Guest Author - Donna Coogan
Decorating your home can be a lot of fun or a frustrating challenge, depending on how prepared you are for the task. For the best results, keep these simple decorating guidelines in mind.
If you are decorating a main living space, choose colors that will connect to other main living areas. This way each room relates to each other and creates a nice flow throughout your home. For example, if you are decorating a dining room, choose one of the main accents from the living room to be the dining room wall color, then choose an accent color from that room to be your kitchen wall color and so on. However, more private spaces like bedrooms can handle a color departure from the homeís main color palette. These are great spaces to experiment with a color youíve hesitated to use before.
When decorating a hallway, choose a neutral color if itís off rooms that are painted in bold tones or off bedrooms that are typically each painted a different color. The neutral hall color will tie the rooms together. However, if the hall connects to main living areas that are painted in neutral tones, paint a bold hue on the hallway walls for a delicious punch of color. This especially works well when you choose a primary or secondary accent color from one of your main living areas.
Lastly, choose colors that fit the space and the light. Bold tones work well in large rooms and those with high ceilings and lots of daylight. Lighter colors work better in small areas or rooms with little daylight or northerly exposures.
Choose furniture that fits the space. Itís quite easy to fall in love with a piece of furniture at a store, only to find it overwhelms your space when you get it home. Knowing what your room can handle ahead of time can save you huge headaches and disappointments.
To circumvent this, make a simple floor plan of your room showing windows and doors and all architectural features such as alcoves or fireplace mantels that may jut in or out of the space. Note where all existing furniture is and be sure to show traffic patterns in the space. Record all the room measurements, including entry dimensions to the room along with any corners or hallways the furniture must negotiate around to get to its intended space. If you keep a copy of your floorplan and measurements with you when you go shopping, you'll always know whether or not your furniture choices will fit in your home.
Donít feel that you must buy entire furniture sets. Choosing a small sofa or chair from a set you love can give your room the look and feel you want without overpowering it with a lot of similar pieces.
Keep home accents meaningful and simplified. Like the saying goes, less is more, and that is often true for decorating. When you have a mass of items in your home, they become lost to the onlooker. But, a few choice pieces will make your home feel special and rotating your collections offers the opportunity to fully appreciate each one. Thus, if you are a clutter bug, choose a few well-loved items and then rotate the rest in small groups throughout the year.
Common home accents are throw pillows, small collectibles and dishes. Keep your throw pillows to a few for that added texture to your seating areas. Too many will just get in the way and end up on the floor or on someoneís lap. Store the extras and bring them out as needed. Collectibles can be rotated on tabletop vignettes and dishes housed in one lovely hutch or displayed on one wall in a beautiful grouping. Switching your collectibles with each new season is a great way to enjoy them all year without overwhelming your decor.
Choose art that you love. Then give it a place of honor in your home. It can become the roomís focal point or be part of a wall gallery. When displaying paintings or other wall art, plan them out on the floor first, adding and eliminating to find the best arrangement. Hang art so that it is at eye level when you are standing. Items over sofas look best when the lowest pieces are about a foot above the back of the furniture.
These are only a few guidelines to help with your decorating endeavors. If you are happier with more throw pillows or art displayed on every wall or every room painted a different color of the rainbow, then you should go for it. When decorating your home, follow your heart so that itís a place youíll really love.