Home Decor 101
Home decor and decorating can seem like a confusing process, but with a few simple tips you can learn how to decorate your home like a pro, just continue reading below, or contact us at Flooring Creations for a FREE decor consult!
6 Decorating Rules to Live By
1. Don’t Decorate for the Joneses
If you decorate for other people, to impress them and make them think highly of you, you lose. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
For one, you can’t please everybody. If your goal is to wow others, you might get a few people who really dig the decisions you make, but most people probably don’t have the same style you do. You just can’t make a room that everyone likes. Even browsing decor magazines where the rooms are so carefully and thoughtfully put together, I find there are rooms that are “my taste” and others that are “perfect but too stuffy.” You lose control when you decorate for people who don’t live with you, you steal the joy of the process, and you’ll never ever reach your goal.
Secondly, even if you COULD decorate a room that would impress your neighbors, you still have to live there. 99 percent of the time, you’ll be home with no one to impress and only your family, living in the space however it was designed. Don’t give up comfort and joy for that 99 percent just so you can have 1 percent of feeling like you impressed someone.
2. Your Home, Your Tastes!
If the trend is toward gray walls but you just can’t get on board with gray? Don’t try to make yourself like it. Just let go. It’s not for you, and that’s cool. If your favorite bloggers are wrapping their world in chevron but you just don’t get it? This is your official invitation to ignore those trends. And if you’re finding that no one is using red in their homes but you LOVE red, you always wear red and it makes you happy? Please, PLEASE decorate with red.
3. Don’t Fight the Season
We’re all at different seasons of our lives. If you’re living with littles whose peanut butter fingers are attracted like magnets to delicate fabrics, take that silk chair you’ve dreamed of and put it in a little corner of your mind where you can dream about it, and know that you can have that silk chair, but maybe this is not the time.
No season lasts forever. There will be time to display ceramic dishes precisely at toddler height. Is this that time for you? If it isn’t, don’t fight the season. You’ll make yourself miserable.
4. The “Rules” Exist to Help you
I love decorating rules.
I find it a huge help to know the golden ratio of how big a picture should be above the dresser to look proportionate. The trend is to say, “Just do what looks good to you! Who cares about the rules!” — but as someone who is trying to create a room that I love, this advice always frustrated me. I would think: I want to create something that looks good to me, I’m trying, but I don’t know how. I need guidelines.
We’ll talk about stuff like that. We’ll talk guidelines and use that word interchangeably with “rules,” but these rules will be there to serve you, not the other way around. If you find yourself frustrated by a “rule” and it’s taking the joy out of the process, then just forget about it!
5. Beautiful Rooms Take Patience
The best, lasting decisions are made when you’ve taken your time. Even if you’re getting sick of looking at an empty corner in your home, don’t rush out and buy the first thing within my budget that “fits the bill” or “fills the spot.”
Let’s just all agree that there’s no rush in this process. We’ll take our time, find the piece that we love, that makes our heart sing, and not settle for “good enough.” That’s how you end up with a room you love: when you’ve taken the time to consider each thing you add to it, and you know you’re head-over-heels for it. Don’t waste your money on “good enough for now.” Not even if it’s free. It’s not worth it.
6. It’s All Temporary
I mean this in two different ways.
First: no room is ever “finished,” even if it’s “good enough for now.” Your needs will change, your tastes will change, and you’re always free to move things around just to try, even if you end up not liking the change.
Second: it’s all temporary. Decorating should be fun and it is fun… but it doesn’t matter, not the way people matter. When we’re all long gone, it won’t matter if we created the most beautiful spaces. Don’t spend too much emotional energy hating your sofa or hating your paint color. Keep perspective: a chandelier is just a light, after all. It’s not worth causing friction in your family, or stretching your budget beyond what you can afford.
Check out our decor tips & tricks blog, for more decor inspiration, ideas, and education.
Color and Pallete
Have you ever noticed that walking into a brightly colored room can lift your spirits? In the same way, flooring design elements like colors, styles, textures and finishes influence the way a room feels. Vast rooms can be made to feel cozier with matte, warm tone floors. Add sophistication with a dark hardwood floor. Use light colored floors to make a room feel more spacious and airy.
Pattern & Texture
If you want to create timeless appeal, or capture old world charm, look to patterns and texture in your flooring design ideas. Parquet wood flooring lends a refined look to areas like foyers and living rooms. Checkerboard patterns feel ageless and can be designed in wood, stone, tile or vinyl. Enhance any room by designing your own unique borders with two or more colors of hardwood, you can even get bolder by mixing flooring types like stone and wood to make eye-catching designs with global flair.
Analyze the use of colors in any skillfully decorated room and you will notice one main (dominant) color or family of colors. If you enjoy mixing periods and styles, the proper use of colors can pull it all together. To plan colors for interiors, start with the main areas which are usually walls and floors. Color for accent pieces (pillows, small furniture, accessories, etc) should be considered next. There are multiple different color combination you can use when decorating, below are the most popular ones.
- Related Color Family: uses the main color plus the colors next to it on the color wheel. This is one of the most popular, and safest choices when selecting a color scheme because related colors compliment each other well, creating a beautiful harmonious color scheme. For example, blue, blue- green ( turquoise), and green like in the below picture.
The below picture is another great example of a related color scheme, all of the elements in this room are from the brown family. From the dark espresso cabinets, to the warm honey brown floors, to the neutral beige walls, all the colors in this room are a form of brown.
- Monochromatic: uses various tints, tones, and shades all from the same color family. This type of harmony may be subtle or striking in it’s simplicity.
- Complementary: uses any two colors directly opposite on the color wheel, for example, orange and blue.
Warm Versus Cool Colors
Knowing the difference between a warm color and a cool color can help you choose color combinations more confidently. When you understand how the temperature of a color affects how it’s perceived, you can use that knowledge to design color schemes that work for you. When you’re confronted with a blank space and it’s time decide a color scheme, how can you know how to make color work with you instead of against you to accomplish your design goals? How can you know what color goes where?
- The basic color wheel is split into two halves, a warm half and a cool half. The warm half runs from red through yellow-green. The cool half runs from green through red-violet. This is not an arbitrary division. Our eyes and brains perceive different wavelengths of light as colors. Red wavelengths come from higher temperatures than blue wavelengths. How that applies to interior design is that warm colors tend to advance, or draw in space, and cool colors tend to recede, or feel more open and expansive.
- Since warm colors tend to advance, this means that they tend to draw in a space. This red living room feels more intimate because it’s red. If the designer wanted to make the room feel more open and expansive, she would have chosen a cooler color.
- If you have a large, sparsely furnished room and your goal is to close it in and make it feel more intimate, a warm color like this yellow can do that for you.
- Wanna get away? With a refreshingly bathroom like this, there’s no need to travel to the spa! The blue colors exude a sense of calmness, which are perfectly complimented with the whites, which give an added sense of freshness!
- Blue also tends to make a room feel larger when on the wall. This is important to know if you have a small room that you want to expand rather than make more intimate and close.
- Love the mint-colored mosaic tiles in this space! Cool hues can help you unwind from a hectic day, which makes them the perfect choice for a bathroom.
Moods Evoked by Colors
Color is a powerful design tool that can make the rooms in your home feel more calm, cheerful, comfortable or dramatic depending on the color you use. Below are some popular colors, and the feelings they evoke.
- Red evokes passion, romance, boldness, and confidence.
- It can feel contemporary, traditional, rustic or timeless, depending on the shade and context.
- A touch of red can add drama when used as the main color in a small space like a powder room. Red is the perfect choice for any room in which you want to create excitement!
- A bright, vivid tone like fuchsia suggests energy and glamour, great for a young ladies’ room!
- A soft and restrained pink, like blush, or a beige with pink undertones creates a soothing feeling.
- Keep in mind, pink has the tendency to go sweet and sappy quickly, so if you don’t want that romantic, girly look, keep lines simple and clean and use sophisticated fabrics.
- Orange stimulates your appetite and adds warmth, so it’s also a good choice for a dining room or kitchen.
- The brighter the orange, the less you need, when you have orange it’s going to draw your eye, so make sure you’re using it in locations you want to be noticed.
- Yellow adds optimism to your home, prompting feelings of happiness in all who enter. It activates memory, stimulates the nervous system, promotes communication and sparks creativity.
- Muted yellow works well as a soothing neutral. A sun-kissed yellow brings the warmth of summer inside your home. A pale yellow can make a compact room feel larger.
- Green represents growth and renewal. It’s associated with grassy fields, luscious leaves and other gifts of nature, so it lends a calming feel to a room.
- The soothing quality of green makes it ideal for almost any room. Turn your bathroom into a relaxing spa-like retreat by using blue-greens mixed with gray and white.
- Blue evokes feelings of calm and freshness, and represents strength and dependability. The beauty of blue is the elemental color’s amazing versatility.
- A high-energy shade of blue, like sapphire, can add a bold punch of energy to a room.
- A lighter shade of blue is associated with calmness, it works well in a bathroom, bedroom, or all rooms where one goes to relax.
- Purple, the color of royalty and creativity, is a combination of calm blue and exciting red. The color can add exotic flair to different rooms in your home.
- Purple can be dramatic or quiet, depending on the tone or shade. The regal color can add richness to a space or drama to an architecturally simple room.
- Light lavender-gray walls can add softness to a formal living room, while purple pastels mixed with modern art can make a teen’s bedroom feel hip and young.
What’s your decorating style?
Figuring out your style is one of the first steps in creating decor you’ll love. Watch this video to learn the secrets to defining your style.