From cushions to curtains, textiles to test pots, choosing home décor is a complex task. The rules of home décor are open to interpretation but most experts agree that the first step to success is to learn those rules – then you`ll know when to break them.
Let`s take a look at some of the basics of home decorating:
The dos and don`ts of style, layout and design
• Consider the functions of the room. Rooms with heavy traffic need durable flooring. The function of space, whether it`s for entertaining in, working in or relaxing in, will dictate it`s design.
• Create a focal point for the room. Perhaps your focal point is a fireplace, a view or a plasma television.
• Co-ordinate fabric and flooring. Do this before making any major purchases.
• Add light. Position mirrors and glass tables so that they reflect light into the room.
• Use repetition. One accent in a specific colour isn`t enough to create a theme – establish a colour palette by repeated, but subtle, use of a colour.
• Accessorise carefully. Don`t go overboard, stick to items that enhance the room.
• Paint first. You can pick any paint you want, so make fabric and upholstery your priority.
• Let furniture hug walls. Group furniture to create a feeling of warmth and to allow for closer conversations.
• Overcrowd the room. It can be tempting to show off your collectibles but keep them to a minimum otherwise it creates a feeling of clutter.
• Force things to match. Choose your colours carefully and remove items from the room that don`t fit the scheme.
• Forget to add to the room. Its one thing picking furniture and painting the walls but to add real character to your room you`ll need to add intricate extras such as lamps, candles, artwork or mirrors.
The dos and don`ts of choosing colours
• Take samples and test pots home. Test them in your room under both natural and artificial light.
• Use lighter colours in small rooms. They create an illusion of space and give a room an airy, breezy feeling.
• Use darker colours for warmth. They`re ideal for that cosy feeling.
• Decide on colours on an impulse. You need to be able to live with those colours everyday for the next couple of years so choose wisely.
• Be afraid to experiment. Start off with small rooms, and move to larger rooms when you are more confident.
The dos and don`ts of choosing furniture
• Work with the size of the room. Pick pieces that fit into a room comfortably without being overbearing.
• Think about purpose and lifestyle. How often will you use the item? Do you have pets/children that will climb on the furniture? Durability and comfort are as important as style.
• Compromise on quality. Buy furniture that will last, otherwise it may cost you more in the long run.
• Buy on sight only. Get physical with the furniture in the store - test it out.
How to make a small space look larger
Small can be beautiful if you move furniture out of walkways and strip the clutter from rooms. Use light colours to make the space seem open and airy. Let in any natural light and position mirrors effectively.
How to choose a decorator
Shop around for a decorator and ask friends for recommendations. Make sure the professional you employ can work within your timeframe and your budget. Before starting any redecoration or interior design projects, ensure you have suitable contents insurance to cover you against breakages and accidental damage to furnishings.
More Decorating Tips
Creating the perfect cosy room
Redecorating can breathe new life into any tired, old room, but, before you break out the paint and brushes, you do need to think about how you want to use the room and the look and feel you want to create. The type and colour, of the materials that you use to cover walls and floors can dramatically change how a room looks and feels, but so can the type, or types, of lighting and heating systems that you choose.
Creating a Perfect Cosy Room
The key to creating the perfect cosy room is creating a room that not only feels, but also looks, warm and comfortable. Heating typically accounts for 33%, or more, of domestic energy bills, so it makes economic sense to make your heating system as efficient as possible. Radiant electric underfloor heating is economical to install and to run and can be installed on a existing subfloor, making it ideal for renovation projects. If drafts from windows are a problem, hanging heavy, lined, curtains can help to improve comfort levels and reduce fuel bills.
Aside from the physical practicalities of heating and containing heat within, a room, an understanding of colour can also help to soften the ambience of a room and make it, psychologically, a more comfortable place to be. Warm yellows, or reds with undertones of orange, or brown, can be used to create the illusion of warmth, while bold colours, such as burgundy or navy, make a room seem smaller and can be used to create intimacy. The same is true of accessories and lighting; remember that mirrors, for example, can artificially lengthen a room, making it feel less intimate, while a mixture of background, task and accent lighting can be used to create pools of light and shadow, which can increase the feeling of intimacy.
Large, open plan rooms, with no restrictions on the placement of furniture, use of wall space, etc., are the dream of many householders. Traditional radiators in this deign can be unsightly, occupy valuable space and operate inefficiently if obstructed by furnitue. Electric underfloor heating, by contrast, is hidden beneath the surface of the floor and delivers the same results as a traditional radiator system, but at a lower temperature overall. A balance of radiation and convection creates a more natural temperature gradient, as far as the human body is concerned and the air temperature in a room can be up to 2°C lower than one heated by traditional means, with no loss of comfort. This, in turn, means that energy savings of between 20% and 25%, typically and up to 40% in some cases, can be made
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