Decorating Your Home
  • Personal style is the foundation of home decorating.

  • Use color association to make magic in your home. Love the ocean but stuck in a city apartment? Paint your room a soothing sea green; imitate the sand with a jute rug and the colors of the sky and clouds with the upholstery. Tie it all together with accessories in shades that combine all of the colors, or choose an accent color like purple or pink. Warm up a home in a northern climate with rooms painted in sunny yellow. And if the summer's heat gets to you, paint the ceiling of your sun porch a cool blue. You can lower your temperate just by staring at it.

  • Trompe l'oeil means fooling the eye. In decorating, as in art, a surface design can fool the eye in a sense of "visual texture." Examples are a wood floor with an "oriental rug" painted on it, a table with a faux marble top, a fabric with a geometric design that looks 3D, or a wall with a set of false bookshelves complete with textured wood grain and aged leather book covers.

  • Balance is the visual equilibrium caused by the handling of correct proportions.

  • Remember that the most enjoyable and memorable rooms are those that are continually changing with additions of things that have personal meaning and subtractions of pieces that just don't work any longer.

  • Hiring an interior designer is money well spent, whether it's for a consultation or for an entire project. A designer can save you time, money, and a lot of worry.

  • When choosing any piece of furniture, remember that comfort, construction, and materials are as important as aesthetic design.

  • If your budget allows, natural materials like ceramic tile, brick, stone, and marble can provide dramatic floors in select spaces.

  • Mirrored walls can visually expand a small room and double the visual interest by reflecting the furniture and accessories.

  • Fabrics add an essential element of comfort to every room, and their many colors, patterns, and textures can set different moods.

  • Opaque shades direct light in one direction. Translucent materials diffuse light in several directions.

  • Like clothing accessories, decorative accessories are the finishing touches to a room with style. They should be carefully selected and displayed. DON'T CLUTTER.

  • Entryways are small but important spaces for decorating, as they create the first impression for your home.

  • Whether you live in one room, two rooms, or a house with small rooms, properly scaled furniture, creative storage, and thoughtful lighting produce an organized and pleasant space.

sales annex

Save 30% off select Idiot's Guides

Click here to see our list of specially priced books in our Sales Annex