Decorating can be rather confusing, especially when you don’t have a lot of experience on the subject. I mean, everybody has unique taste, but it also takes some understanding of patterns, colors and their relationship to one another to really bring a space to life. We sat down with our friends from Hollywood Countertops to discuss some amazing ideas to decorate any interior.
If you’re here, you’re probably interested in super effective ways to bring out the magic of a space you spend a good amount of time in. Maybe you just moved in to a new home, or maybe you’re just tired of the way your home looks and feels (and in some extreme cases, smells… lol). Maybe this is your office, studio, room… whatever it is… maybe you just need to change things up!
The fact is, you have to make decisions that you haven’t had to make in a very long time. Worst of all, these are decision you have to “live with” for a long while too- you’re not going to be repainting your walls or refinishing your cabinets and shelves over and over again. What type of patterns and colors match your walls and which type of coffee table goes with that couch? But wait, you also have to consider the budget you have available for your new project.
I’m not trying to scare you but let’s face it, you need a little help! You need a few tips to point you in the right direction because having a beautiful space is important, and most people don’t even know it!
Why is it important? Because you need a space you can go to for peace and relaxation. You need a space that inspires you to think, create and even spend time with others! You need a space that you can actually call “home”. Like I said, this space is important and I want to help you transform any room or area in your life into the space you deserve!
These are a few simple tips to get you started…
1. Your Front Door is Key!
Your front door is undoubtedly your home’s first impression. Paint the front door a fun, polished tone that will give your friends and family a great first impression of your home. Red is a bold color that signifies good luck in numerous societies. A red entryway is another popular option; it signified “welcome” to tired voyagers in early America. A beautiful shade of red with lustrous or matte gold or silver fixtures would really improve the entrance to your home! Two other colors picking up in popularity are orange and yellow, which interestingly enough, are related to euphoria and warmth. those two could be paired with matte stainless steel finished fixtures to give your home a beautiful, inviting entrance.
One thing that must go in all homes are the obsolete screen doors. Dispose of them immediately!! You should replace them with a storm door with full-length glass that you can change out for a screen panel.
2. Keep Wall Colors Light and Neutral
Stick to hues like beige, cream, off-white, pink and gray particularly on the first floor. Once your guests get past the front door, what are they going to experience? If you select dark or abrasive colors, you’ll notice the tone you set for your entire living space will reflect a more abrasive and dark atmosphere. Neutral colors will also expand your decorating options since you won’t be limited in your rooms’ potential accessories by the color of your walls. Here’s a video with a some great color ideas!
Pro Tip: If you have two similar living spaces next to one another, it’s a good idea to keep them painted a color that is very similar if not the same. This will make your spaces feel bigger than they are.
3. Sunlight is your Room’s Best Friend
There’s nothing better than an open room with plenty of light. Sure, we could have lamps and fixtures everywhere but the most beautiful and magnificent form of light is clearly sunlight. Furthermore, it’s almost better to remove ugly, outdated drapes and curtains than to have any at all; how much darkness do your living spaces really need anyways? In a perfect world, window dressings should be as functional as they are beautiful.
Pro Tip: If your room gets a great deal of sun, decide on drapes or curtains with light hues that won’t fade; preferably made of cotton, linen, or a silk / silk blend.
4. Hang One Mirror in Every Room
“Mirrors can make a space feel much better because they bounce rich and vibrant light around the room,” says Roger Charles from NYC based D&D Style. Just bear in mind that putting one in an inappropriate spot can be nearly as terrible as not having one at all, so don’t go mirror crazy! Sometimes the angle and placement will conflict with the flow dictated by the colors and accessories adorning a room.
Pro Tip: Put mirrors on walls that aren’t directly in front of windows. As you can imagine, hanging a mirror on a wall in front of a window will bounce the light you were trying to capture in the room right out the same window it entered, ultimately defeating the purpose of hanging a mirror to begin with. Placing mirrors on the walls that are perpendicular or next to the wall with the window letting in the light will drastically improve the light flow in your room. the room may not need a mirror if the room has two windows next to each other,
5. Your Sofa and Chairs Must Talk to One Another
… and what a brilliant conversation that must be. Just kidding. When setting up your living room, the most important thing to consider is the vibe you’ll be creating for yourself, your family and any guests that visit. Many people don’t just want to sit and enjoy the television that’s in front or to the side; in actuality, they want to be able to talk, and make eye contact with one another and enjoy each other’s company. It’s very important to consider this when arranging the furniture in your living room. One thing to avoid is putting all the furniture against the walls. Contrary to some people’s opinions, this doesn’t make your room seem larger; on the contrary, floating furniture in a room has a much greater effect on a person’s perception of room size.
Pro Tip: Placing furniture in the shape of a ‘U’, where the sofa anchors the two chairs or love seats to each side, is incredibly popular because it creates a wonderful vibe as well as conversational environment. Two other brilliant configurations for your living space could be an ‘H’ where the sofa faces two chairs directly in front or the ‘L’ which is pretty self explanatory.
6. Layer Your Lighting
Overhead lighting is very common everywhere we go but have you truly considered what each light that shines overhead is actually accomplishing? One amazing suggestion is to have your overhead lights fulfill the roll of ambient lighting. These types of lights are simply supposed to illuminate the room giving off a very loose, yet proper vibe. You can achieve this by installing bulbs with lower voltage or lumen. You can also install a dimmer but be sure the light attached to it can handle dimming. When in doubt, ask on Facebook or Instagram if any of your friends know how that works. Chances are, you know a realtor, contractor, or electrician that can shoot you some information.
Pro Tip: Here’s one you don’t get often… so I’ll give it to you. Up-lighting!! You may not notice this at events you attend, but you’ll often find up-lighting is installed around the room in colors that match the decor of the event in order to better tie the atmosphere of the room with the theme of the event. The same concept applies to homes and living spaces, except, instead of using different colors to tie in the decor, different shares of light along with different intensities can be put on the ground, in a corner or against a wall, shinning light up to the roof. This doesn’t only further tie your room together, it also reflects light off the roof making your ceilings feel taller and your room larger.
7. Your Artwork Must Be Scaled to the Size of Your Wall
Size does matter after all! Especially when it comes to artwork! For example, don’t, don’t, don’t hang tiny little, itty bitty artwork on a huge wall, no matter how much you love the piece. Another important point is not to hang your piece so high up on the wall that it simply does not balance the feel of your room. Remember, this piece is meant to feel beautiful and bring out the subtle intricacies you’re trying to accomplish in your space.
Pro Tip: Hang artwork so that the middle of the piece sits at eye-level with you. I understand some people are taller than others, but use your common sense- you’ll know when a piece feels good because, well, it feels good. When a piece is a the right height, you can step back and truly admire the way it adorns your wall. If you have smaller pieces that you love and want to hang on a large wall, that’s fine too. Simply make sure that collectively, they feel like one large piece. Hang them 2-4 inches from each other to maintain good symmetry and tasteful separation.
8. Your Furniture Feet Should Sit on Area Rugs
Remember what I was mentioning about your artwork being to scale with the size of your room and wall? The same applies to your area rugs. The most ideal situation is to have a rug that is big enough to fit not only your coffee table, but also all four legs of your sofa and chairs. In many cases, we are talking about a very. very large rug since most people’s sitting spaces are generously sized. Budgets don’t always agree with this idea so I offer an alternative that still works. Please find a rug that at minimum rests under the front two feet of both the sofa and any chairs that surround the it; this includes all four feet of the coffee table. Failing to set up an area rug big enough to cover these points will ultimately leave your room feeling unbalanced and in many cases, smaller than what it really is.
9. Make the Ceiling Higher
I’m sure you’re wondering if you read that correctly- how can you raise your ceiling? Setting your drapes higher, usually about 3-4 inches above the window casing, will give the impression your ceilings are actually taller than they really are. This is a great option for people who live in homes that have low ceilings but still want to people to feel like they’re in a roomy space.
Pro Tip: Measure from the floor to the top of your window casing and write that number down. Then measure from the floor to your ceiling and write that number down. Those two numbers will give you an idea of how tall your curtain panels should be. Keep in mind, however, that standard curtain panels usually measure 84 or 96 inches in height. If you need panels a size different from those two, I suggest you search online or order custom-made curtains.
10. Touch Up Any Outdated Finishes
A little makeover can go a long way in freshening up your space. Maybe your kitchen cabinets have an old finish or just need some love. Sometimes a fresh refinishing can really bring out the modern in them. Same goes for all the fixtures. A beautiful matte stainless steel finish can be accomplished with simple can of spray paint. Maybe even a DIY project on the kitchen table- a little sanding and painting could have your table telling a whole new story.
Pro Tip: Swap out your glasses, coffee mugs and plates for something that’s updated and fits your style. Square or circular white dishes with handsome glasses and mugs is a simple way to change things up easily and inspire you to really focus on making your space yours.
I really hope these tips help you in improving the way your living space makes you feel. We’ve found many cases where simply de-cluttering is the cure, but de-cluttering is way more complex issue and is something we’ll address in a later post.
Decor and design isn’t an exact science and honestly, the first step to a better space is taking a first step, no matter what it is. Keep reading this blog to learn what a great first step to fixing your home or office is!