Home Decorating Advice

I am often asked for home decorating advice from people hoping for a quick answer of color, style and painting techniques. Although I’d love to help, there is never a simple answer when it comes to home decor. Your room’s ‘flavor’ is as complex as you are, as varied as each member of your family, as interesting as your pets. Akin to the clothes you wear, room decor is personal. Therefore the first rule in decorating is that there are no set rules – only guidelines.

Here are just a few of those guidelines:

Trust Your Own Style and Taste You know more about your favorite colors, furniture styles and art than you think. Your home should reflect your personality.
Focal Points Choose one favorite or grand element in a room, say a fireplace or a large picture window, and make this the focal point of the room. Decorate around the item or area – placing furniture and objects around it to attract a visitor’s attention and to give the room cohesiveness. Windows are great for this, especially if your favorite flower garden or fountain is just outside.
Choosing A Theme Every room begins with a theme – even if eclectic. This could be a color, or a style – my favorites are French Country and Farmhouse. Having a theme gives you a starting point to carry you through each phase of room decor. (More about the phases later.)
Deciding on Paint If your room doesn’t have any distinguishing elements (see #2) consider painting a wall a unique or even your favorite color. This creates a focal point where there once was none. A co-ordinating piece of framed art or decorative wall decor will set it off nicely and with a comfortable chair, an interesting table or a gorgeous bed frame you’ve just created the majority of the room in a few steps.
Don’t Forget the Floors Area rugs are an inexpensive way to define a room. You can lay them straight or on an angle, purchase them to match wall colors exactly and they come in all types of designs and styles.
Art and Mirrors The glass from framed art or simple mirrors reflect light from natural and and added light sources and give dimension to a room. Mirrors perform double duty as well as they create an illusion of space.
Lighting My favorite decorating aspect – lighting. There are so many wonderful chandeliers, table lamps, ceiling fan lighting, track lighting, monorail systems – there is just no end to the variety. Go on a quest to find just the perfect lighting for each room and you won’t be disappointed. Your local home hardware or renovation store represents about 1% of the possibilities – shop online for lots of ideas, custom made, vintage and more lighting sources. You will never regret the time and even a little added expense to have fixtures that no one else has – they make the room!
Furniture Placement Just when you think you have everything in place and your room is ‘finished’, try this. Move the furniture around. Try it on an angle, try groupings of chairs, add a nook for reading only, re-arrange around a different focal point – then sit in the room and imagine having one friend or five in that space with you. In your mind, live in the room. You’d be surprised how many times just changing the placement of your furniture can make a room feel new.
Potted Plants Plants clean the air, make a room feel alive and impact the d├ęcor of a room. If placed strategically large plants can hide flaws in a room.

I hope these tips and ideas start you on your creative path to decorating your home or room. I strongly suggest getting a few books on your favorite style to get the ideas flowing and help you define your taste before you begin.

Wall Art – Universal Home Decor Item

They say, “If walls could speak…”, but in fact they can! They can tell tales through the art pieces with which they are decorated. Decorating walls through wall art items of various forms is common for all countries and cultures. Classy or shabby, cohesive or hodge-podge – everyone has some sort of art as a home decor item on their walls.

Photos

Photographs are an old favorite among home decor items. Custom framing or professionally portrait shots look graceful in any formal living area, while candid snapshots of the family being silly can grace the stair case or family room. You can add dimension to your home decor with items like shadow boxes and 3D frames where along with the picture, you can also display childhood memorabilia like your sons first shoe or his baseball bat from little league.

Poster Prints

This is the least expensive way to add a home decor item on the wall. You can get poster prints rolled up at department stores or already matted and framed. From whimsical to down right funny, religious to romantic, you can get any kind of poster print to suit your decor.

Acrylics and Oils

These are normally more expensive home decor items, especially if you purchase them from an art gallery or exhibition. Some may command thousands of dollars in asking prices and even though that may seem like a pretty penny, that one item can transform your home decor dramatically. Apart from that it is a great money investment, and later, it can be sold or willed and passed through generations.

Unconventional

Wire art, beads and buttons, needle point, quilts and rugs are all becoming wall adornments and home decor items of some sort or the other. Some say it is because of a lack of space in small city dwellings, other say it is because people wan to re-use the same things but see them in a different context. Whatever the reason may be, seeing tiles or wool on the wall may be exquisite for some and just plain wacky for others.

The bottom line is – let your creativity go wild and adorn the walls in your home with decor items that have their own stories to tell. Your walls don’t have to be speechless any more – with appropriate home decor items you can make them speak the language you want!