The first step in getting started with decorating is to make a realistic budget. With a budget in hand, you need to analyze your space. Is it big, small, odd-shaped, or problem-ridden? Brainstorm about the basics: walls, floors, and ceilings. How can you use paint, wallcoverings, and more to create effects? How do you choose the best flooring and the right lighting? Is there any way to dress up a boring ceiling? With all the choices out there, you need a guide to help you decide.
Consider color, patterns, and textures — they need to work together. Color can be tricky to work with. Most people fear using too much or too bold color or bad combinations. Then there’s pattern — how do you layer three, four, or more patterns to get the look you want? In this book, you discover that there’s nothing to fear, if you understand some very basic decorating rules.
Take some time to become familiar with different decorating styles, such as Traditional, Country, Modern, Cottage, and so on (see Chapters 9 and 10). Compare the different styles and see if your personal style falls into one of the categories, giving you a leg up with planning.
As you can see, home decorating calls for much more than painting walls a pretty color and buying furniture. Decorating is about making your home comfortable, functional, and great looking.
From a decorating perspective, two types of rooms exist: the easy ones and the tough ones. Decorating a room that needs only pretty furniture in order to feel complete is relatively easy. Decorating a room that has appliances, equipment, and fixtures and is used frequently is relatively tough.
You need decorating know-how to create the three tough rooms: the kitchen, the bathroom, and the home office. You can add lots of extras to these rooms to make them even more functional and more stylish. Even if you order pizza and Chinese five nights a week, your kitchen is the most lived-in room in your house. You use it for everything from cooking to entertaining, which means it has to meet a variety of needs for a variety of users. The hearth of the home truly has very special decorating needs.
Just because a room is functional doesn’t mean it should be bare-bones basic. The bath — no matter what its size — has morphed into a spa. Whether your bathroom is small or large, turn it into an oasis of comfort. More and more of us are working out of our homes these days. Your home office (or library or study) needs professional-level function and style. You need solutions that work for you when you go to work! The bedroom, living room, family room, and other lively places fall into the easy decorating category. They are not without challenges, though. You spend a third of your life sleeping. Select your bedroom’s look while keeping in mind function, fun, and style. You’ll make different design choices if you’re decorating bedrooms for children and guests. Your living room is a public room that’s also very personal. You want your living room to be a comfortable, relaxing room with maximum style.
Entertaining at home is bigger than ever. Having people over for dining, screening your favorite shows, or playing games is the “in” thing. Some people entertain in the kitchen or the living room. No matter what rooms you entertain your friends in, you want a functional and fun look.
Do you have plenty of space? Get more use out of it! Decorate bonus spaces, such as entryways, attics, basements, porches, hallways, balconies, and lofts, in attractive and functional manners that give your home a new look.
You can also take your home decor to a whole new level simply by accessorizing. Accessorizing is what makes rooms in magazines and on TV so pretty. As decorators, we’ve styled plenty of rooms (both sets and real rooms) for magazines. The right accessories and placement can make or break a room.
Let's face it, decorating your home can be an overwhelming business as the options are literally endless. But that's what also makes it so much fun.