What’s the One Thing Every Room Needs?

What's the one thing every room needs? Interior designer Lesley Myrick shares her must-have item for any room.

I’m totally breaking my own rule here by asking the question “what’s the one thing that every room needs?” because I hate those listicles that tell you you must have something! My girl Tina Fey said it best in her rad book Bossypants:

“When people say, “You really, really must” do something, it means you don’t really have to. No one ever says, “You really, really must deliver the baby during labor.” When it’s true, it doesn’t need to be said.”

You’re totally right, Tina. So yeah. Take this design advice with a grain of salt. Maybe every room doesn’t need this, but if your space is falling flat, this might be the missing element:

Can’t view the embedded video above? Click here. Prefer to read? Transcript is below.

Hey everyone, Lesley Myrick here, interior stylist and owner of Lesley Myrick Art + Design where we create some pretty fantastic interiors with an offbeat edge.

Now, I’m going to do something today that kind of goes against what I believe.

Stick with me on this one! I hate those lists you find that’s like “10 Things Every Woman Needs In Her Wardrobe” or “The One Thing You Need for XY or Z.” I think it’s dumb. I don’t think there’s one one-size-fits-all rule for how you dress or how you live or whatever.

But, there is one thing that I really do believe that every room needs.

Do you know what it is?

I think that what every room needs is something old.

Something vintage, something antique, something with character, something with a story behind it. Something that is a little imperfect, a little irregular, a little beat up, brings a little heart and soul to a space.

So, why?

Why if you have a whole new room and you’re buying all new furnishings and decor should you put “something old” in there?

Well first, it brings personality.

It has a story behind it. It has something to say in the room. A fresh, clean, beautiful polished room is awesome but bringing something in that has a little bit of grit, a little bit of edge, can make the space feel less like it’s on a magazine page and more like it’s in your home with your story and your history.

Or maybe even someone else’s history if you just find a cool antique piece somewhere.

One-of-a-kind older pieces also bring a ton of personality.

They’re gonna be conversation starters. Not everyone is gonna have the same thing that you have in your living room. And that is really cool.

Introducing something old also layers in this kind of eclectic, funky vibe.

It shows that you’re confident in not just sticking with one literal design style but that you can mix and match. You can incorporate cool, unique pieces.

I love that offbeat mix. I love what that old piece brings to a space. It’s an element of contrast, it’s an attention-getter, and it’s a serious conversation starter.

I’m not going to tell you you “need” something old in a room,

buuuut it’s kind of a good idea and I think it can really elevate a great room into something amazing.