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Decorating Tips from the Experts

If you’re decorating, it means you’re probably knee-deep in fabulous fabrics, vivid colors and difficult decisions. That can overwhelm even the hardiest home designer. Here are some helpful hints to ease your decorating dilemmas.

Pick a Starting Point Choose your favorite object in a room, whether it’s an antique armoire or a bay window. Make it the centerpiece and decorate around it. Let your favorite object suggest the color palette for the entire room.
Color Flow Create a unifying flow of colors throughout your house by using the same colors in varying roles in your rooms. If you’ve used lemon yellow on the wall of the kitchen, use the same lemon yellow as an accent color in the adjoining family room.
Use Varying Shades Don’t match carpet color exactly with wall paint or upholstery; the room will appear too rigid. Instead choose a darker or lighter shade to create variation and definition..
Accentuate the Positive, Conceal the Negative Highlight the items that you love in a room, whether it be a favorite mantelpiece to a beloved lamp. Hide the things you don’t like but can’t change. Put carpet over horrible tile or curtains over an unattractive window.
Keep a Scrapbook Collect photos and magazine pages of room designs you like. Keep them in a file for inspiration and ideas. Click on My Portfolio to keep articles, carpet colors and styles in a file that you can save and print.
Have Samples, Will Travel Keep a bag in your car with samples and swatches of carpet, paint and fabric you are already using. If you come across anything in your travels, you’ll be able to determine quickly if fits into your existing décor.

Step By Step Decorating Guide

There are eight different components to consider when decorating a room. You’ll feel finished when you’ve addressed each aspect. One: Walls- The walls offer a backdrop for the rest of the room. Choose a bold, vibrant paint or wall covering if you want a dramatic backdrop, or a more neutral tone for a subdued background.

Two: Flooring- Lighter carpets or flooring open up a room and give it a larger, airy feeling. Darker carpets and flooring can make a room seem smaller and cozier

Three: Furniture- Slipcovers can change the look of a couch or chair quickly and easily. They provide an inexpensive way to update a well-worn piece

Four: Window treatments -Curtains, shutters and shades can set an intriguing tone for a room. But don’t be afraid to leave windows untouched if the view outlined by the window frame is attractive. The window and its view can be more stunning than a piece of art hanging next to it.

Five: Lighting- Use spot lights to highlight showcase pieces like a piano, poster or piece of art. Six: Artwork – Hang it at eye level, generally so the middle of the artwork is 60 inches high. If it’s too high or too low, it loses its impact. If you’re hanging it above a sofa or chest of drawers, place it between 5 and 10 inches above.

Seven: Accessories – Think about symmetry and balance when placing these around your room. Matching candlesticks, vases or topiaries add a finishing touch.

Eight: Flora – Plants and flowers add color and fragrance to your room while creating an illusion of space. Tall green plants will make your room look larger and more spacious. Bushy floor plants can fill empty space. Make sure your plants are sitting in a vase that won’t leak.

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