Sunday, September 4, 2011

Ten Tips to Decorate a Room from Scratch

A Well-Coordinated Living Room - Decor Pad

I recently received a call from a client who needed help decorating his small home.  Unfortunately, he had already made some costly mistakes before contacting me.  If you are “decorating challenged”, before you tackle a room design, contact a decorator.  Believe me , it will save you money.

While my customer did a great job in enlarging his master bedroom by knocking out a wall between two bedrooms, installing beautiful kitchen cabinets and granite countertops in the kitchen, and redoing an entire bathroom, he had much difficulty with his decorating scheme.   He had purchased furniture which was too large for the living room and kitchen, painted the entire house interior a mint green color and selected draperies in the same fabric for the entire home.  He also installed a granite breakfast bar between the kitchen and living room which further minimized the wall space in the living room. When decorating your home, you need to have a plan.  It has to be cohesive so that everything flows.  Your starting  point is usually a more public room in your home like your living or family room.  Let’s examine some steps you should take to put this room together.

Good Furniture Placement
A Good Conversational Seating Arrangement - Decor Pad

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?

House Beautiful - books on coffee table
Ceiling Beams Add Architectural Interest to This Room - Houzz

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.

Southrn Living
Good Seating Arrangement and Table Placement - Decor Pad

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.

Long Wall 4 - Paul Grace Designs for Houzz
Good General and Ambient Lighting Create the Mood and Brighten This Corner of the Room - Decor Pad

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.

fabric  HB
The Leading Pattern - Calico Corners

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

Fireplace Accent Wall 2
Coordinating Window Treatments Balance the Room - Houzz

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.

Fall - throws and pillowa  Decor Pad 
Colorful Accessories Add Pizazz - Decor Pad

If  you're feeling "decorating-challenged", contact me to assist you in planning a room which exudes harmony and balance.


ashley said...

great tips!! thanks for sharing :)

Mary said...

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment, Ashley. Glad you found the tips helpful.

J. Harp said...

I agree. You are truly an expert. I'm a fan!

Mary said...

J.Harp, I so appreciate your feedback. I'm pleased that you agree with how to approach transforming an empty room into something that makes good design sense.

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...