Design Recipes: 10 tips for portable design

The portable decor element of art as seen in the entrance to a home.

Portable design refers to pieces that can be lifted and transported from room to room and home to home.

It’s one of the best and easiest ways to transform a space, swapping out the old and bringing in the new. Portable design done well also can allow you to prolong your décor, allowing you to be able to repurpose and reuse much of what you already might own.

Here are some top tips on how to implement portable decor items into your space.

1. MIRRORS: Whether leaning or hung, mirrors are great portable decor items.

2. TOSS PILLOWS AND THROWS: Affordable and easy to place and move, use them to finish or add color to a space.

3. ARTWORK: Whether you purchase artwork to fit a space or just want to add interest, it’s a wonderfully useful portable decor item.

4. LIGHTING: Not every fixture has to remain in a home. Even when you sell it, a fixture you installed can be swapped out.

5. AREA RUGS: Whether you are looking to move them from room to room or home to home, area rugs are excellent portable decor items.

6. BEDDING: Bedding is a great way to infuse, color, texture and interest into a space and infuse a portable design element as well.

7. BENCHES AND CHAISES: These pieces can be placed floating in a space, at an entry or foot of a bed.

8. BOOKS AND ACCESSORIES: Transition out as needed.

9. SMALL FURNITURE PIECES: Furniture such as side tables, ottomans and chairs are easily movable portable design pieces.

10. GREENERY: Whether real or artificial, florals, plants and trees are useful portable decor items.

Hobbs, based in New York City, is an Emmy Award-winning television host and a nationally known interior design and home staging expert with offices in New York City, Boston and Washington, D.C. Contact her at or visit

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