Friday, August 21, 2009

Home Decorating Tips and Tricks

As I'm trying to decorate this new house with things from our first house as well as some new things, I am reminded how I came to know a few tips and tricks to decorating. My mom has a close friend that decorated her house and somehow, pieces of her advice trickled down to me. It occured to me that if I feel happy to know these that others might feel the same way too. So here are 5 that I consider to be most important. They're not style-specific. You can use them whether your style is traditional, contemporary, transitional, etc. Let me tell you...these will save you a lot of trouble. Some are common sense and some maybe not.

1. Always test paint before you buy it. When you think you've found the perfect paint color for your room, go and buy a sample or even a quart of that color and paint a fairly large square of it on one of the walls you are going to paint. Look at it in your room, with your furniture, and in different light. Live with it for at least 24 hours - maybe a week, if possible. This is so valuable because you can't return custom mixed paint and you don't want to commit to a color you've selected from a 2x2 paint card. It just looks different on the wall sometimes (most times).

2. Consider the shade of your color. Colors can have warm or cool tones to them. One beige may have pink undertones and another has yellow undertones. Look for that and get a color that has the undertones you want in your room. Once you've done that, go back to #1 and then decide if it's your color.

3. Be prepared when you go shopping. Whether you are shopping for furniture or accessories, know what size you will need. Measure wall space (for wall art) or floor space (for furniture) in your room before you go looking for your pieces. This way, you won't bring home a sofa that is either too small or too big. Same for accessories - especially wall art. Also bring along a tape measure and a swatch of anything that is already decided in the room such as wall color or drapery - but also look at #4.

4. Start with furniture, then build from that. Generally speaking, when decorating a room, it is wise to start with the furniture first and then pick a wall color, other fabrics and accessories to go with it. The simple reason - it is hard enough to find a significant furniture piece (sofa, entertainment center, bed, etc.) that you like and that is in your price range; if you are also trying to match it to patterned drapes and a fixed wall color, the search is that much harder.

5. Hang pictures at eye level. My mom's decorator friend said that a lot of people hang their pictures far too high on their walls. She said that the general rule is that the focal point of the picture should be roughly at eye level. It may seem like you are covering more of the wall by hanging them higher, but pictures that are 3 feet above the back of a sofa look like they are floating around up there and not connected to the room.



Mary said...

Any advice on how/where to place accesories on the wall, or how to get all your accesories to match? Everyone else seems to pull stuff together so well, and my stuff always seems to never match or look cohesive?

Jacque said...

Ok Rachel...I hope you get this comment because....

do you place pictures at eye level when you're sitting down, or eye level when you're standing up???


Unknown said...

Jacque...I hope you get this reply since I don't have your email! You usually place them at eye level from where they will be viewed. In some cases, like a hallway, it would be standing, but in the case of a sofa it would probably be somewhere in between sitting and standing. It would be more relative to the back of the sofa than anything else.