How To Prepare for Your Next Decorating Project

Lisa DeClue

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In order for your home to be comfortable, it needs to reflect your family’s tastes and the way different rooms are used. Your personal style is the combination of these tastes and uses.

Take time to assess your wants and needs. Decorating a room is much like outfitting a wardrobe. You wouldn’t go to a formal event without some forethought as to your dress, shoes and accessories; so too with a room. The best way to discover the “decorating outfits" you like is to create a scrapbook.

The scrapbook will be your catch all for ideas and pictures and will help you establish your own style. I started my décor scrapbook in a drawer of my china hutch. It was easily accessed and out of sight. Look through a variety of design magazines and your Sunday flyers for ideas.

Here’s what to include in your scrapbook:

  • Products – These include items that catch your eye. Sinks, furniture, pottery, accessories.
  • Room Designs – These are complete rooms that you like. You may not care for every detail, but the entire setting is pleasing.
  • Color Schemes – Choose those colors to which you are drawn. Include paint techniques and color swatches.
  • Specific Room – As your collection grows, you may want to separate it by smaller categories.

    As you examine your choices, you should begin to see some similarities and elements to which you are attracted. Do you prefer formal, informal, sophisticated or cozy? For which areas of the house? These moods can be a unifying factor throughout your home.

    Now you need to evaluate which rooms take priority and which are lower contenders. How are these rooms used? Are they for cozy reading or as a showplace for entertaining? Be sure to allow for plenty of comfy seating and easy traffic patterns.

    Create a focal point and keep the room balanced. Fireplaces, fabulous views and a home theater are naturals. Consider the visual weight of your furniture, the scale of the pieces to one another and their proportion to the room’s dimensions.

    Review the room’s architectural features – arches, ceiling height, built-ins, doors and windows. Eliminate nonessential furnishings to clear floor space and use furniture to divide the space into activity areas.

    Go back to how you use your room to help refine a color scheme. Warm colors are good for actions rooms – kitchen, dining, family, and child’s room.

  • Red = Energizing
  • Orange = Electrifying
  • Yellow = Cheery
  • Green = Introspective
  • Blue = Serene
  • Violet = Dramatic

    Consider your clothes closet for color and style cues.

  • Romantic – Victorian
  • Mix & Match – Eclectic
  • Trendy - Contemporary
  • Tailored – Traditional
  • Jeans – Country

    These are only suggestions as to how you can approach your color and style decisions. Color affects us emotionally and physically and reflects the emotions of the people within the home.

    The important thing to remember when planning for a decorating project is to select a design style that makes you and your family comfortable. After all, you’ll be living in it!

    Lisa DeClue is a WAHM and Owner of Decorating with HGPgal ( ) – an information and resource site for decorating enthusiasts. She writes the PartyLine monthly ezine and moderates a DecoForum. Grab your Freebie for subscribing to the newsletter:

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