Some homes are decorated to look like they popped off the pages of a home design magazine. The rooms seem tied together with color, proportion and design. What makes these homes stand out? Can your home become as pretty as a picture?
These ten decorating tips will help you along the road to beautifying your home. Make the rooms look more spacious and cohesive. Use lighting to set the mood. Read on and enjoy putting these tips to work in your own living space.
1. Choose a color palette carefully. When selecting background colors for flooring, walls, window treatments and large pieces of furniture think "long-term." In other words, select colors that will not go out of style in a few years, and that you won't tire of quickly. Think of colors that stand the test of time. Neutrals and earth tones are safe and blend beautifully with a wide range of bright or muted colors. Tones like whites, beiges, golds, tans, browns, rusts have been in vogue for years and stand the test of time. It is expensive to replace large items (floors, sofas, wall and window treatments) so they should have colors that will last through trends and time.
2. Layering will add warmth to a room. If a room appears cold, adding layers of fabric can turn up the "heat." For example, add a rug, add cloths to the tops of tables, and add accessories that have texture. Your room will gain instant warmth. Hint: You can use beautiful placements under lamps, or textured coasters on top of tables.
3. Use lighting wisely. It is said that lighting should be arranged to form a triangle, so use this as a guide when placing lamps. Also, remember that lamp or sconce lighting provides more warmth and mood than overhead lighting (although spot lighting can be attractive when showing off art). Lamp shades that are slightly tan or yellow cast a warm glow, to add mood and sophistication.
4. Pull those sofas out from the wall! Sofas have attractive backs, and look great with a sofa table behind them. Experiment in your home by pulling your sofas out to create a decorator look. Put two sofas in a "V" formation with tables behind them. Or arrange them so that they are parallel to each other. Lay a rug under them to define a conversation area.
5. Arrange collections together. If you collect something, such as dolls or paperweights, put them in the same location. They will attract attention and look more artistically interesting if they are together, rather than spread out throughout a home. For example, if you have bookshelves surrounding a fireplace, this would be a good place for a specialized collection of statues or attractive dolls.
6. Have an element of surprise. Rooms gain life when a bold statement is made. If a room is contemporary, highlight it with a bold antique. Or put an animal statue under a grand piano to add that special element of surprise.
7. Think "angles." Even one piece of furniture, such as a special chair or table, can add interest to a room if it is placed at an angle. Imagine a room where sofas and tables were arranged in a linear pattern and off to the corner a TV entertainment center is angled. What fun!
8. Consider buffet lamps. Add warmth and sophistication to your dining room with tall, slender buffet lamps on each side. These lamps can be found at department or discount stores. The selections with yellow or mica shades add a sense of warmth and welcome to the dining room.
9. Hang art at eye level. A common mistake is to hang pieces of art too high. Hang at eye level (or below in some cases) so that the pieces can be appreciated and can be a part of the room's decor. Also, if you have groupings of art, arrange them first on the floor, experimenting with different arrangements, before hanging on the wall.
10. Monotone decors appear spacious. Ever walk into a home and feel that the rooms are spacious and seem to flow together? Chances are the design uses a monotone palette with color accents. White walls, a white sofa, white or glass coffee tables can be delightfully accented with color pillows and accessories. Warm monotones would use the earth tones, such as browns and tans.
These ideas provide a good start toward that decorator home look. Above all, make sure your home captures and reflects your distinct personality throughout. That alone will add interest and individuality to any decor.