Many people have a difficult time decorating their homes. Their heads are so full of ideas that they don’t know which ones to go with. Hiring an interior decorator may solve the problem but can also be very expensive. So what do you do to improve the look of your home?
Instead of struggling with this problem, we’ve compiled 14 great tips that you can use to improve your home decor. They’re not time-consuming and don’t cost a lot of money either. These projects do require some patience and trial-and-error so that you can figure out what works with the structure of your home.
1. Finding your Style
Before you can settle on one theme, you have to “style and error” in order to find something that works. You’ll have to make many attempts to get something that you like and also suits your home. Don’t feel too bad about changing things too often; changing your mind sooner is better than later when you’ve already started decorating. If you see something that you like, give it a try in your home then style around it. Just remember that you don’t have to stick with this style forever; in a few years, when you’re tired of your decor, you can change it all over again.
2. Look at Various Sources for Inspiration
If you don’t know where to start, look at travel magazines and home brochures. Go online and do a search for home interiors. You’ll have so many different styles to choose from, more than you ever imagined, but having too many is better than not having enough. Having more options on your plate means that you’re more likely to find exactly the style that you’re looking for for your home.
3. Develop a Design Brief
Interior designers have a process for themselves that makes it easy for them to figure out how to pull everything in your home together. You may not be a trained interior designer but it’s still important to create and follow a process instead of figuring things out as you go.
A design brief takes into account what you want, how much it will all cost, and how long it’s going to take to complete the project. Create a design brief for each room in your home to keep everything in order. It’s best that you draw this up once you’ve determined exactly how you want to decorate your home.
4. Samples are Your Friend
Never be afraid to take samples from home improvement stores. Not only because they’re free but because they’re great at helping you figure out how you can pull everything together to create one cohesive theme for your interior. Paint, textiles, whatever is available, don’t be afraid to take it.
Also, take two samples of everything. One will be the working sample that you try out in your home and the other will remain in your “master file” for reference so that you won’t have problems looking for your prime choice.
5. Trying out Hardware
Samples are great, but have you ever heard of taking rugs or artwork home on “appro?” It used to be the practice that you could take certain home items, such as furniture, rugs, or paintings, and try them out in your home to see if they work well. Of course, your credit card is charged; you can’t just walk out with them for free. So if you choose to keep them, you’ve already paid for them; if they aren’t what you’re looking for, you can return them and have the amount charged back to your card.
Not all places do this so it’s very important that you ask first. And exercise extreme care if you do decide to take anything home on appro; if you damage anything, the store may not want to take it back, leaving you stuck with items you don’t want.
6. Understand Your Interior
The best way to figure out how to decorate your room is to mock it up in a larger room. Use cardboard boxes or the furniture you already have to figure out where everything goes. Use some painter’s tape or chalk to outline certain doors, passageways, or windows so that you can get something of a feel of what it might look like when you’re done. Doing this beforehand will save you time and back pain from moving furniture around all the time.
7. Layer your Lighting
Adding different layers of lighting will give you full control of how much light you need during different times of the day. Split your lighting into three different purposes: general, accent, and task. General lighting is all-purpose lighting that you need for moving around your home or getting things done. Accent lighting accentuates certain features of the room, such as pieces you’ve hung on your wall. Task lighting is directional in nature so that you can move and adjust them as you need it. Trying out different types of these lightings will provide you with interesting layers that will keep your decor interesting.
8. Consider Flow and Furniture Placement
Many people just stick furniture next to walls and leave them at that. But you can create a more interesting layout by trying out different shapes and setups that help traffic to flow through a room better. Use colored tape on the ground to track possible route people may want to take throughout your home. Use boxes to lay out what kind of furniture would be most suitable in which spot, and what the size limitations are. You may want to go with a simple couch, or consider a Fombag instead; you won’t know until you try different things to see what works.
9. Focus on Cushion Selection
Determine the areas where you want cushions in your home. Do you want them on your couch and chairs? What color and how many? Do you want them to be symmetrical or scattered and less organized? Deciding on the look you want will make it easier for you to figure this out.
Overall, symmetry works better in bedrooms and rooms with lounges. This is because symmetry means fewer cushions, which you may not want a lot of in these rooms. Deciding between patterns or solid colors is also another choice you’ll have to make. Again, this is another project that requires a lot of trial and error before you find what you’re looking for.
10. Eliminate Clutter
When changing the decor of your home, you’re probably going to have to get rid of a lot of stuff. Divide the things you have into three piles: one pile for things you definitely don’t want anymore, one pile for things you really want to keep, and a maybe pile in the middle. Go through your items one by one to see what pile they fit into and then determine which items go well with the decor you’re planning for. For the items you don’t want to keep, you can donate them or sell them in a yard sale. Thankfully, this kind of project should only take about a day, depending on the number of things you have.
11. Treat your Chairs as Accessories
The chairs in each room should complement the decor, not be the centerpieces. Focus on the larger items, such as couches, coffee tables, and rugs, and let your chairs accentuate or tone down the aesthetics of these pieces. Choose chairs of contrasting colors or patterns to make the decor of your room stand out even more. And don’t forget to choose chairs that are also comfortable; you don’t want great-looking chairs that no one wants to sit on.
12. Pick the Right Curtains
Different fabrics, patterns, colors, and styles all have to be taken into account when you’re looking for curtains for a room. Do you want blackout curtains or something more light and airy? Solid colors or patterns? What kind of curtain do you want to hang them from? Do you live by a noisy street and want to get curtains that block out sound? Knowing what you want beforehand will make future shopping a lot easier.
13. Don’t Forget Storage Areas
Before you plant out every single room in your home, remember to leave room for storage. Consider shelves and bookcases as part of your decor and make room for them. Don’t fill every single inch of your room with furniture and leave yourself with nowhere to keep your personal things. Many storage units have been designed to actually look good and add to the decor of your room so don’t be afraid to shop around.
14. Order Extra Fabric
When buying a couch or chair that you absolutely love, don’t be afraid to contact the manufacturer to see if you can get some extra fabric. This is to save you when accidents happen and you want to upholster the couch to get rid of stains. A good manufacturer will be able to provide you with fabric that’s from the same dye lot that your fabric’s furniture has so that no one will be the wiser.
Don’t be intimidated by all of the design ideas that get thrown your way. With some patience, you can sort through it all and find the perfect aesthetic that you’re looking for. And if you’re still bogged down with ideas, it may be a good idea to consult an interior designer after all, just to help you figure out how to bring your ideas to fruition.