Right now I’m shopping for inspiration on one of my semi-annual Las Vegas Market buying trips. One trend I see that’s still going strong and always puts a smile on my face is rooms that literally say something.

A room can convey just about anything. With the right colors, lighting and style, it can convey romance, zen, energy and creativity. But the message is never clearer than when you spell it out.

I thought this bedroom vignette at the market was adorable. Gray walls, cream and lavender bedding and the word “love” in a whimsical font. Is all this supposed to inspire love? Or summon it? Whatever works!

In the same showroom I saw these cool wooden alphabet stools with metal faces. Put together, they not only spell out words, they also create bench seating. I love the functionality of the fun, blocky print that makes for easy perching while you get your point across.


I’ve been spelling out messages on walls for a long time to make rooms more fun. I’ve splashed the word “delish” on the wall of a cupcake shop, the messages “Think outside the box” in a creative director’s office and “Dream big” across my teenage daughter’s bed.

But here at Las Vegas Market, I’ve been seeing so much wordplay in different mediums — everything from lighting to mirrors, plaques and furniture. There are infinite ways to inspire people, add some whimsy or make a bold statement. This playful trend isn’t just for kids. It’s great in commercial spaces, family rooms and even outdoor spaces.

You easily can find pieces to buy, but if you want to challenge yourself, think outside the box. Go to thrift stores and craft stores to find different ways to create your own message. You’ll be amazed at how your room will speak to you!


Cathy Lee is a home style expert, speaker, president and designer of Cathy Lee Style. Her redesigns of residential and business spaces have been featured in local and national publications and on HGTV. For more info and inspiring photos of design projects, visit cathyleestyle.com. And keep up with Cathy’s dream home makeover at her photo blog, Homefront.