Home Decorating - Getting Started
Just beginning a big home decorating project? These suggestions will help you get started.
1. Set a budget. You might not be able to decorate your entire home right away. Do the rooms you use the most first; this will help you gain confidence while you enjoy your home.
2. Choose your style. Look through magazines and clip pictures of rooms you like. Spread out all the pictures and make a list of the common factors: Are all the rooms bright and cheerful? Are they elegant and formal? Take your time in this phase -- choosing a look for your home is a process. For more help on choosing your style, click on Waverly Lifestyles.
3. Select your color scheme. Pick colors that you and your family love. Carry your color scheme throughout your home, letting one color dominate in each room. Most people feel comfortable with one dominant color and 2-3 accent colors in a room. For more help on color, click on How to Choose a Color Scheme.
4. Mix and Match Prints. Begin with a "signature print" that you love. this is the print around which you will design the rest of the room. Freely mix and match florals, stripes, plaids, checks or textures with your signature print. As long as you use the same colors throughout the room, you can mix and match a number of patterns in one room. For more help on print coordination, click on How to Mix and Match Prints.
What's your hue? Color is the most powerful tool you have for creating a mood, and everyone's emotional response to color is different.
By taking a thoughtful approach to selecting colors for your home, you can customize your environment so you're happier, more relaxed, and even, some experts say, healthier.
Your color "EQ" (Emotional Quotient) may relate broadly to your style preferences-soft, aged colors rather than bold, bright ones-but you can put your favorite colors to work in any style.
How to Choose a Color Scheme
1. Think first about practical aspects of the room such as
2. Choose a print you love. This will be your "signature print" that will set the color scheme for the room. Signature prints usually contain several colors and large scale pattern that is suitable for window treatments, bedcoverings, wallcoverings, and upholstery.
3. Let one color from your signature print dominate. Use this color in as much as 2/3 of the available area.
4. Pull 2-3 other colors from your signature print to act as support or accent colors. Use them in smaller areas and in accessories.
5.Carry your color scheme throughout the entire house to create a strong visual continuity. Varying the dominant color and patterns you use in each room --while remaining faithful to your basic color scheme -- will keep your home interesting, yet unified.
Other guidelines/ideas for choosing a color scheme
Follow this simple how-to to help you choose a color scheme for your home. Learn to mix colors and fabrics and how to repeat color throughout the room. Read some of the principles of decorating and learn how to use coordinating fabrics and dressmaker details.
1. First, choose a style (formal or casual) and a theme for your room (such as American country, English garden, techno modern or eclectic).
2. With the style and theme in mind, decide on an 'anchor' fabric that has 3 or more colors.
3. Use the background color from the fabric as a wall color.
4. Pick a mid-toned color from the fabric for flooring and large furniture pieces, which could be a solid or patterned design. Upholstery can also be done in your anchor fabric or coordinating fabric.
5. Use the brightest colors from the fabric for accessories and accents like welting, picture mats, and decorative pillows.
6. Place your anchor fabric in at least three places in the room (upholstery, pillows, curtains, etc).
7. Use coordinating fabrics in other scales (larger or smaller) as accent fabrics on chairs, pillows, cording, and tablecloths.
8. For example, to use an 'anchor' fabric with an American flag design: use white (the background color) for walls, navy (a mid-toned color) on floor, blue and white ticking on the sofa, and red (the brightest color) for accessories and accents.
9. To continue this example, the coordinated prints could be the blue and white ticking stripe, a navy star print fabric, and a red and white mini-check used on chairs, curtains, and pillows.
How to mix and match prints
1. Begin with a print you love. Select a large scale print with several colors so you will have many options for mixing and matching other patterns. Let this "signature print" dominate in the room. Use it on upholstery, window treatments, bedcoverings, or wallcoverings.
2. Vary the scale of your patterns. Mix in 2-3 mid and small scale patterns that color coordinate with your signature print. Use these on smaller upholstered pieces, pillows, table covers and accents such as ruffles, and contrast linings. Try to let one color from your signature print dominate throughout your patterns. ruffles, and contrast linings.
3. explore different patterns and avoid repeating patterns that are too similar. Plaids and stripe coordinate easily with florals and paisleys.
4. Vary the texture among patterns for added interest.
5. Balance patterns with areas of solid color or neutrals. The more pattern you use, the more your room needs visual relief.
2. The positioning of your furniture will define specific areas within the room. Use more than one grouping, using one as the main conversation area; and others for private conversation, reading, or relaxing.
3. Try warm, rich colors on walls to make the room feel smaller and more intimate.
How to Make a Small Room Appear Larger
1. Minimize contrast among furnishings, walls and floorcoverings. Colors that blend will create the appearance of greater space.
2. Keep colors light and cool. Solids can work well to support your color palette.
3. Minimize the number of prints in the room. For example, repeat elements from the window tratment print in your pillows and decorative accessories, or on your walls.
4. Add glass top tables and wall mirrors to create the illusion of more space.
How to create a formal room
1. Vertical lines will add height and dignity to your room. Try coordinating wallpaper and borders, floor length window treatments, or tall, vertical furniture pieces to create a more formal atmosphere.
2. Symmetrical or "mirror image" balance adds to the formality of a room. A decorative element flanked by two identical sconces or a pair of lamps creates this type of balance. Or, a sofa with matching end tables.
3. Use smooth textures such as highly polished wood or plush carpeting.
How to create a casual room:
1. Horizontal lines create a sense of repose and relaxation associated with casual decorating. Use low, rectangular furnishing and a deep wallpaper to create this feeling.
2. Try out different textures in fabrics, wallcoverings or carpet for a country casual look.
3. Use asymmetrical or informal balance in furniture and accessory groupings. For example, balance a skirted table on one side of a sofa with wood table on the other side. Mix and match various size and shape pictures in a wall grouping. Use a long horizontal wall shelf t display decorative plates.
How to arrange furniture
1. Begin by drawing a floor plan for your room. Indicate overall room dimensions. Measure major furniture pieces so you will be able to determine where they best fit.
2. Decide where the center of interest or focal point of the room will be. In most cases, your furniture will be grouped around this point.
3. Allow for general traffic paths: your major traffic lane will require 36" - 48"; minor traffic paths need a minimum of 24". Allow ample space in front of chests and for pulling chairs in and out from the table.
4. When creating conversation areas, keep furniture pieces close enough to each other so that people can talk easily.
5. Avoid placing a chair by itself. Incorporate it into a grouping or use it with a side table.
6. Bring furniture into the room to avoid the doctor's waiting room look. If you place a sofa against a wall, consider using a console behind it.
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