Home Interior Decorating

Written by Blaire Chandler-Wilcox
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The goal of all home interior decorating is to create your own ideal environment. Doing this takes more than just grabbing a balloon window treatment. It takes time, patience, and more than a little information, not only about paint colors and furniture styles, but about yourself, and what you want each and every room to offer you.

Learning from the Pros: A Project

Researching home decorating styles should be a fun project. Experts recommend beginning by looking at pictures, and lots of them. Get sticky notes, a good marker, a set of scissors, some folders, and some tape. Go through books, and mark pages with stickies, detailing exactly what you like about each example. Grab as many magazines as your arms can hold, and cut out pictures. Write directly on the page, "I love this paint color," "This window treatment is beautiful because it lets the light in but still delivers privacy," or "This bed would make me feel like a princess." Cut the pages out, and put them in folders marked "living room," "bedroom," "window treatments," "furniture," and so on. Try not to judge rooms, or think, "That would never work for me." There may be a part of you that really would get a kick out of a single leopard print pillow on a bed, or find that Monday morning spent in a kitchen with sunny yellow curtains might kick-start your day in a way that simple caffeine never could.

Try to give yourself plenty of time for this project. Over time, you may begin to be surprised at the design details you find yourself attracted to. You may discover that every room you have found beautiful has the exact same color walls, even if you never would have thought that "summer squash" was your favorite color. You may be surprised that not one piece in your "my favorite furniture" folder features turned legs like what your grandmother's furniture had. Even if you lived your whole life in Tulsa, Oklahoma, you may find that a slight Asian influence lifts your spirits, or that Old-Florida charm makes you feel cozy and safe.

Pay special attention to window treatments in rooms, too. Notice how they quietly influence the entire space, no matter how simply or dramatically they're dressed. Identify what works and what doesn't, how they've "tricked" the eye into conveying space, grandeur or coziness. Recognizing not only what you like, but why you like it, is the best step toward making your "ideal environment" a reality.

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