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What to Do When Decorating

Filed under: by: Laxmisri

What to Do When Decorating

Do sketch your floor plan and record the room dimensions, window sizes and placement, and the location of special features, electrical outlets, and so on. Take your floor plan with you when you shop.

Do take the time to discover your personal style by reading shelter magazines, attending show houses, and browsing online and in stores to learn what styles and colors really appeal to you.

Do identify the focal point of the room (a fireplace, a view, a bed, an armoire).

Do define a room's style in writing , being specific. (Not just "country French", but "French Country with a rooster motif, chicken wire cupboard fronts, and a color scheme that includes black and gold.")

Do pick a signature piece to focus your decorating decisions. It could be a beautiful fabric, an area rug, a picture, a piece of pottery, dishes, or a postcard. The item should embody both the color scheme of the room as well as the style and mood you hope to create.

Do coordinate fabric and flooring choices before making any major purchases, and before choosing exact paint colors.

Do purchase large elements first (rugs, draperies, upholstered furniture) whenever possible, and use the exact colors and style of those major pieces to coordinate all other choices.

Do use a mix of patterns -- large-scale, small-scale, checks, stripes, geometrics, plain -- when coordinating a room.

Do allow for natural pathways in a room (such as from the door to the closet) and try to arrange furniture with those walkways in mind.

Do consider the uses and function of a room before deciding on furnishings and arrangements. For example, if your dining room will also be your study, then you'll need room for a desk, books, lighting, and files as well as the dining room table and chairs.

Do consider using unifying elements such as trim color, wood tone, flooring, motifs, fabrics, or materials.

Do use the principle of repetition when planning shapes, colors, fabrics, and patterns. One red accent in a room may look like an afterthought whereas several red accents here and there will contribute to the color scheme.

Do plan ahead for appropriate task, general, and dramatic lighting by using a mix of light fixtures on dimmers for maximum control.

Do purchase the best quality furniture you can afford . Learn more about quality construction and materials that can prolong the life of furniture and make it a better buy in the long run.

Do use contrast to add interest to a space. Placing furniture and accessories against a contrasting background will highlight each piece.

Do crosslink your rooms by repeating colors, fabrics, and themes in varying combinations.

Do balance a room's furnishings by paying attention to scale and visual weight. Balance a large stone fireplace with a large sofa or armoire placed opposite.

Do arrange conversational areas to be within an 8 to 14 feet square area.

Do anchor spaces in open floor plans with area rugs and furniture groupings to define each space.

Do pair seating in conversation areas with side tables and lamps so that there is a place to set drinks, books, etc. as well as adequate light for reading.

Do choose accessories that reinforce the color and style theme of a room.

Do use scale and pattern to create interesting focal points.

Do use pairs of items to underscore symmetry and balance.

Do use odd numbers of items (3, 5, 7) when grouping accents for table scapes. Do place items (high, medium, and low) within an imaginary triangle to add interest.

Do use symmetrical arrangements in formal rooms. In more casual rooms go for asymmetrical arrangements of furniture and accessories.

Do emphasize the important elements of the room and play down the unattractive or unimportant elements.

Do use a variety of textures (smooth, rough, shiny, dull) when you want to add interest to a room.

Do use line to underscore a room's style. Horizontal lines emphasize length and underscore a calm mood. Vertical lines will emphasize height, and diagonal lines emphasize space and provide a dynamic and exciting feel.

Do reinforce the style and theme of a room with appropriate details and accessories.

Do install more details in a plain boxy room. Consider crown molding, wainscoting, and other applications to add interest and character.

Do consider the location of your home and the architectural style when planning interiors.


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