You see it all the time in retail discount stores: Color coordinated decor for just about anywhere in your home. And some of the designs are quite pretty. In fact, some people become obsessed by them. They're usually really cute, come in a variety of colors, shades, patterns and designs, and they just plain make decorating easy. There's no guesswork - everything is matched for you automatically. But there's also no unique style. No sense of “you" in the finished style. If you mix and match styles up a bit though, you'll end up creating something that's just right for you, your home, and your style preferences. Here are a few tips on doing that.
1. It's ok to start with a “cookie cutter" design style, pattern, or color theme you've found in a general store. These are actually great starting places for getting new decor ideas.
2. Try choosing just one or two matching items from the store. For instance, let's say you plan to decorate your bathroom in a sea green color scheme. You'll find plenty of really nice shower curtains to fit this color scheme well, so choose one you like. If you just can't resist. . . go ahead and get the matching accessories too, such as the toothbrush holder and soap dish.
3. Now most likely the ready made design of your shower curtain has traces of other colors mixed in. It's common for instance, to see blues, tans, yellows and oranges in a sea green coordinated bathroom set, because these colors tend to be seen when you're actually at the sea or ocean. So they compliment each other.
And this is a key decorating point: Your room colors don't have to match exactly. They should simply compliment each other. So in our sea green bathroom decor example above, it would be perfectly natural to add a set of solid tan colored towels, burnt orange wash cloths, and a throw rug with touches of blue in it. If the blue doesn't seem to fit quite right for your tastes, then try a deep forest green colored rug instead.
4. Try different color shade combinations. If you're using primarily green in the bathroom design, try both a light and dark shade as previously mentioned. Test the colors out though, because sometimes one shade doesn't sit well next to another. Sometimes you can tell this instinctively by holding two items of different shades together in the store, but other times you'll need to actually buy the items and test them in the actual room itself. Anything that doesn't quite look or feel right in the overall room design can simply be returned to the store.
5. Work with what you have. In our bathroom decor example, the shades of green might not work well if you have pink walls and aren't able to change them when you're redecorating. If you have deep, dark wood cabinets and other accessories, the darker green shades might make the room seem a bit too heavy and dark once you have all of the new decorations in place.
6. Don't be afraid to try mixing decor styles. It's ok to have a Southwestern style towel set in the same bathroom as a seaside designed shower curtain for instance, because both styles tend to use earth toned colors.
7. Last but not least: If you can't find decor styles you like at regular stores, try shopping around at yard sales and flea markets. Even if you find just one interesting or unique piece that really catches your attention - that's a place to start. You can create an entire room's unique design and decor style by simply working from the color and style of that one piece!
Remember that decorating your home is all about you. Your likes, dislikes, and lifestyle are what's most important. So be sure to inject a little bit of your own personality into the decor of your home, and your friends and family will be envious of your unique, stylish look!
© 2005, Kathy Burns-Millyard. This article is provided courtesy of The Do It Yourself Home Decorating Network - http://www.diyhomedecorating.com - a large and growing home decorating and decor website featuring articles, tips, advice, and popular home decor shopping.