Basic (But Not Cheugy) Home Decor for Any Home

And what even *is* cheugy anyways?!
Basic (But Not Cheugy) Home Decor for Any Home: pillow, throws, decorative objects, rugs, lighting. What is cheugy + definitely of cheugy decor and how to avoid it

We’ve talked so much about how to make your home feel like it has more personality and how to make it cozier. But what about if you’re just starting out in a new home or are a renter or recent graduate? It can feel so daunting to undertake decorating a home on top of all the other life changes (and even the dumpster fire that is our world right now). So while I was brainstorming posts that I thought would be most helpful for you, I realized that I should put together a list of all of my favorite basic home decor pieces that can work in pretty much any home — but basic in a decidedly not-cheugy sort of way! Let’s dig in.

But first, my definition of “basic home decor”

I’m gonna be a bit blunt with this one. I define basic home decor as those incredibly boring, ubiquitous Live Laugh Love signs painted on faux antique wood boards and hanging in a builder beige dining room. Anything ‘Tuscan style’ decor? Basic. Rae Dunn ceramics? Basic and boring. Mugs with sayings about wine? The worst and so cheugy.

Wait, what does cheugy mean?

There are a ton of definitions of cheugy floating around out there thanks to our younger pals on Tiktok. Pronounced ‘chew-gee,’ this is the latest satirical way of describing an aesthetic that is anything but trendy. Cheugy describes decor and lifestyle trends that are often associated with the early 2010s and millennials. Basically, it’s the opposite of trendy. Totally subjective, but when you see something cheugy, you know it.

Basic (But Not Cheugy) Home Decor Essentials That Will Work In Any Style of Home

With all of that highly judgmental criteria in mind… let’s discuss the decor examples in this post. Each example here is something I’d consider a ‘modern classic.’ The forms and materials are clean and sophisticated, while the aesthetic is uncomplicated and not overtly trendy. There are still some elements of trendiness, but these are pieces that I envision having longevity. After all, you don’t want to redesign your house every 2 years. Not sustainable and not budget-friendly!


Good lighting is important, no matter what your aesthetic. I’m a big fan of choosing table lamps that give a sexy, ambient glow… and then sprinkling a few throughout the room. Overhead lighting is often really harsh and not exactly the way to make a space feel cozy. When it comes to selecting lighting, I love clean, elegant lines and high quality materials.

A few basic, but not boring table lamps to consider:

Pro tip: To avoid the basic, boring lighting look that everyone else has, choose lighting that is made up of at least 2 materials such as brass + linen or wood + brushed metal. The mix of materials helps a piece feel more elevated.

Decorative Pillows

Pillows always add the perfect amount of style to any home and are very forgiving because they are often affordable and easily changed. I’m a big fan of mixing solid colors and a delicate pattern for a layered look. And usually I gravitate toward fabrics that are soft and comfy for lounging like velvet, linen, or cotton. Sean always gets mad at me if I put anything scratchy on the couch! Be sure to check out my tips for styling pillows, btw.

A few basic, but not boring decorative pillows to consider:


Rugs are another way to add style to your space. But until you’re ready to invest (especially a Moroccan rug), choosing a simple, more basic rug is a great place to start. There are so many materials to choose from including wool, hemp, jute, cotton, and synthetic fibers. Be sure to review the type of material and select the one that’s best for the rug’s intended location.

A few basic, but not boring rugs to consider:

Pro tip: If you’re going to spend money on a basic jute rug, I advise going bigger so that you can eventually use it as a layering piece like in our old living room.

Throws and blankets

Honestly, there’s nothing better than wrapping yourself in a cozy throw and reading a good book. I absolutely love styling our home with throw blankets and have been collecting additional ones to offer guests in our cabin! I kept these selections pretty neutral because I feel like with throws there’s a tendency for them to migrate to different rooms. If you keep ’em neutral, they can work in any space.

A few basic, but not boring throw blankets to consider:

Small decorative objects

Accessorizing your home is a great way to make it feel more ‘designed’ and intentional. Some of my favorite pieces to do this are trays, vases, and candle holders. It’s wild how much more finished a room looks with just a few of these pieces in the mix!

A few basic, but not boring decorative accessories to consider:

What do you think of these decidedly NOT cheugy home decor items? Are they something you’d use to style your own home? Let me know what you think by leaving a comment!

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Behind The Blog

Joanna Hawley-McBride is a Pacific Northwest-based social media strategist, content creator, and former textile designer. Joanna is the founder and editor-in-chief of Jojotastic, a lifestyle blog focused on Joanna’s work-in-progress cabin, finding the best pair of underwear through #UnderwearThesis, and empowering women to explore nature — all in her signature unfiltered style. Her work has been featured in Domino, CNBC, and Eating Well.

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