Terrie and I are decorating junkies – as we know many of you are! As such, it’s easy for us to at times include jargon in our posts that readers with limited previous exposure to decorating might not fully understand. Plus, even experienced home decorators may not be familiar with a term at times because it’s not something with which they’ve had personal experience.
Today is the first article in a series on Decorating Terminology that I’ll present over the next few weeks. I’ll cover decorating terms that will help you “walk the walk and talk the talk” like a decorating pro. Today we start with some general terms that form a good foundation for understanding decorating speak.
General Decorating Terms
Accessible or Universal Design: Design for both interiors and exteriors that meets prescribed requirements for the majority of people, including those with disabilities. Door width, open space for wheelchair mobility, counter heights, audible and visual signals, switch and outlet height and other aspects are outlined by law and guidelines.
Accessories: Decorative items used to add detail to a room, such as vases, books, toss pillows, plants and art.
Alcove: A recessed part of the room, such as a sleeping alcove or a reading alcove.
Asymmetrical: An arrangement of elements that presents themselves off-center to one another, balanced but uneven.
Balance: An arrangement of elements that presents themselves in an equally distributed arrangement to one another.
Backsplash: Protection for the wall behind a counter top, stove or sink.
Common Thread or Golden Thread: A common color, theme or style used throughout a space that ties everything together.
DIY: Stands for “do it yourself”.
Floor Plan: A drawing, generally to scale, that depicts the horizontal design or arrangement of interior walls, windows and furnishings.
Focal Point: A visual center of interest or point of emphasis in a room that draws the eye, such as a fireplace, a painting, or a piece of furniture.
Motif: The primary idea or shape used in a piece of art, furniture or architecture.
Niche: A recess in a wall that often times is used to display accessories.
Pattern: A natural or artistic decorative design.
Pattern Repeat: The distance between a specific point in a design where that exact point is again repeated.
Personal Style: The expression of your personality, preferences, tastes and lifestyle reflected in the decor of your space.
Scale: The proportion or size of a piece of furniture, art or accessory in relation to the rest of the room.
Slipcover: A fitted cover for a piece of furnture that can be removed.
Style: The decorative design of a room, piece of furniture or object.
Wainscot: Paneling used on the lower half of an interior wall.
So what general terms do you still find confusing or what did I leave out that you’d like clarification on? This certainlly isn’t all of the general decorating terms! Leave a Comment by using the link below and I’ll try to clarify a requested term for you.
Next week look for more decorating terminology on Friday when we delve into style terms in the second post of this series.
P.S. Keep reading YDH - we’ll soon be announcing an invaluable tool for our readers that’s going to be available very soon. You won’t want to miss it!