis, has been transforming spaces with his unique aesthetics for over two decades. His professional journey includes working with top design firms before venturing into freelance design consulting. His expertise was cultivated through years of working on high-end residential and commercial projects. He joined our editorial team and offers readers a blend of contemporary style and practical decorating solutions. He is also an ardent traveler, drawing inspiration from different cultures to enrich his design philosophy.

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