The duo at the Finish shares their tips for completing your space.

By Kelsey Mulvey
June 24, 2021
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Have you ever looked at your home and felt like something was, well…off? Sure, the paint color is on-point, the furniture is proportionate with your room, and you have everything you need. Still, it feels like something is off. But, what?

That's exactly what inspired Stephanie Purzycki and Kaitlin Madden to launch The Finish in 2020. Both design enthusiasts in their own right-Purzycki is the owner of Drive Hospitality and Madden is the global editor in chief of Real Homes-they saw a gap in the market for dwellers who wanted sound design advice, but didn't have the budget to enlist a professional. In other words? The Finish is here to help you, quite literally, finish a room.

"The finishing touches are what pull a room together and make it look like an intentionally designed, personal space," explains Purzycki. "So many people go into decorating a space and they get so close to creating something really beautiful, but just aren't sure how to complete it."

Let's face it: We've all been there. To help solve your latest design dilemma, Purzycki is sharing exactly what's keeping your home from feeling complete, and how to fix that mistake, stat. Whether you're new to the decorating game or still struggling with that one room, you're just a few scrolls away from a beautiful, finished space.

Mistake #1: Absent Wall Art

They say beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, but who knew choosing art can be so stressful? Not only is the art you choose a direct reflection of your style-no pressure or anything-but there are also many options to choose from. Admittedly, the whole process can be so overwhelming that it's tempting to forgo art altogether. However, art-free walls aren't any better.

Mistake #1: Absent Wall Art
Credit: Courtesy of The Finish

"Bare walls feel sterile and uninviting, even if you have a roomful of gorgeous furniture," Purzycki shares. "We always try to help our clients take the seriousness out of art."

As she puts it, you don't need a reason for your wall art beyond it being something you love. And, best of all? Great art doesn't have to cost you a small fortune.

"You can frame 20 of your kids' drawings in the family room and create a gallery wall," Purzycki recommends. "Or, order a print from Minted or Etsy simply because it catches your eye."

Affordable and eye-catching? Consider us sold!

Mistake #2: Wimpy Window Treatments

Make no mistake, your window treatments are primarily practical; they keep harsh sunlight and nosy neighbors out of sight. But, just because they serve a utilitarian purpose doesn't mean they should be ignored.

"The right window treatments can dramatically transform a space, but they can also be expensive or cumbersome to put up," Purzycki explains. "Oftentimes, our clients will feel paralyzed by the decision about what to choose because they don't want to make a mistake, and they'll live with the wooden blinds that were on the windows when they bought the home."

Choosing new window treatments might seem nerve-wracking, but they make a huge difference.

Mistake #2: Wimpy Window Treatments
Credit: Courtesy of The Finish

"[They] add so much to a room: warmth (literal and aesthetic), color, pattern, and privacy," she says. "Sometimes, they're really all a room needs to feel complete."

For a crash-course in window treatments, check out our guide to finding the right one for your space.

Mistake #3: The Wrong Rug

While a rug is an essential part of any room, it can be easy to get this décor essential wrong.

"One of the biggest issues we see, aside from just not having a rug at all, is rugs that are too small," Purzycki says. "They throw off the scale of the room or make it feel like it's lacking something."

Mistake #3: The Wrong Rug
Credit: Courtesy of The Finish

The good news is buying the right rug for your space doesn't have to be tricky; it all boils down to finding the perfect dimensions.

"If it's in a living room, for example, at least the front legs of every piece of furniture should sit on the rug, if not the entire piece of furniture," she explains. "If it's a dining room, all of your chair legs should remain on the rug even when the chairs are pulled out from the table."

Mistake #4: A Haphazardly Decorated Space

Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither is your well-decorated space. While you should never rush through the design process, Purzycki recommends coming up with a game plan first.

"There's a common saying that goes something like, 'If you like it, buy it, and it will all work together somehow,'" she says. "Unless you're a designer with a well-defined aesthetic, this can backfire on you, because a lot of us have a few different styles or colors we love, and they don't always work together."

Instead of purchasing items that look good-but you have no idea what you'll do with them-Purzycki recommends spending some gathering inspiration. From there, whittle down your mood board to a few images that you can refer to as you shop.

"If you're not a professional designer, pick a style and a color palette and stick within it," she says.

Mistake #4: A Haphazardly Decorated Space
Credit: Courtesy of The Finish

That said, following the rules doesn't have to be boring. If you want to bring some personality to your space, try picking up a fun accent chair or a cool mirror from your local vintage store.

"Every room has a place for a few items that offer a bit of contrast or things that are slightly imperfect," Purzycki says. "It makes a space more interesting."