When it comes to home decorating, it’s difficult to know where to begin. Like an artist with a blank canvas, you look at the room you’ve chosen to decorate and try to envision the finished masterpiece. However, with a plethora of home decorating styles from which to choose, that vision can be fuzzy. You may even feel overwhelmed by the possibilities and paralyzed by the thought that you’ll make choices you won’t be able to live with. When that’s the case, it’s time to go back to the drawing board.
The first step in home decorating is to define your personal taste and style. Invest your time in looking through magazines and cutting out pictures of home decorating styles, furniture, and accessories that appeal to you. Once you have a collection of several dozen pictures, lay them out in front of you. You’ll begin to notice a pattern of the style that appeals to you. Are you attracted to the dark wood of antique furniture, or to the minimalist lines of modern furniture? Do you imagine yourself surrounded by the muted colors and furniture that remind you of a beach house, or by rich colors and the ornate elegance of the Victorian era?
Once you’ve defined your personal taste and home decorating style, choose a room in your home to redecorate. Although you may want to tackle every room in your house, choosing only one will keep you from becoming overwhelmed.
Once you’ve selected a room, it’s time to choose the one item upon which you’ll build the remainder of the design. This may be a single piece of furniture that already own and love, an antique reproduction that you treasure, or something as simple as a handcrafted piece that you purchased while on vacation. The item you choose may not be the centerpiece of the finished room, but it will serve as your inspiration for the room’s d?cor.
Next, you’ll need to select the wall color. Since it’s next to impossible to have a sense of what the entire room will look like from a paint chip, buy a quart of paint in the color you like. Then, cut several pieces of cardboard into 18-inch squares, paint the cardboard, and hang one on each wall. Live with those paint swatches for a few days, noticing how the feel of the room changes with morning light, afternoon light, and artificial lighting. Once you’ve decided that’s a color you love, you should go ahead and paint the room. Remember that there are a variety of texturing and patterning techniques you can use to bring more vibrancy and life to the color of the paint.
When selecting furniture for your room, keep your inspirational piece in mind. An antique reproduction of a Chippendale chair may be the perfect accompaniment to your treasured area rug, but an antique reproduction of a French armoire won’t fit if your room is inspired by a 1950s Havana cigar box. Likewise, you should select furniture that fits your lifestyle. A white sofa isn’t a good solution if your dark-haired pooches will be sleeping on it.
Home decorating is both fun and rewarding. Best of all, your finished room will be a reflection of your personality and lifestyle – and will make coming home a sweet experience.