Ten Tips to Decorate a Room From Scratch

As a professional interior redesigner and interior decorator, I often receive calls from frustrated homeowners who have tried in vain to put a room together. They may select a paint color and then experience trouble matching artwork, window treatments, and upholstery. As a result, they have spent money on costly mistakes. If you are trying to create that great looking room, here are some tips you should follow that will make decorating a room an enjoyable pastime.

1. Determine the function of the room. Are you going to be watching television, reading, entertaining, playing board games, relaxing, etc.? This will help you determine the focal point and the furnishings for the room.

2. Assess the size and shape of the room as well as any architectural features. Are the ceilings high or low? Do you have plant shelves or niches? Is the room small requiring certain shapes and colors to make it appear larger? Does the room have an odd – angled layout or is it a long narrow room which requires angling the furniture?

3. Determine the focal point. Remember to revisit the main function of the room -step #1. Do you have a television, exceptional piece of artwork, fireplace, or beautiful scenery which will serve as the main attraction in the room?

4. Determine the seating area. Your main seating piece should face the focal point. To create a conversation area, the other seating should be close to the main seating piece either adjacent, or across from it. Ideally, you should not have to walk through the conversation area to go across the room. The simplest seating arrangement would be two chairs on either side of a sofa facing a coffee table. Make sure your seating arrangement will allow for good traffic flow. Angling furniture can address odd-angled rooms, bowling-alley type rooms, or small square rooms.

5. Determine how many end tables, coffee tables and sofa or console tables you need in the room. Again think about the function of the room. Ideally you should have a table to place a drink within reach of each seating area.

6. Determine lighting needs. Ideally, you want to create a lighting triangle, for example, light from the ceiling and two other sources such as table lamps or floor lamps, to adequately light the room. To determine the amount of wattage needed for lighting the room, multiply the square footage of the room by 1.5.

7. Determine your leading pattern. This can be your upholstery fabric, rug, window treatment fabric, or piece of artwork. My recommendation would be to select the pattern from either the rug or the upholstery if you are truly starting from scratch.

8. Once you have determined your leading pattern, add balance by selecting your window treatments.

9. Use your leading pattern to help determine your ceiling, wall, and trim paint colors. Consider what type of mood you want to create in the room and how this color will play into the color palette you are considering for the entire home.

10. Accessorize the room with artwork, accent pieces, pillows, throws and greenery to really finish the look of the room. Remember to incorporate different textures such as wood, glass, ceramic, and metal.

If you follow these tips, your room should exude harmony and balance. However, if you are “decorating challenged” or don’t feel comfortable doing this yourself, contact a decorator. It will prevent you from making costly mistakes.

Boring Decor? Use A Room Divider To Add Interest

Whether you live in an openly built home or a studio apartment, decorating with a room divider can help your space go from drab to fab! You can easily use a room divider of any type to make your space more warm and intimate, which is what you want your home to be all about. Although open floor plans are more and more popular today, they are not always the best for creating a warm and inviting environment. So, there are many situations when decorating with a room divider can really help you create a cozier atmosphere for you and your guests.

You can use several different types of room dividers in many various locations in your home. If you have a kitchen with an eat in dining area, you may want to think about placing a room divider in between the kitchen and the eating area. This will allow you to form two separate areas instead of one open space.
In addition, you can start decorating with a room divider in a studio apartment to actually make distinct differences between your different living areas. A few screens can help you create a “bedroom” which can be very cozy indeed.

Room dividers are decorative as well as functional. Don’t think of the divider as just a “short wall”, when you are choosing your room divider, be sure to think of it’s decorative appeal as well. Today, there are room dividers that can go with almost any décor. If you have an Asian theme, then you might consider looking at some bamboo or shoji screen room dividers. An antique theme will benefit from some of the beautiful antique style room dividers available either in woods or hand painted scenes. A contemporary décor will look great with a leather room divider, or if you want something more open for a smaller space, choose a stainless steel room divider with geometric shapes.

Another practical purpose of the room divider is to hide clutter. For instance if you have an area of your home, where the children keep their toys or where your laundry piles up, you can use a decorative room divider to help you hide this from your guests. In less than five minutes you can throw everything behind the screen up against a wall and never have to worry about them seeing a thing. Decorating with a room divider adds flair, creates comfortable areas, and can help you clean up in a flash.

Room dividers can be used to divide spaces, but also look great just flat against the wall. Using a room divider can give the appearance of a large mural or painting without having to actually paint a mural on the wall. You can use one as a headboard and they even look great behind the couch as a focal point.

No matter where you decide to use your room divider, you’ll love this unique and versatile way of decorating.

Home Decorating Ideas to Use to Create Christmas Holiday Traditions

Do you want to start Christmas holiday traditions in your family? You can begin with these home decorating ideas that you will be able to use each year that will create memorable holiday traditions for your family and friends.

Themed Christmas Tree

A Christmas tradition in our home is a color-coordinated, themed Christmas tree. This tradition was started when the living room was re-decorated. We wanted a Christmas tree that would be a beautiful addition to the holiday decor of the living room. We use an artificial tree with clear lights, pearl-like garland, and a large gold ribbon bow with several ribbon streamers coming down to the bottom of the tree. The ornaments are gold, white, and peach colored with an angel top ornament. Some ornaments are handmade and some have glitter on them. The result is a very pretty tree that we enjoy during the holiday season.

Christmas Cookies

Making Christmas cookies is a wonderful way to start a holiday tradition. Everyone can participate by mixing, baking and decorating the cookies. Our favorite cookies are decorated sugar cookies that are first rolled out, cut with holiday-shaped cookie cutters and then baked. After the cookies cool, they are frosted with white frosting and decorated with sprinkles or other appropriate toppings. A donut cutter makes a great holiday wreath cookie that can be decorated with green frosting leaves and red hot candies to resemble holly and berries. They are beautiful as well as delicious!

Holiday Keepsakes

Most families have holiday home decor that they use year after year. These holiday keepsakes become more valuable to friends and family with each passing year; they represent the happy memories from previous holidays. As you decorate your home for the holidays, you will remember the history of each keepsake and the memories associated with it. It is fun to add additional ornaments and decor to your home that have special meaning that will in turn become part of your holiday traditions.

Giving Tree

Many churches, non-profits and businesses have giving trees during the Christmas season to help those in need. Each member of your family could give a gift to a child, teen or adult from the requests on the giving tree. This provides everyone in the family an opportunity to think about the true meaning of Christmas and giving to those less fortunate. It’s fun to choose an age appropriate gift and imagine how excited the person receiving the gift will be on Christmas eve or Christmas morning.