Tips for decorating

Design Tips for a Livable & Lovable Room

I love the creative process of decorating a room, but find that I frequently fail at it before I finally succeed in getting the right look.  Although it can be frustrating, I've found that the results are well worth the challenge because space that's livable is also lovable. 

I've always been a fan of found objects and mixing old with new. I'm appreciative of color and design but I also tend to gravitate toward furnishings and details that have a well-loved and worn look and especially pieces that will lend character to an otherwise bland environment.  I'm a huge fan of modular pieces that can be easily moved to change up the look of a room and I adore the use of natural objects and artwork used to create texture and evoke mood.  

Decorating a space can be challenging especially if you don't have a vision in mind.  These are the tips that I've learned along the way that seem to make an overwhelming project seem more manageable:

  • End before you begin:  Before you do anything, sit down with a pad of paper and list the end result you want to achieve.  Choose descriptive words that can help guide you as you choose the color or furnishings that will help you cultivate the look you want to achieve. Get a box of colored pencils and put some color boxes on the page next to the words so you can begin a color pallet for that room, or use Pinterest to create a pin board for your rooms.  For example: lets say I want to create a room that feels beachy and lived in.  My color pallet looks like this: 

I may find a washed out blue trunk at a thrift or antique store that I want to use at the end of the bed for a table.  I can put seashells or a hurricane lamp and choose white linens with accent pillows for a pop of color. 

  • Prepare to hunt:  If your budget is tight, think about where you are going to splurge and where you are going to skimp. Sometimes I will find a piece that makes the statement and blows the budget all at the same time. If this happens, it's not about forgoing the piece, but about getting creative with the rest of the room at thrift stores, yard sales, craigs list, or Ikea! Ikea is a great place to look for an element that achieves a look without breaking the bank. 

Two Ikea Bunkbeds have been placed end to end to create this great look and take up very little floor space while maximizing the space for sleeping four. 

  • Give yourself permission to get it right:  We don't know till we try.  If you have an idea or a vision in your head, then go with it.  If you get it wrong the first few times, keep going till you get it right. When it comes to decorating a space there are no set rules, and we only gain experience when we make mistakes. It's ok if that piece you thought would work is a bust, maybe it will work somewhere else, maybe you resell it and begin again.  Sometimes consignment stores will give you the opportunity to test a piece in your home to see if it works in the space.  Obviously you will need to do your best by taking measurements and even "taping off" the amount of space each piece will take up in the room before actually going to the trouble to bring it home. 
  • Make it: If you can't find that lamp or accent chair you are looking for... can you make it?  Marshalls or TJ's are great places to look for the basics. Consider how many white lamps or tables you can find at either place. Can you decopage some tasteful seashell images on it's surface to achieve your look? 

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