The slang/informal meaning of a “dynamo” is an energetic, hardworking person.  Therefore, decorating dynamo = an energetic, hardworking decorative item.  My definition…

Decorating Dynamo = Multitasker; Game changer; Clutch piece

That’s what I’m talking about!  Items that each serve so many purposes and can fit any budget, no home should be without them.  I’m counting them down (or up, however you wanna look at it)…

The Ultimate List of Top 10 Decorating Dynamos

Garden stools

These little gems can be used as extra seating, a side table, a table base (add a small tray or a well balanced oversized tray), to kick your feet up on, or just as a decorative element in any room – including outside!  Use it as 1 thing today, something else tomorrow, and for yet another purpose when you have extra guests over.  I don’t know where these have been all my life, but I love them!

Decorating Dynamo #1: Garden Stool - One King's Lane Decorating Dynamo #1: Silver Kelly Garden Stool – One King’s Lane

Ottomans & Benches

Speaking of kicking your feet up… pull up a bench or ottoman.  What else can you do with them?  Have a seat, of course – at the dining room table, in the closet (how posh is that?!) or bedroom, in the entryway.  If it’s the right scale, you can even use it as a coffee table in the family room – just make sure it has durable fabric that’s easy to clean.

*Decorator’s Note: If I’ve said it once, I’ve said a million times…. Please DO NOT go out and buy a set of benches unless you plan to break them up and use them in various places.  Otherwise, just say no!


It’s a carryall for serving, it’s a decorative piece, you can eat on it, cart stuff from 1 room to another, it can even be a tabletop (plop it atop an ottoman – instant side table).

Vases (large and small)

This is the 1 item on the list that doesn’t do a whole lot – other than hold things and look pretty or cool or whatever vibe you’re going for.  BUT that’s the best part – vases (and other similar “vessels”) can be found to fit any style and budget and are super easy to transport from all your travelling adventures.

*Decorator’s Note: Unless you are British (or perhaps live in the UK), please do not say “voz”.

Decorating Dynamo #4: Medallion Pitcher - One King's Lane
Decorating Dynamo #4: Medallion Pitcher – One King’s Lane
Decorating Dynamo #4: Mint Julep Vase - One King's Lane
Decorating Dynamo #4: Mint Julep Vase – One King’s Lane









Plants & Flowers

Clean the air, bring the outdoors in, and breathe life into a room – literally.  Not to mention color.  Simply adding a plant and/or flowers can elevate a space and make it feel more… alive.  Just make sure to keep them that way – alive!

*Decorator’s Note: Just be careful what you bring in as some plants may be bad for pets or small children.


Decorating Dynamo #5: Bamboo - Home Depot Decorating Dynamo #5: Bamboo – Home Depot


Slipper chairs

These lovelies can go places your lay-z-boy, bergere, or wingback can’t!  They can be easily moved around to accommodate any size gathering and are comfortable in any room.  Added bonus – a slipper chair is the perfect opportunity in inject a splash color or pattern into a space without going over the top.

Decorating Dynamo #6: Red Tufted Slipper Chair - One King's Lane Decorating Dynamo #6: Red Tufted Slipper Chair – One King’s Lane


Of course they can make a space seem larger, reflect all your pretty things, and give you that final once over on the way out the door.  They can also be part of your holiday (or any day) tablescape, serve as a tabletop (if it’s flat enough and the right size), and be strategically placed so that you can always see your office door – feng shui style.  😉


Pillows & Throws

Try to be “hard” if you want, but the truth is everything is better and more comfy with a nice cuddly down (or down alternative) pillow and a soft (preferably fuzzy) throw!  Like the slipper chair, pillows and throws can help you bring personality into your space through color, pattern, and even typography.


Baskets, boxes and bins

Storage, storage, and storage.  Everyone could use more storage, more organization, or both.  Baskets, boxes, and bins provide both – plus a place to drop keys, mail, remotes – and can look great doing it.


Coffee table, storage, bench, STORAGE.

When you’re done curling up on the sofa or slipper chair with your pillow and throw, tuck them away in the trunk, put a tray on top with a vase full of flowers and your living room is ready for it’s close up – or for whoever just rang the doorbell unannounced (like that never happens)!

Wyatt Trunk - LHI Decorating Dynamo #10: Wyatt Trunk – LHI


Honorable mention – these 2 decorating dynamos didn’t make the top 10 list, but they deserve a little shout out too!


Use them to prop up smaller decorative items like candlesticks, votives, and vases, and to help create a layered look.  They can also be a wonderful decorative element in their own right.

Photo frames

Think outside the box – you don’t have to frame just photos.  Postcards, special thank you notes,pretty greeting cards – all sorts of things can be framed.  Anything from a textile you picked up someplace special to the 1st dollar you ever made to nothing at all – yep, an empty frame even works when you’re showcasing the frame itself.


Whether for storing things in plain sight or for display, for books or for a gallery wall, shelves solve so many problems.  There’s a style to suit any taste & can be freestanding or wall mounted.

Well I’m sure there are more decorating dynamos to be found.  If you have some to add, please share!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.