Monthly Archives: May 2016

Top Furniture Choices For Your Home

Are you setting up your first home? If you don’t know what you’ll really need, read our list of Top Picks for first-time furniture buyers.
1.  A Bed to Last a Lifetime

You’ll spend about 1/3 of every day in bed, so you should one that’s comfortable and well constructed. Choose the best quality one you can afford. After all, you’ll probably have it for 10 years or more. And keep in mind that the most expensive bed might not be the best bed. If you can’t invest in a great bed right away, buy an air bed for a short time. It will go into your guest room later. When you’re shopping for a bed, think about the proper size, firmness, and surface.

2.  A Table to Eat On

Most dining tables are round or rectangular, but you might start out with a square or round that extends to seat more. With leaves installed, your table might stretch through a doorway. Before you invest in a table, you might get a plywood tabletop on top of a sturdy base and cover it with a decorative floor-length tablecloth.

3.  Classic Dining Chairs

Choose your dining chairs to add beauty and color to your dining area. They should be comfortable enough so that you can sit for a long dinner and visit with friends. Wooden chairs are inexpensive, but upholstered chairs would be more comfortable. You can always put a slipcover over an upholstered chair to change the look for seasonal touches. Arm chairs are luxurious and can be moved into the living area when you need extra seating.

4.  A Great Sofa

Sofas come in many shapes, styles, fabrics, and costs. Select the best one you can afford. Next to a bed, it will be your most important upholstered piece. Don’t settle for anything less than a solid hardwood frame and 8-way hand-tied springs and attractive, durable fabric. Loose-backed cushions look casual while tight-backed sofas require less maintenance. You won’t have to keep adjusting and straightening the pillows. You’ll have to select length, arm shape, skirt or no skirt, how many cushions, plain or patterned fabric, down or synthetic cushions.

Tips to Learning Basic Home Decorating

Not everyone has the time to go to school to learn the basics of decorating. And depending on what you’d like to do as a decorator, not everyone has the need. But for those of us who have the eye, but not necessarily the know-how to design the interiors that we’d love to live in, there are numerous online resources that can give you more than enough information to get you on your way. With these great online sources, anyone can learn about the basics of decorating while finding wonderful inspiration for their first design project.

If  you have no clue about choosing furniture, selecting color, or what style of decorating you like, help is at your fingertips.

If you know just what you like but not how to bring the look to your home, you’ll find photos, tutorials, and helpful advice about decorating for just the right look.

Sitting at your computer, you’ll find loads of information without ever setting foot inside a classroom.

Whether you need ideas, color suggestions, or instructions on ways to do things, just get “web surfing.”

  • About.com’s site for Interior Decorating
    Of course, we think you’re already at the first stop. Here at About.com’s site for Interior Decorating we’ve tried to put together a lot of information to answer just about every question you might have. And we add more information all the time. But if you’re not finding what you need, check out some of these other sites.
  • About.com Style Guides
    Our own site has a section on Style Guides for Home Interiors. Learn what goes into making a comfortable Shabby Chic® bedroom or a French Country dining room. You’ll have fun deciding what style you like and learn how to bring the different elements into your rooms on any budget.

Make Your Favorite Decorating Style

Do you have any idea about what decorating style you like? It’s a simple enough question, but the answer isn’t always so easy to come up with. Of all the things that we learn while going through so many years of school, what decorating style we’d like to see in our living room or what era of furniture would best complement the layout of our bedrooms usually isn’t one of them. Go figure. Whether you’ve been to school for design or not, decorating is always a very personal process. That doesn’t change whether you’re doing it for yourself, working with a designer, or designing for someone else. When it’s your home, everything hinges on what you like and in the end only you can say whether the result is something that you’ll be happy living with. It’s always easy to tell whether or not you like something but sometimes it can be very difficult to say for sure what you like or why. That’s one of the reasons why designers emphasize an understanding of different styles when approaching a project.

It’s not that these are hard and fast categories that you have to fit into, but if you can identify the one or two that most strike your fancy, you’ll have a great starting point for filling in the rest of your look. Here’s a short guide from About.com that will steer you to some of the best quizzes and resources to help you determine your favorite decorating style.

Connect to the links here and answer some simple questions. Before you know it, you’ll get information on your decorating style, based on your answers. What could be easier? Use these sources as a guide to creating the interior that reflects your personality.

Then you can really call your house or apartment a home!

  • Better Homes and Gardens has a simple color quiz using attitudes about color to help zero in on your decorating style. You won’t have to wait for results, and you’ll get information about what the answers say about you. 
  • Take a Home Decorating Quiz from Houzz to get style hints as you decide on the style that you like best. 
  • Check out more Decorating, Design, and Style Quizzes. They are a great way to help you define home furnishings you love so you can create your perfect home.

How To Avoid The Decoration Mistakes

One of the things that makes decorating so much fun is the huge amount of resources that we can go to to learn more about how to make a beautiful room. We can readbooks and magazines, watchTV shows, read onlinearticles, and visit decorating showhouses to find all sorts of wonderful advice on things to do to get a beautifully decorated room.

But even with so much advice and inspiration on what to do, it can still be hard to learn what not to do or what mistakes you can avoid even before you even start a decorating project.

So to help fill in a few of those gaps, here is our list of the 20 easiest decorating mistakes to make and the best things not to do in order to get around them.

1. Don’t Let Someone Make Choices for You
Your home is your personal space. Don’t let someone else tell you what you should do. If you need help, ask for suggestions.

But when the time comes to make decisions, they should be yours. It’s your home and you should feel comfortable with the choices.

2. Don’t Paint First
You can buy paint in every color under the sun. In fact, you can have paint mixed in any imaginable color you might want. Choose fabric, carpet, and upholstery first.

3. Don’t Choose Paint From a Paint Chip
A small chip of a paint sample might look great in the fluorescent light in the paint store. But a whole wall of it might be overpowering. When you’ve decided on a color, purchase a quart of the color and paint a small section to see how the color looks in the room with natural light. If you don’t want to mess up the walls, paint a piece of cardboard and tape it on the walls in the room where you plan to use the color.

4. Don’t Decide on Colors in a Store
Never buy fabric, flooring, or paint on your first visit. Ask for samples of paint and carpet and swatches of fabric so you can see what they look like in your home. Check them out in natural light and in the evening with lamps.

5. Don’t Settle for Blah If You Love Bold
A gallon of red paint doesn’t cost any more than a gallon of white.

Home Decorating Project Tips

The thought of starting a decorating project is exciting or scary, depending on your experience, your budget, your taste, or your time.

If you’ve never done any decorating at all, you might feel that you don’t know how or where to start. If this is old hat to you, you might not know where to end. But when all is said and done, you want a new look and want to get started.

There’s very little question about what element to choose last, but there are lots of things you can select first.

Because paint is a very inexpensive part of the project and because paint is available in an almost infinite varity of colors, you should hold off buying the paint until you have other things identified.

But just what should you do first? Should you buy a whole roomful of furniture or choose a rug that you love?

Have you chosen an elegant wallpaper or luxurious fabric that you want to use?

You really can start wherever you want and work it all together into a plan. But it really does help if you start with a plan, an inspiration piece, and a color sheme.

Find your sources of inspiration and work your way through your decorating project. You’ll be happy you spent the time to plan.

  • Put a Plan on Paper
    As with any business plan, you should draw up a written statement for your project. Identify your style and then select a color scheme around your theme. Will you choose a garden style or a sleek contemporary decorating scheme? Put it in writing and stick to it.
  • What’s Your Style?
    Do you like formal or casual? Do you love French Country style or do you long to live in acottage style home? Spend some time to identify the style elements you love, and make plans to bring them into your space.
  • Start With What You Have
    Not everyone (in fact, very few people) can start with a fresh, empty room and begin decorating. Most of us already have some pieces of furniture or the home has carpeting, tile floors or countertops, or architectural features that you’re not ready to discard. If there are things you like, focus on them and make them important. If there are things you don’t like but cannot change, find ways to camouflage or downplay them in your newly decorated space.
  • Do You Have Decorative Pieces?
    If you have a collection of beautiful crystal, delicate china, or rustic birdhouses, these can be the start of a decorating plan. Based on the color schemes, decorative themes, or formality of your collection, you can use them to identify the start of your decorating project.