Home decorating is a lot of fun, but it can also be very expensive, especially if you are not really sure what your ultimate goal is. Some people just know that they want a change but are unable to verbalize their vision or even see it in their heads. These people often consult professional interior designers to help them articulate how they would like their home to look; the designer then tells them what it will take to get them there. The truth is that knowing a little bit about decorating up front will save you a great deal of money in the end. Even if you hire a decorator, you may be able to cut down on their hourly billing if you go into a consultation with a clear idea of how you want them to help. If you do enough work on your own, you may gain the confidence to do some or all of the jobs yourself. People who do their own decorating feel that it is more flexible; they may be “afraid” to change anything they paid a designer to do but have no problem rearranging their own work until it suits them perfectly.
Here are a few home decorating tips for each room of your home. For more advanced ideas, you can do some research online and look at images of decorated rooms. There are also many books and magazines available – not to mention television programs – that will help you see your options and at least narrow down your choices to a few things you might really like.
Redoing a kitchen can be one of the most expensive home decorating projects, but also one of the most rewarding. Most people who are planning to buy a house will notice the kitchen immediately, and its styling is often a deal-breaker. Kitchen decorating is expensive because you need to work with plumbing, heat elements (gas or electric cooking), large appliances and professional hookups, and costly elements like quartz countertops . Many people have set ideas about what they are looking for in a kitchen and will pass on a home bid if they know they are going to be investing a lot of money for renovations on top of the cost of the house. For example, granite countertops and stainless steel appliances are the rage right now, but in a few years, something else may be popular. It is less important to compare your kitchen to others and more important to make a list of your absolute must-haves. For example, do you want a granite countertop because you cook frequently and love granite’s properties? Or do you just want granite because it is what everyone else has and you want to be up-do-date? A more logical reason might be because you want to increase the home’s resale value. None of these is wrong, but you should at least know why you are spending your money in particular ways.
Look through a history of popular decorating finishes over the last fifty years or so to see how things have evolved; this will give you an idea of how things might be different in the next ten years. For example, take major kitchen appliance finishes. In general, the timeline has gone something like this:
1960s and 1970s: rust, gold, and green
1980s and 1990s: almond, white
2000s and 2010s: black, stainless steel
What might be next? Perhaps clear tempered glass or plastic? Neon appliance colors? Stranger things have happened. Stainless steel has already started to give way to oiled bronze.
When planning your kitchen decoration, you really need to consider:
1. Whether or not you cook a lot.
2. Whether or not you have children.
3. Whether or not you will be staying in the home for a long time.
4. Your budget.
If you do not cook gourmet meals or do not cook very often, there is no need to install a state-of-the-art kitchen just because it might look good and impress the neighbors. Whether or not you are a daily cook, consider your patterns when moving around an area and try to determine the best locations for things like an island and extra storage. If you have young children, you will need to consider safety factors; if you have older children who are in the kitchen a lot themselves, you will want to make sure things are easy for them to access as well. For example, you can buy refrigerators with horizontal drawers at the bottom; this makes it easy for kids to get their own snacks out by themselves.
If you have an eat-in kitchen, seating will obviously need to be considered. If not, then you will need to decorate a dining room.
Separate dining rooms are quickly becoming a thing of the past, as open floor plans have led to the development of great rooms. Some people still prefer (or have) a formal dining room, but regardless, you still need a large table and enough seating for the entire family and guests. Not much else is needed, but some people like to include a hutch, corner cabinet, or banquet table here.
It is better to keep the feel of the dining room casual unless you really do a lot of fancy entertaining. Choose flooring that is easy to maintain, as crumbs and spills will happen. A beautiful mirror or painting will help to contribute to the overall feel of the dining room. Bathrooms, like kitchens, can be a costly endeavor on your list of home decorating plans. While you will not be cooking in your bathroom (At least, we hope not!), there are still plumbing issues and countertops to be considered. Check out http://countertopoptions.org for a variety of pictures and information on countertop options. Again, certain finishes come into style and go out again. If you do not have the money to restyle a room every few years and you plan on staying in your home for a while, try to go with the simplest design elements.
Some of the trends with bathrooms involve sink styles. Tastes seem to vary between pedestal and vanity sinks. Pedestal sinks do indeed look sleeker, but if you have children or just need storage, a vanity sink is ideal.
With the bathing area, most people have a combination bathtub and shower, but some homes feature these separately. Grouted tile was once common but requires a lot of cleaning and maintenance to stay white and fresh. Now, most people install all-in-one fiberglass units to eliminate the grout problem.
A huge factor in decorating a bathroom is water conservation. Toilets have not changed a whole lot over the years, except internally. Low-flush toilets really do cut down on the amount of clean water used with each flush and can have a huge positive impact on your water bill and the environment. Sinks and showers can also be installed with special aerators and low-flow taps and heads to cut down on the amount of water used.
You can have fun with color in the bathroom. People do not generally spend a large portion of their day in this room, so a serene decorating scheme is not crucial. A spa-like environment can be created with candles and aromatherapy when it is desired. For everyday rush-and-go bathing and grooming, you may like cheerful bright colors or whimsical styling.
Keeping the bathroom clean is a top priority, so it helps to decorate in a way that helps you maintain a clean bathroom. Bathrooms tend to accumulate stay fallen hairs and dead skin cells; too many rugs on the floor will need frequent washing. Keeping the floor smooth (so that it can quickly be swept or wiped) might be a better idea. A bathmat can be laid out temporarily and hung on a towel bar when not in use.
Bedrooms are a relatively quick and easy home decorating project. Master suites with attached baths may be more involved, but the bedroom itself requires little. Most of the time, it is a matter of painting walls and choosing flooring. These are the more permanent elements of the room, so be sure that you are choosing color and finishes you can live with for a long time. If you have your linens and the overall look already in mind, you might go with more distinct colors for the paint or carpet. However, if you are taking your decorating in stages, it is always a good idea to go with more neutral tones for both.
The next stage is selecting furniture. Some people will want or need a whole matching suit of furniture, including bureaus and dressers; others have walk-in closets to contain their entire wardrobe and just need a bed and small tables on either side. Of course, the mattress is the most important investment in your bedroom. Choosing the size of the bed will be the first decision. Next, shop for a mattress in the size that is comfortable for you and your sleeping partner. After the mattress has been chosen, pick out a headboard and footboard or full bed in the right size. It is best to buy the bed last, as sometimes things happen with mattresses: A couple may decide it is not the right size for them or that it is not as comfortable as they thought it would be.
Colors for bedrooms are important. Bedrooms should be reserved for sleeping, relaxation, romance, and dressing. For the most part, people want to feel peaceful when they are in their bedroom. You might be tempted not to care too much about the bedroom; many people save this area for last when redecorating, reasoning that they are the only ones who see the room. However, a good night’s sleep and a restful oasis contribute to a positive mood that can affect your entire day for the better. Do not shortchange yourself here. Not only do you deserve a beautiful, clean, organized bedroom, but it is important to your health.
Decorating a living area involves the whole family. You might have two separate rooms: a formal living room for entertaining guests and a more casual family room for relaxing. If you only have one room, you will need to consider both elements when selecting furnishings and a general layout and color scheme.
Colors for a living area should generate conversation and happiness while also remaining on the relaxing side if you have children. Kids bouncing off of neon or bright warm tones like red and orange might not be the ideal situation for most people. Soft yellows, greens, and blues blended with whites and neutrals make a perfect living room for most people. Of course, the overall look can be customized to suit your taste, as these colors will look great whether your style is Victorian or contemporary.
The primary focus of living room furniture is seating. While you should have enough to seat every family member comfortably, you will also want enough room for visitors to be able to sit as well. Older arrangements of a sofa and a few chairs work well for singles and couples, but families may prefer the convenience of modular seating or sectional sofas. These allow individual pieces to be added together to create a sofa of any length or shape; the sofa may wrap around two or even three walls.
Another huge factor in living room decorating is the entertainment center. Whether it is a literal huge piece of furniture called an entertainment center or just the area in which the electronics are located, this should be easy to see when arranging seating. Nobody wants to crane their neck to look at their favorite show. However, many homeowners feel that they do not want a television and gaming system to be the focal point of the living area. If this is the case, you can choose entertainment armoires with doors to close off a television and stereo when they are not in use.
So What’s Next?
There are many things to consider in home decorating, particularly because decorating is an investment that you will want to live with happily for at least a few years. Take the time to do research. You may want to keep a binder full of notes, ideas, and measurements. If you do hire a pro to come in and assist with your projects, this will save a great deal of time and money. If you do the decorating yourself, you will be on your way to an organized plan so that you will not be tearing your hair out halfway through.