How to Make a Room Cohesive

I recently surveyed my readers to find out their biggest decorating problems. Want to guess what they said? Making a room look cohesive was one of the top problems, which makes sense. Selecting one thing you like is fairly easy, but finding a room full of things you like that work together is much more difficult.

So I’ve come up with a list of things that can help you ensure your room looks cohesive. Here we go.

1. Limit the number of colors used
Too many colors in a room can make for a confusing look. If you just use a few colors, the room tends to look pulled together and coordinated. One time when my daughter was in junior high, I ventured into a forbidden area…her closet. When I opened the door, I noticed immediately how pleasant and organized it looked because I saw several pink things hanging together. I was impressed with how she had organized her clothes by color, but then I looked again and realized that they weren’t actually organized by color—everything she owned was pink: her favorite color.

You can achieve the same effect by using neutrals with a splash of color here and there.

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2. Stick with one decorating style
It makes sense that sticking with one style will pull a room together. I am not suggesting that you only buy furniture and accessories that match—far from it. I like to pull things together that don’t match, but work well together. Using items of a similar color and style really gives a room a cohesive feel. Some styles work well with others, but not always. For example, stick straight and simple Mission style furniture would not work well with French furniture that is ornate and curvy—at least I haven’t seen it done well together before.

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3. Remove the small things or group them
Too many small pieces in a room contribute to a scattered, busy feeling. If you want to use small things, try to arrange them together in a cabinet or on a shelf. Then, they become a collection rather than a lot of little things all screaming for attention.

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4. Use mostly larger items
Large items can command a space better than little things. Fewer large pieces look better, in general, than many small items. Using fewer things gives the eye a break—it helps the room to ‘breathe’ visually.

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5. Edit mercilessly
Remove items that are not working in the room. If you really want to keep them, you can move them to another room. Usually you know what isn’t working without consulting someone else. If you need help, you can ask a friend, ask in an interior design Facebook group, or even hire a professional.

It’s a fun process, and I enjoy moving pieces around. I usually end up buying some, moving them to a different room, and selling a few things. It’s the circle of life. Have fun!

For more simple French home décor inspiration from Anita, check out her blog Cedar Hill Farmhouse.

Get Ready, Get Set, Create – with Bali! There are so many options to explore. . .So many colors, fabrics, styles, and features. . . so much potential for bringing a little zing into a room, or injecting your style into a whole house. So . . .where do you start? Start here. With Bali.


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