When it comes to decorating your home, most people can easily tell you their ideas and exactly what they want, but have a hard time bringing those visions to life. With tons of furniture stores, style trends and inspiration pictures all over the internet (and don't even get me started on Pinterest!), the options are endless. It is very easy to feel overwhelmed, which is completely understandable. Decorating an entire home, or even just one room, is a daunting task. As someone who has had a passion for design and decor at a young age, I am still constantly learning new tricks, coming up with unique ideas and expanding my knowledge of the industry. As with anything, practice makes perfect! In light of all of this, I want to share the 10 general guidelines that everyone should follow when decorating, no matter the size, shape or function of a room.
#1: PERSONALIZE YOUR SPACE
Your living space should be a reflection of who you are. This is the first (and easiest) step in decorating your home. The best way to achieve this is by incorporating accessories that reveal your interests, hobbies and/or personality. Often times, we are drawn to "trendy" styles and items that only last for so long. But if your space represents your true authentic self, that will never go out of style!
#2: KEEP SIZE AND SCALE IN MIND
It's important to consider the scale and proportion of a room when you decorate. Always use a variety of big, little, tall and short things in a room. If everything is the same size, nothing will stand out. Attention to these details will create interest and drama and make your space visually appealing.
#3: COMFORT IS KEY.
Never purchase a piece of furniture purely for aesthetics. Comfort is the most important factor when decorating your space - for you and your guests. With a little thought and creativity, a balance of comfort and style can always be achieved.
#4: CLASSIC IS ALWAYS "IN."
There's a reason that classic never goes out of style. Incorporating pieces that withstand the test of time gives you the freedom to translate them as your design style evolves. It's helpful to establish a classic foundation, which will allow you to build on with seasonal decor, trendy or personalized accessories and/or updated finishes. The possibilities are endless when it comes to updating a timeless piece!
Proper lighting can instantly change the mood of a space. This is achieved through building three layers of light - ambient (general lighting that provides overall illumination) task (targeted to a particular area and intended to illuminate a specific function) and accent (also called highlighting, it draws attention and is focused on a particular object). One type alone won't be sufficient, as each type meets a particular need and together create intrigue and variety.
Hide clutter by integrating storage within your decor. Choosing furniture with storage space (i.e. coffee tables with shelves, under the bed drawers, built-in shelving on wall space) will allow for all your belongings to have a home, but stay concealed and stylish at the same time!
#7: PLANTS & GREENERY.
Consider adding plants and/or florals to your decor. Whether large or small, they can serve as functional design elements, soften architectural elements and balance out your overall design. More than anything, they are inexpensive and readily available, and fill your space with life and natural energy.
When it comes to infusing color into a space, wall paint is the fastest and easiest way. Color makes such a huge impact and creates instant change in a room! For smaller rooms with less natural light, use neutral soft tones, and if you are going for a more cozy atmosphere, opt for darker shades. Whether light or dark, adding appropriate colors to boring white walls is always a good idea!
#9: MIX IT UP.
Have fun with mixing patterns and textures. Whether it's on furniture upholstery, bedding or decorative pillows, always combine solids and prints. And for monochromatic settings, go for a variety of textures and feels. All these elements give a space more visual depth and contrast.
#10: HIGH END VS. CHEAP ALTERNATIVES.
It's always a good idea to combine expensive and inexpensive pieces in interior design and decor. Try to add a blend of eclectic furnishings and accessories - it always makes for a unique overall design, and doesn't kill your bank account either! But always remember to spend more money on items where comfort and function is involved - it's always worth it.