A room will feel much more inviting and offer a more comfortable place to rest if you arrange the furniture or accessories around a focal point. Sometimes a focal point is an architectural feature. At other times, a focal point can be a special picture, mirror, or dramatic piece of furniture. Learn how to find a focal point in your room and how to make the most of it.
Time Required: Varies
- Look around your room to determine the ‘biggest’ feature. It may be a fireplace, a picture window, or a built-in bookcase. This will generally be your focal point.
- If your room has no distinguishing architectural features, identify the largest furniture pieces. These could become your focal point.
- A focal point should be something interesting to look at, something colorful or texturally and visually appealing.
- You can create a focal point for the room, by focusing on artwork, floral arrangements, paint color, or shelving.
- The focal point should be the ‘first thing’ you see when entering a room. If possible, build your furniture arrangement around the focal point.
- an outdoor view is the focal point, orient the furniture inside and outside to take advantage of window areas.
- You can create a focal point wall by painting one wall a different color from the rest and accessorizing with a wall arrangement, artwork, or display shelves.
- Use lighting to enhance your focal point. For example, use a picture light, track light, or wall washer fixture on a painting or wall display.
- If you’ve identified a mantle or shelf as the focal point, use plants and accessories to decorate them.
- Use contrasting color to make the focal point stand out. For example, use a light wall color behind a dark wood armoire.
Do you have any idea about what decorating style you like? It’s a simple enough question, but the answer isn’t always so easy to come up with. Of all the things that we learn while going through so many years of school, what decorating style we’d like to see in our living room or what era of furniture would best complement the layout of our bedrooms usually isn’t one of them. Go figure. Whether you’ve been to school for design or not, decorating is always a very personal process. That doesn’t change whether you’re doing it for yourself, working with a designer, or designing for someone else. When it’s your home, everything hinges on what you like and in the end only you can say whether the result is something that you’ll be happy living with. It’s always easy to tell whether or not you like something but sometimes it can be very difficult to say for sure what you like or why. That’s one of the reasons why designers emphasize an understanding of different styles when approaching a project.
It’s not that these are hard and fast categories that you have to fit into, but if you can identify the one or two that most strike your fancy, you’ll have a great starting point for filling in the rest of your look. Here’s a short guide from About.com that will steer you to some of the best quizzes and resources to help you determine your favorite decorating style.
Connect to the links here and answer some simple questions. Before you know it, you’ll get information on your decorating style, based on your answers. What could be easier? Use these sources as a guide to creating the interior that reflects your personality.
Then you can really call your house or apartment a home!
- Better Homes and Gardens has a simple color quiz using attitudes about color to help zero in on your decorating style. You won’t have to wait for results, and you’ll get information about what the answers say about you.
- Take a Home Decorating Quiz from Houzz to get style hints as you decide on the style that you like best.
- Check out more Decorating, Design, and Style Quizzes. They are a great way to help you define home furnishings you love so you can create your perfect home.
- And if you’d like to go a little deeper with a bit more research, check out this list of the Best Design Books of 2016
Take the quizzes and print out any quiz results that best fit your style, and keep them in your decorating file for future reference!
If you’ve ever been in a fun house, you know what it feels like to walk through a room that is unbalanced. But many times in home decorating, design balance is something that is an afterthought. After all, unless you’ve got serious foundation problems, I doubt your floors feel anything like those in a funhouse.
But design balance in decorating is something that should be considered at the beginning stages of room design. Without proper balance, a room can make its inhabitants feel uncomfortable and anxious.
In fact, balance in a room is as much about emotion as it is about good design. Good design balance gives off feelings of stability and wellness. More specifically, balance is a part of the design that invokes a feeling of wellness in a room. Nothing feels weird, lopsided or unstable.
So how does one achieve good design balance in a room? Creating a balanced and harmonious space depends on three things: furniture and decor placement, use of color and texture, and the scale and proportion of furnishings and decor.
Below are tips for creating a balanced room.
Furniture & Decor Placement
1) Vary the heights.
A room where all the furnishings or decor are the same height will lack interest. When you place your furniture into your room, put tall pieces next to short pieces. If your sofa has a low back, add a piece of furniture that is tall like an armoire or bookshelf. The same rule works with small decor. With small decor, use the ratio of 3:1. For example, three vases of varying heights grouped together and balanced by a single larger decor object on the opposite side of the mantel or shelf make a striking design.
2) Balance your heavy or bold pieces.
Imagine a seesaw in your room. If one side gets weighed down with heavy furnishings or decor, your room will feel off balance. Add something on the other side to put the eye over and around the room. For example, if one wall has a tall bookshelf and tons of wall decor, make sure you balance that wall with something tall or bold on the opposite side of the room. If you have a heavy sofa against one wall, pair the wall opposite the sofa with another foundational piece of furniture.
3) Less is best.
Don’t set up an obstacle path with your furnishings and don’t cram a room too full of small decor objects. A room needs “breathing space.” (FYI – the most common mistake amateurs make is to add in too much small decor.)
Use of Color & Texture
1) Don’t match but blend.
One sign of an amateur decorator is a room where everything matches perfectly … too perfectly. Don’t go for perfection but strive for ambiance. For example, balance a bold color with a large pattern that blends but doesn’t match exactly, or balance a bright warm color with a textured cool color. Or choose colors that are the same hue but vary in intensity and scatter them evenly around your room.
2) Play up contrasts.
Homes look professionally designed when new elements are mixed with old, smooth contrasts with rough, polished is balanced with nubby. You get the idea.
3) Spread the wealth.
Don’t make one side of the room color heavy or only use a color only once in a room. Choose two to three main colors for your room palette, and then be sure to spread these colors throughout your space. This will carry the eye throughout the room and keep things interesting.
Also Read: Scale & Proportion in Room Design
Whether you’re decorating a single room or a whole house, a cottage or a castle, you’ll find our guides to decorating styles helpful. The style guides will help you focus in on your likes and dislikes and learn elements that will help you achieve your dream room or make your home express your very unique taste.
With so many products on the market, buyers traveling around the globe, and shoppers expecting more for their homes, consumers have an infinite array of products, finishes, colors, decorative elements, and prices available. The sky’s the limit and there’s really no reason for anyone to be stuck with a home decorating scheme that doesn’t capture their own unique style and interests.
If you haven’t yet identified your particular style or if you’re uncertain about how to proceed, you’ll learn a lot from the articles and style guides listed here.
Take a look at traditional styles and see some of the newest decorating trends. You’ll find that nothing is really new, but it’s fun to see how old favorite themes, fabrics, and details adapt to a fresh new look.
The following Style Guides offer information on one design style. See photos and read tips that focus on the elements and design features that give each style an individual and very distinctive look.
Find the style that will help to give your home yourdistinctive look.
Start With the Basics…
- Casual Style
- Formal Style
- Contemporary Style
Influences From Around the World…
- French Country Style
- Tuscan Style
- Swedish Style
- Paris Apartment Style
Choose Your Favorite Colors…
- Black and White
- Chocolate Browns
- Floral Themes
- Denim Blues
- Red, White, and Blue
Express Your Unique Style…
- Rustic Style
- Shabby Chic
- Tropical Chic
- Western Style
Renovating a room in your home by installing a ceiling fan will transform the room’s look and bring it some welcome ventilation. But when selecting a ceiling fan there are some things to consider in making the right decision.
Considerations such as:
- Selecting the proper location for a fan;
- Selecting a fan that maintains adequate safe clear height under the fixture;
- Selecting the proper fan blade count and span width;
- Deciding on remote control capability;
- Deciding on lighting separate switching for lighting and fan controls.
Let’s take a look at some of these issues:
1. Fan Location: Determining a safe location for your fan is the first step. You should not install a ceiling fan in a ceiling that is less than 8 feet tall as the fan blades should be mounted no lower than 7 feet high. You also want to make sure the fan blades will not have anything obstructing air flow within 30″ of the fan blade span (tip to tip). Finally, make sure the fan will be attached to a rated and properly supported ceiling fan-box that will hold the weight of the fan and light.
. Maximum Height of Ceiling Fan Fixture Itself: Measure the height of your ceiling and subtract 6′-6″ from it. That will give you an approximate maximum height the total ceiling fan assembly can be measured from the top to the bottom of the fan or the lamp (if the fan has a light). So for example, if you have an 8′-4″ ceiling you can have a 1′-10″ (22″) tall ceiling fan fixture overall height. If you pick a combination fan / light fixture that is too tall for use with the ceiling height, inadequate clearance results and a person may wind up walking into it with their head. I know it sounds obvious but I have seen many installations where the fixture was much too for its ceiling height and ended up being a safety risk. If your ceiling is under 9′-0″ you should be shopping for a low-profile ceiling fan.
3. Fan Blade Count and Span Width: Whether your fan has 4 blades or five is a matter of aesthetics and economy. A 4 blade fan is easier to turn and requires a smaller motor than a 5 blade fan and is therefore usually less expensive. Fan blade span is tied to the CFM of air moved by the fan and required CFM is related to the size of the room. Fan blade spans generally follow these guidelines:
- 30″ to 48″ blade span for rooms up to 100 square feet
- 50″ to 54″ blade span for rooms up to 400 square feet
- 56″ or greater blade span for rooms over 400 square feet
4. Remote Control Remote control of the fan speed and lighting is a popular option and is very common on quality ceiling fans. Like your garage door opener, a transmitter is held in your hand or mounted to a wall and the radio receiver is installed in the ceiling fan motor assembly. The receiver and transmitter are synchronized using a DIP switch, again similar to your garage door opener.
5. Lighting and Controls: Lighting is another popular option and there are many styles and types of lighting available including incandescent, fluorescent and LED lighting options. The ceiling fan can be wired so the light and fan are individually controlled from the wall switch or they can operate in unison.
So with the above considerations you will have thought through more issues than most people who go out and buy a ceiling fan with little to no idea about what they are buying or if the fan will work. You will now know the right size and features you want and it will make your search much more productive.
When it comes to home decorating, not everyone has either the time or the money to do a whole makeover in their living room. But don’t fret! You don’t have to spend a lot of either to get a nice change and pick-up to the look of your room. Read here for our 10 favorite ways to add color to your living room and liven up the décor of your home.
1. Paint One Wall
You will find that you can add a real punch of color by painting just one wall of your living room. This will really change the focal point of the living room without getting into a major decorating project. If your room has a niche, that’s the perfect choice for extra color. You can choose a bold, contrasting color picked from a floral fabric, or a subtle tone darker than the tone of the other walls. Any change in color will add interest and splash!
2. Throw a Few Pillows Around
Decorating is all about the things you do; the colors you pick, the furniture you love, and the accents you choose to finish your space off with that perfect look that you’ve been waiting for. Decorating is also about the things that you don’t do (or more commonly that you do and then undo). An editorial eye is one that’s always looking for things that can go, either because they don’t fit or because it’s just too much of a good thing.
Exercise your editorial eye for long enough and you’ll find yourself running into the same missteps over and over, and not just in your work but in just about every room you walk into. That’s a good thing, because knowing what not to do can be just as useful (sometimes more) as having a firm grasp on what you should do.
And just in case your eye isn’t quite as practiced just yet, here’s a few things to look for the next time you take stock of your decor. And you’ll be surprised how often you see them, even is professionally designed rooms.
Things To Avoid In Your Home Decor
- Using an area rug that is too small. Postage stamp-size rugs are one of the most common decorating mistakes. All of the furniture should be sitting on the rug. If this simply isn’t possible, the front legs of larger pieces can be on the rug with the back two needn’t be. All four legs of smaller pieces should be on the rug.
- Choosing the paint color first. Paint is available in thousands of colors and can easily be changed. Choose your most expensive pieces first then decorate around them.
- Hanging chandeliers too high. You want to light up the room, not the ceiling.
- Hanging artwork too high. People have a tendency to hang art closer to the ceiling than it should be. Artwork should be hung at about eye-level. Obviously this varies from person to person, so use your judgment. But it’s better to err on the side of lower rather than higher.
Whether you live in a cozy apartment or rambling suburban home, a cottage by the sea, or a lodge in the mountains, your living room creates a lasting impression for all who enter. It tells your family and guests if you’re formal and elegant or fun-loving and laid-back. It sets the mood for the home and should be a reflection of the owner’s personal taste.
A living room can be arranged in many ways.
For some, this space is formal and perfect at all times, to be entered and used only when guests come to call. To others, it serves as a comfortable family gathering place for watching TV, doing homework, or visiting. Some have a cozy nook for sipping tea and curling up with a book.
A formal living room, historically referred to as a drawing room or parlor, often showcases the homeowner’s finest possessions.
The décor is often symmetrical—a sofa with painting above, flanked by two end tables topped by lamps. Formal window treatments of luxurious fabrics trimmed with braid and fringe, and perfectly set pairs of occasional chairs and tables follow traditional rules of decorating. Few homes these days have space for such a perfect (and often useless) room that is more to be looked at than used.
We all love decor. We love the furniture, the textiles, the colors and the patterns. We love the rugs, the bookshelves and even the window treatments. We love it all. But most of all we love the way it all fits together. Still, there’s more to being a designer than loving design. Sometimes it’s an innate sense of what looks good and how to put things together. Other times it takes years of education, training and practice.
But sometimes, it means admitting that you need a little help. If you’re thinking it might be time to look for a designer, but you’re not quite sure, here’s a few questions you might want to ask.
- When you look at fabrics and paint, are there so many choices that you just don’t know where to start?
- Did you start to redecorate your room and buy a few nice pieces, but now just don’t know what to do with them?
- Have you seen pictures in magazines of the look you want but don’t know how to make it happen in your home?
- Are you and your living companion having trouble agreeing on what to do?
- Have you bought pieces through the years but don’t know how to make them work together?
- Do you own a house with character and don’t know how to decorate the home and remain true to its history?
- Are you finally at the stage where you want to coordinate the colors and style of your whole home but don’t know how to do it without having it seem boring?
- Do you want to do some major renovation involving moving walls or lighting fixtures?
- Did you just receive a raise/new job and now you want to design the home of your dreams?
Lots of people live in a small home, a small room, or just a small space. Some people live in a small apartment because that’s all they can afford, and they’re grateful for it.
Some people live in a small apartment or home because they’re tired of taking care of a larger place and want to “downsize.”
Others just don’t want a large home. Small is beautiful! And easy, and practical, too!
But no matter what your reason for living in a small space, you’ll undoubtedly have to make some compromises in your decorating, get really organized, and make some adjustments to your lifestyle in order to make everything fit and not feel cramped.
If you’re looking for a cozy, intimate space, you’re in luck. By using soft, snuggly upholstered pieces, dark, warm tones, and dramatic lighting, your tiny corner can become a wonderful private space.
But if you really feel the need to stretch out in your small space, you can make some decorating changes to make the area look and feel larger without moving any walls!