One piece of design advice that has really stayed with me (this one from the inimitable Erin Gates) is this - pick one item you absolutely, die-hard LOVE, something that makes a statement or has an interesting shape or color, and build the rest of the room around it. It's really good advice.
Right now there's 2 things I'm in love with that I feel make for great design elements in a room.
1. The bold & beautiful federal eagle mirror. It's definitely statement-making and so so versatile.
You can put it above the fireplace, in an entryway....
Up the stairs... literally place in anywhere, and it works. It just takes the space up a notch.
2. X benches! They're such an EASY way to bring some style into a space. Especially smaller spaces like an entryway (and they serve a purpose - sit down and wear your shoes people :P) They're great in the living room too for some extra seating, apart from being so visually interesting.
I love, love these malachite pattern X-benches designed by Erin Gates (from her book Elements of Style). Never get old to look at. Aren't they stunning?
And here's one that has both my favorites in one place!