Yesterday I wrote about the traits of a creative person and hopefully proved to you that everyone can learn to be creative – just develop a couple of those 8 traits described and you’ll be surprised at the wealth of ideas you can come up with.
The second part of that formula for decorating success is to master a few basic design principles. To remove the fear of the unknown when tackling decorating a space, fall back on these design principles and formulas.
Just like in any field, there are formulas for success – they serve as a jumping off point for any design. The solutions may not fit EVERY situation, but then that’s where you will use the creativity that you developed from yesterday’s exercise. Remember, a formula is there to provide you a starting place, a framework to begin to build the space that will ultimately become a manifestation of your personality.
Home decor is comprised of three BROAD sections – color, furniture placement/function and details/accessories.
- Light colors recede (move away), making something appear larger
- Dark colors advance (move toward), making an item or a room feel smaller
- When mixing colors in a space, strive for a balance of dark and light tones (not 50/50 balance)
- Match the undertones of colors in a room for the best result
- Don’t forget to consider the ceilings and floors as part of the envelope of a space
The “safe” formula is to create a neutral shell (not necessarily all white) in which you can let art and furnishings take center stage. While this is an excellent formula for success, it’s definitely the one with the most leeway for interpretation.
We’ve written a lot about color. If you’d like to brush up on some color knowledge, take a moment to browse these articles Color for Home Decor Explained; Helpful Color Tips ; 5 Tips to Choosing Color to get started.
- Begin layouts by facing the largest piece of furniture toward a focal point in the room
- Try to create a conversation area by making an “L” shape with the seating pieces
- Make sure there is a table surface near all (or most) seating
- Move furniture out away from the walls
- Adequate lighting is important and should form a loose triangle of light around the room
The designer formula is to start with the major seating pieces in an L or U shape to define a conversation area and develop the space from there.
Cindy just finished an excellent series on all the specific details to developing the perfect room arrangements. You can read more here: Redesign Furniture Placement; Introduction to Furniture Placement; Furniture Placement for a Rectangular Room.
- When adding accessories, larger is better (less cluttered)
- Add plant life (real or faux)
- Hang art appropriate to the size of the wall space
Perhaps the most fun but also one of the most challenging aspects is the final detailing of a room. It’s what will give the room the stamp of your personality. The designer formula is to use color and scale to coordinate the accessories to maximize their impact on the room.
Principles in a Nutshell
This quick summary of some basic design principles has then been distilled down to 3 basic formulas that will give you the framework to successfully decorate your space. Try keeping these formulas in mind as your decorating progresses through a room. Your confidence will grow with each success. With increased confidence comes the desire and ability to experiment further and let your creativity take center stage. The circle of learning/research to creativity to lovely, completed space is complete.
Do you have a tried and true decorating formula? Do you have a trick to kick start your creativity? We’d love to hear from you – leave us a comment by clicking on the word COMMENT below the ads.
Today is the last day for submitting responses to our posted survey. If you haven’t completed it yet, we’d love to hear your ideas on how YDH can help you in the coming year. Thanks so much to those who have already participated. Click the SURVEY button in the right margin or, even easier, click here.